The Urban Homesteaders

This family takes the cake…. when I started to think about either building my own home or going the rehab route, or even just making my own gardens that provide more of my family’s grub…  I kept stumbling upon the Dervaes family.

They are a family that produced over 5,000 pounds of food in their little city yard last year.  It’s only 1/10th of an acre, folks…   They have been on tv and all, but it’s their decision to live simply and deliberately that really caught my eye.

I’m not sure that I can accomplish as much as they are doing, and I’m not so sure that I even want to try.   First off, I do live in a mobile home park, so I don’t have the ability to go completely nuts with all my ideas, so I’m trying some of it, and trying to adapt some of my ideas and such into making my life as comfortable and self sufficient as I can.

Anyway…. check out their website:  www.urbanhomestead.org

and here is a video of them!

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For the Love of Hot Water

Hard to believe, but I’ve been without running hot water for almost 2 months again…

Not by choice really… more just a monetary thing.   For some reason the heat regulator on my fairly new water heater decided to go out.  And because I was wrestling with my car/van situation and Christmas, it just wasn’t something that I could swing and get finished up.

And to be honest, several times in the last few years I’ve gone without hot water and managed to get through it without too much difficulty.  I’ve learned how to boil water and to wash up like about 3/4 of the world does that doesn’t have a shower or running water…  washcloth and a bucket!

However, that does not mean I can’t appreciate the modern convienences of running hot water!  It’s much easier to wash dishes… (yeah we gave up on dishwashers…  I’ll explain that later on!)  and since we don’t have a washer and dryer (okay, I’ll explain that later too…  ) the only thing that was a challenge, was daily washing and dishes!

My daughters would shower over at their Dad’s at least a couple times a week, so that helped a lot, and then on the off days, they got pretty used to the whole situation here at the moby.

But anyway…  I had saved up the cash to get the part installed… and was just running a little water when all the sudden, I felt HOT WATER!  yes, real hot water… and the part was not here yet…   OH MY!   For what ever reason, the old part must has started to work again!

So I filled up the sink with soap hot water, not sure if it was some sort of fluke.. like maybe it was warm from the heat?  Though that had never happened before…

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And once there was STILL hot water left… I was naked in 2.4 seconds and making my way for the bathroom and a HOT SHOWER!!!!  YAHOOO!!!!

I probably scared the children, but hey, they’re old enough and girls, so they know how wonderful hot hot hot water feels on a tired old body that is a little on the cold side too!  (g)

I stayed in there till I was getting puckery fingers and the mirror was all fogged up!  Such delight!  Such comfort!  My body was hydrated to the max!  It was wonderful!

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I’m still gonna have that part exchanged because I’m not sure how long it will last working again… and even though it’s worked two days in a row… I’m pretty sure it will fail again.   Apparently this part is commonly failing and the company didn’t even hardly question my request!

But in the meanwhile… I’m totally enjoying the hot water now!!!

-sherri

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My Idea of Urban Homesteading

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No, it’s not a mule and 40 acres… nor is it converting an acre city lot into every square inch of vegetarian eden….  it’s trying to live simply, and bartering for what you need and making what you can’t barter for, growing yer own if you can, but more it’s just a spirit of independence that you don’t need to have a $140,000 a year job to support your $150,000 a year lifestyle.   Life is too short for that.

Before you think I’m crazy… I love the idea of homesteading… self sufficiency… I just don’t think it’s practical for everyone and their brother to move out to the woods or prairies and do it the old fashioned way. We just can’t. It’s the same response that I have when people say, “Oh, everyone should home school” No, I don’t really believe that will work either. Some folks are just not interested or ready for that. Or they live in areas that offer premium educational choices, so why not take advantage of them.

However, I do feel very drawn to the whole idea of living a little lighter on the land, and living a little more deliberately, with less waste and cost, really. For me, it’s more a cost thing, with the added benefits of saving resources. I like the fact that we don’t have a dishwasher, or a washer and dryer, or cable at the moment. Sure those things are handy, but we’ve gotten along just fine without them. And our utility bills prove it.

One of the ladies that I have just totally enjoyed watching and reading about is Becky. Of Becky’s Homestead fame…. this lady is cool. She’s not all nuts and berries, she’s just good practical advice. I guarantee, you will find her posts and videos to be very encouraging… she’s not some super homesteader living off an acre of land and feeding like 20 people…. no, she’s just a lady and sometimes she’s a little goofy. Like when she starts her garden… it really doesn’t look like it will be enough to take care of her family for the month, let alone a year… but you know, that is definitely one thing that I have come to understanding… homesteading is not all or nothing. Homesteading can be done in baby steps…. it can be starting to grow just tomatoes in pots one year and using those shopping totes at the Krogers instead of those nasty nasty plastic bags… it can be ditching your washer and dryer one year and maybe planting as much garden as you can handle in the beginning… my thoughts are that it is baby steps that will get you closer to where you’d like to be without radically changing your whole life in an instant.

So watch a few video episodes of Becky’s Homestead and enjoy all she has to offer… and think about how you can lighten your step on this land, and how you can take your first baby steps to becoming a better homesteader… even if it’s just an urban homesteader in your little rehabbed moby home!!!

-sherri

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