Hey, a blog post from the Green Grass House - wouldn't you know, it takes drama and controversy to get me to set aside everything else going on and take the time to write up a post over here! So, for all my non-homestead crazy friends, here's the scoop - a family is Pasadena CA has decided that they are the only urban homesteaders of worth in our 2011 world. They trademarked "urban homestead" and "urban homesteading" and are trying to make it stick by going after authors, bloggers and organizations that use those words. Honestly, they probably would have gotten away with it for quite a while, too - but they made the mistake of kicking a big fat buzzing hornet's nest by having Facebook yank down a whole bunch of Urban Homestead oriented pages, including the one belonging to James and Irina at Denver Urban Homesteading . Oooooo, boy, really, really glad I'm not in their shoes now because I have a feeling this is all not going to go the way they would like to see it go! I won't beleaguer it all here, partly because I'm supposed to be outside helping the boys and partly because I know I won't do it all justice, but if you are interested, here's the best place to go for more info: Take Back Urban Home-steading(s) on Facebook - it has links to related sites, fantastic blog entries from everyone talking this up today and updates on where the legal battle will go from here.
So, what's my interest in this? Well, although we don't quite fit all of the narrow definition that the Dervaes' family, we are proud to call ourselves Urban Homesteaders. This crazy house and property with all of its time-intensive work is our labor of love, our livelihood and most of all, our HOME. David and I were chatting over coffee a few mornings ago about this whole thing and one of the firmest conclusions we came to was that there is no way anyone can define, limit or trademark something as broad and encompassing as "urban homesteading".
What is Urban Homesteading? Well, to some of our acquaintances in the heart of Denver, it is growing their own herbs, eating homemade vegan food, creating art and goods from recycled and upcycled items, buying wind power credits and biking instead of driving. To some of our friends on the fringes of the suburban/rural border it is growing the vast majority of their food, belonging to co-ops for the rest, purchasing cow shares and raising their own chickens and goats. For some of our suburban friends it is underground chicken raising, CSA delivery, solar power and motorcycle not car. For some the focus is on the health benefits of eating real food grown and raised by real people. For some it is on the sustainability of a lifestyle that gives back more than it takes. For some it is channeling grandparents and great-grandparents who were farmers as best as they can in a modern city environment. For most of us it tends towards home made, home grown, home baked, home cooked, home oriented.
Ripe 2 U
Putting in the flagstone patio last summer and a shot of the herb garden when it was still in the ground clearing stage