Episode-1702- The Challenges of Urban/Suburban Homesteading

Quail Beat Chickens in Almost Every Way for Urban Homesteading

Quail Beat Chickens in Almost Every Way for Urban Homesteading

Special Report – Today I start out with a special report on Vladislav Davidson and the Regenerative Leadership Institute.  I only did this report due to so many asking about their PDC that you can take for “free” at OpenPermaculture.com.  My report is not very positive, it isn’t the type of thing I like to do but in this instance it was something had to do.  Simply due to the fact that many of you have asked about this PDC and the people behind it.  If you are here just for that it starts at 7:25 and ends about 19:10 into the show.

Today I listened to a sample episode of a show I will be on soon as a guest the show is called, Myths & Facts: 9 Things I Used to Believe (and Teach) About Home Ownership That I No Longer Believe it was a story of government stupidity at its finest.  If you want the story you can listen to that episode for yourself.

The short short version is a guy moves outside of city limits, can find no laws against chickens or a pile of brush on ones property but gets fined for both and must give up his chickens. On top of it a 30 year old shed ends up having no permit, in the end tearing down the large, expensive shed was his only option.

I could not listen to the entire episode, this shit makes no sense.  I am so ever loving done with government in so many ways.  Yet Josh (the show’s host) makes a valid point about “ownership” mythology, that is true in far to many instances.

On the other hand there are current victories in other areas.  Just this week San Antonino did something great!  They just declared Urban Farming absolutely legal in San Antonino.  In many ways what we are seeing right now is what amounts to a low violence multi front war.

While many in this nation are determined to sanitize everything into conformity, others seek to regain independence and true health.  Many also frankly simple desire to regain one of our most basic freedoms.  That is our freedom to use land we own, the way we choose as long as we do no harm to anyone else.  Note that being offended, not liking what others do, etc. does not equal being harmed.

As an anarchist I personally work outside the system, every and any where I can.  By inspiring frankly 10s of thousands to get shit done in this world I am creating new fronts in this war.  Others then in the system take up the fight and work inside and outside the system in their own ways.

We need to balance things too. I  really recommend anyone becoming an urban farmer, suburban homesteader etc. read this great article by our own Erica Strauss, called “Don’t Be An Urban Homesteading Asshole“.

Join Me Today to Discuss…

  • The sweet spot “Urban Rural Fringe” and how it is getting harder to use
  • The irony of yuppies in these sweet spots – they want the food we produce
  • How this compares to marijuana on main street in Breckenridge
  • Thoughts on finding the place for you
    • Don’t just read laws, ask enforcers before you buy
    • Get into an area where there are some eyesores even to your taste
    • Ag Zoned land is best but hard to get at times
    • Really think about what you want to do, what you can do, and should do
  • Working the system to your advantage
    • Consider a distributed model, ala Curtis Stone
    • Quail and worms, over chickens
    • Rabbits over ducks
    • Focus mostly on the back yard
    • Try to locate property with at least 2 neighbor free property lines
    • Do not do “on farm sales” unless you know you are golden
    • Select areas with public forage/hunting/fishing opportunities
    • Accept you can’t win every fight
    • Loosing a fight is not loosing a war
    • The best way to win is to never get in the fight
    • Do as much as you can inside/in outbuildings
    • Look for at least an acre
    • Tree your perimeter, start with the closest neighbors
    • Work the system or fight from outside, follow what works for you
    • Respect everyone fighting for what is right
  • Final Thoughts

Resources for today’s show…

Links Related to My Report on Vladislav and Open Permaculture’s PDC

gojiBob Wells Plant of the Week – Phoenix Tears Goji Berry – It is adaptable from zone 5 to zone 9. Also known as Wolfberry, these nutritious berries are eaten fresh, juiced or dried like raisins. The berries are a popular medicinal herb.

Among the highest in protein and anti-oxidants, they have more carotene than carrots, and contain all the essential amino acids and many minerals. Grow this attractive Chinese native on a trellis to more than 10′ tall or trim it as a bush and keep at 4-6′ tall. Light purple, bell shaped flowers bloom in May and continue throughout the summer.

The third year and thereafter, flowers are followed by orange-red berries. The plant is self-fertile, drought resistant, and likes a half to full day of sun and well-drained soil. It prefers warm summer days and cool nights prefers neutral or somewhat alkaline soil. Our plants are grown from cuttings and a superior cultivar. 

Bob Wells Nursery specializes in edible landscape plants and trees including: Fruit Trees, Berry Plants, Vine Fruit, Nut Trees, as well as the hard to find Specialty Trees. Find this plant and more at BobWellsNursery.com

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK (866-658-4465) and you might hear yourself on the air.

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23 Responses to Episode-1702- The Challenges of Urban/Suburban Homesteading

  1. Link to “myth & facts” is broken FYI

  2. Slight clarification, in Washington and Oregon the problem side is the West [the side with the easiest climate, go figure] not the East.

    • Modern Survival

      Yea us guys that grew up on the east coast often subconsciously affiliate coast with east. Sorry on that one.

    • I live in the Willamette Valley, and have for 38 years. Lukkas is right, Jack was referring to the West side. But the bigger point is that this type of thing occurs whenever there is a large population growth in a historically rural area. That is what has happened. Watch for Bend, Tri-Cities, and Spokane to begin having the same issues. Spokane actually put out a brochure some time ago trying to prepare ‘yuppie’ types for rural living. Pretty funny stuff if you grew up rural. I have watched the regulations move from Portland out for many years, and I fear what will happen here if the water issues in California continue and the rate of Californians migrating increases.

      I don’t fear Zombies, I fear Californians.

  3. Hi Jack…wanted to support your show on Vladislav. ..I am currently taking his PDC and its costing me $450. I’m paying $45 a month and after changing jobs needed to change monthly payment date and actually missed the due date so funds weren’t available. ..first email from them was a significant threat. I wouldn’t recommend him to anyone.

    • Yeah I went through a few of their lessons as a free user and as Jack said the material isn’t bad.

      Seems like IF one were going to pay them anything, the way to do it would be to complete the course as a free user, THEN pay for certification. Rather than go through the entire process as a paying user.

  4. Candygram4mongo

    Thanks Jack – it takes a lot of guts to expose this guy’s problems when he seems to have a track-record of initiating (and pursuing) litigation. I know you’ve got better things to do than respond to this guy’s inevitable threats – thanks for looking out for the TSP Community.

  5. “The tyrant has “nothing more than the power that you confer upon him to destroy you. Where has he acquired enough eyes to spy upon you, if you do not provide them yourselves? How can he have so many arms to beat you with, if he does not borrow them from you? The feet that trample down your cities, where does he get them if they are not your own? How does he have any power over you except through you? How would he dare assail you if he had no cooperation from you?”
    Etienne de la boetie

    I thought this was a fitting quote for your closing of this show.

  6. Fishermans daughter

    The open permaculture course I looked at, but my partner sent me to a local PDC provider for a Christmas present. The market in really put me off, sending ridiculous amounts of emails trying to get me to pay for more things. The information I found was not that detailed, I got much more out of reading forums on permies and from bill mollisols book. They still sending me emails, the unsign button doesn’t work so well 🙁

  7. We live in a detroit suburb. We raised quail and a rabbit this summer. We have a neighbor who has about 6 ducks in his backyard, so it IS possible in a small yard. You just can’t have many.

    • Yeah, I’ve heard the minimum for a happy flock is 3 for ducks and chickens.

    • Yeah, ducks are not as good of an option–but they taste so freaking good! I did a few muscovies. They are good in that they are quiet, not gamey, and they reproduce like rabbits. It’s a bi*ch to clean ducks though.

  8. Think I watched about 75% of the videos about two or three years ago, when I was new to Permaculture–never committed to paying the fee for the actual PDC. They lost me when one of the teachers and his “Urban Permaculture” interesting, to say the least, ideas: Have a Fire Dept-like water hoses in an apartment complex’s parking lot for cars to drive over when they come and go, this would pump water to the top floor of the apartment, when the cars smash the hoses driving over them. Another, having a bunch of little fans on the side of the apartment building, when cars drive by this would spin the fans and create electricity to power the apartment. I did like the idea of a buried steel cage house and plant an oak tree on top to create a hobbit house under an oak tree.

  9. About 2.5 years ago I bought an acre and one-half in Hays County Texas, just over the Travis County (Austin) line. I am in an unincorporated area where, like Jack’s location, I can do pretty much as I please. My neighbors are all chill and most have 10 + acres w/all sorts of animals. Looked good to me …. and it is. But I was ignorant going into this. The amount of work (especially given my degraded soil) and the time demands are way more than I expected. Plus as Jack alluded to, you can’t really leave unless you have someone to take care of your animals and property. Since I travel a lot, that is a problem. I envisioned myself transitioning this property to a small urban/rural edge permacluture property while I continued with my (very flexible) day job as a freelancer. Just wanted to put this out there. To a lot of people who dream of making this transition – it ain’t easy and you better have a lot of resources and human help. I am looking to transition out and move my vision to a smaller urban property. (San Antonio sounds good :-).)

    • Have you thought about beekeeping? Very profitable and it’s not something you have to jack with constantly. I started that two years ago and it’s a lot of fun.

  10. Another victim

    Thanks for the exposing the dubious business practices and litigious behavior of RLI and VD.

  11. Ed H from Ohio

    Jack I noticed something on “High Profits”on Netflix. On episode 2 a retail store for cloths did not want a pot store on Main Street. The funny thing she had no problem taking almost $1300 from the Lady that works there. I don’t think the Retail Lady realized where the money came from that the customer was using.

  12. Great advise on looking for property. I have already purchased mine, and have no regrets, but i got lucky. It could have gone totally the other way, and following this advise could definitely help avoid a bad decision.

    A couple additional things to check…

    Future Development. Most counties in Oregon, probably most other places as well, have online GIS map information. Here you can see all the details about zoning, value, ect on properties. I used this when looking for my property to see what is going on with the neighboring properties. In Oregon there is a law that allows division and development of rural properties if they were purchased prior to the law that prevents this from going into effect. Also allows the same exemption if the property was willed to the current owner. I wanted to make sure that a development could not pop up beside me years down the line. I am sure this could be researched anywhere whether it is available online or not.

    Internet. I had no idea how bad satellite internet was. Not that it would influence my choice that much, but it is worth considering

    Animosity. I found out after the fact that half the people on my short street either wanted to buy the parcel I did, or maybe felt that they had a right to it. Its not that big of a deal, and honestly I don’t care, but it could be a lot worse. I am not the type to go knocking on everyone’s door before i purchased a property, but given this experience i would make sure i at least saw them in passing. Wave hi to them, judge their reaction. If its a bad or weird reaction, you might want to dig a little deeper.

    Expansion. If you are looking to do a Farmstead type business, you might consider what land is adjacent to the property you are considering. Is it a parcel that could be purchased or leased for expansion? If you are looking at raising meat animals, you can add up the required area quick.

    Seasonal Businesses. Consider what is adjacent to you. It may be a business that goes nuts in a different season. Looks nice and quiet now, but come November it’s hell on earth. Same thing goes for ATV’s and such. I looked at a lot of places where the neighbors had their 2-stroke quads and such. How would you like to spend your weekends listening to that ALL DAY. WAAAAAAAAAAA-WAAAAAAAAAAAAA-WAAAAAAAAAAAAA

  13. Oh my! I just discovered this podcast. Awesome!

    Hey a free resource for looking at ordinances is municode.com. the code for every city and county/parish is on there. If you are looking at a neighborhood you also need to check out neighborhood restrictions which (at least where I live) requires a trip to city hall.

    I do want to disagree with you on one thing. Meat chickens are very much possible in the city. I can comfortably raise over 225 per year which works out to about four a week. I mean, I don’t raise that many because we don’t want to eat that much. A bonus to the way I raise them is there is low overhead (I make chicken tractors out of scrap). And this is with a neighbor who hates me and looks for any reason to give me hell–I forced him to cut down two trees that were dropping limbs when one smashed our trampoline and nearly killed all three of my kids. There are a few tricks to all this that I’m happy to share, but it is possible. When I had a vacant lot in the hood (which I sold in anticipation of moving out of the city limits which still hasn’t happened) I was butchering 50 every four weeks and selling them.

  14. I enjoy all your podcasts, but this one was so spot on to where I am in my life…thanks for doing it, and thanks for the shout out. 😀

    Urban homesteading is so weird – big dreams + little spaces will always mean compromises and creative solutions. But interesting things happen when you have those constraints. I’m going on ten years now and agree with you 100% about the challenges and the advantages of an urban homesteading lifestyle.

    I’ll stand up a bit for the western urban Washington area here, though – while it’s true that many TSPers will find the typical urban regulations of Seattle to be WAY more than they want to deal with, the city of Seattle proper has been pretty reasonable about food sovereignty issues. Yes, there are rules about everything from goat-keeping to “hell strip” gardening to chickens, but those rules generally protect the folks who are urban homesteading in the city proper. The city itself is culturally sympathetic to what we are doing (it’s the hippie/hipster culture), so that really helps.

    Thanks Jack. Excellent episode.

  15. Vladislav of the regenerative leadership institute and the open permaculture website etc.. likens himself to be the Starbucks of Permaculture. (actual quote made by him on his linkedin profile) Need I say more? How much further removed from permaculture is it possible to be. Answers in a comment please. I’m curious.