Episode-494- Urban and Suburban Homesteading

Here are two things I know about my audience.  The majority, over 70% live in urban and suburban areas.    The second is that a major majority of those would like to get out of the city some day even if the shit never hits the fan.  There is also the reality that many at least for the short term are held by job, family obligations and other factors.  So I thought today would be a good day to discuss urban homesteading and tomorrow we can discuss urban prepping.

Join me today as we discuss…

  • What exactly makes a home a homestead anyway
  • Why homesteading on some level makes sense for everyone
  • Start out by assessing what you have
  • Sketching your land and determining energy flows
  • Gardening is hard work and may not be for you large scale
  • Perennials take more time but pay far larger rewards
  • Drip irrigation and automated watering systems
  • Small live stock – Chickens, Rabbits and Ducks
  • Considering – Hydro and Aquaponics
  • The Greenhouse is your Friend
  • Think about property value increasing activities
  • Understand your advantages

Resources from Today’s Show

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17 Responses to Episode-494- Urban and Suburban Homesteading

  1. I got ducks and chickens at the same time. Male ducks try to rape the chickens. I got rid of ducks, kept chickens. 1st rule that you stress but forgot this episode unless I missed it: NEVER LIVE IN AN HOA. Illegal immigrants make 10x better neighbors than the nosy HOA type people. I live in an old non-HOA neighborhood, half non-English speaking, and although it is illegal per the city to have poultry pets, I have done it for years because my neighbors don’t mind, some have chickens too, and it becomes a “don’t ask don’t tell” law.

  2. Modern Survival

    @Decentralist,

    Great point and shame on me for not bashing HOAs when the opportunity arose. I hate them, I can’t stand them and I will never live inside of one, ever.

  3. I’m in a rual residental area. The thoughts about not being able to manage the large plots like a smaller plot is oh so true. Before moving here I livedin a moble home park. Everyinch of my space was looked after and tended. This 3 acre plot gets overcome with weeds evey time I go to the hospital.Wild animals ate the chickens, and the garden. That was this year. The fruit trees are little still and require that extra TLC. The new chickens and ducks are happy. I have a watering system for the [now]fenced in area for the garden. GREAT thoughts on the making a book for the house, and the things done to the house for selling. I have to move because of health reasons. I’m going to make or at least start one today. Thanks Jack

  4. Love our irrigation system for convenience, and I love our chickens- but you are right, they require supervision in the garden. They sure do contribute to my compost pile! I’d love to get some ducks.. I think I’d have to really work on the idea of raising rabbits for food. I might have to just start with them for their fertilizer contribution.

  5. btw.. I like people, but crowds drive me nuts. I don’t think I’d do well if I had to live in a suburban neighborhood or in a big city. I absolutely LOVE my life in the country..

  6. It is cool how homesteading is becoming mainstream. I live in a highly developed area north of pittsburgh and my pet sitter actually advertises that she takes care of “chickens and small livestock” as part of her service portfolio.

  7. I liked the narrative on everything is solar energy. I’ve recognized this for years and for someone else to point it out, was refreshing Jack.

    On a garden note, those Sunberries really take over a square foot garden. My GroundCherries are dropping as I speak. And my saved Bok Choi seeds from my first harvest were planted last week and are now up.

    As a further show suggestion. How about irrigation options for Square Foot Gardening?, maybe too late in the season. Otherwise time for another “Get ready for winter” shows.

  8. Modern Survival

    @Brent this is the first year I grew ground cherries, holly crap talk about taking over a garden. I have two tomatillos and 4 ground cherries in a 32 square foot bed, they almost together have consumed the entire thing. Cool part is the peppers grew tall and are now protected a lot by them. I had to prune my tomatillos so I could get between the beds, seriously they went that mental!

    God but those little yellow berries are awesome tasting are they not? I may stop fighting tomato blight next year and just do tomatillos and groud cherries. Talk about productive and easy to grow.

  9. My current boss here at the Prince Edward Island Provincial Government used to grow Jalapenos in Austin, he is a Canadian but spent twelve years down there working for TaniSys and he was telling me stories about how big his pepper plants got down there. Needless to say now that he us way up here, his peppers are somewhat smaller 🙁

  10. One last show comment Jack:

    Is is worth watering the ground or do plants benefit from top watering ie) would they better absorb water via the leaves vs the roots.

    Looking forward to today’s show

  11. Modern Survival

    The most efficient use of water is directly to the ground. The least amount of wetting the leaves is best.

    In addition to efficiency wet leaves can

    1. Encourage or spread fungal and other infections

    2. During direct sunlight act like tiny magnifying glasses and burn plants. Another reason to not water at mid day.

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  13. Great episode. Thanks for the great advice. I can relate to the concept of more land requiring a lot more work to maintain.

    I recently bought a house on 5 heavily treed acres (previously renting house on .2 acres in the city). It is pretty insane how much more work it is to simply maintain land.

  14. Loved this 2 parter Jack, very well done.

    Our little one acre suburban homestead has grown a lot in the 11 years since we bought the place. That 10z10 garden and first 3 hens are now over half an acre and 18 layers. This year we have reached 1015lbs of produce from our one acre with fruits, vegetables, and chicken. For those that wonder if it’s worth the effort, trust me, it is!!
    (Dawgus at TSP forums)

  15. An honest question here. I read and hear various people say I produce X pounds per year. Do you literally weigh everything and add it up? How are you coming up with this number? I am genuinely curious.

    Also great work on the homestead Dawgus!

    Thanks!

  16. nick:

    Yes, we weigh everything. Every fruit, every vegetable, and every chicken I butcher. (we didn’t however weigh greens since we only picked a salad or two at a time) We have never counted this way before this year. Normally we go by jars canned or bags frozen or dehydrated. I had just heard of others counting by weight and got curious this season. Even though we added a LOT more garden space this year, I never expected over 1000 pounds. We aren’t done yet, there’s still quite a bit to pick and can…then comes fall crops. I have no idea how far this will go. I really can’t wait to see.

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