Welcome to Urban Homesteading
"So what would you think about becoming beekeepers?" I asked Sweet Husband one Saturday afternoon as we were snuggled on the couch reading out a snowstorm.
"Is that legal in town?"
"I don't know, but I think I might try to find out."
He raised an eyebrow in a patient but "here we go again" kind of way, and resumed his book.
The thing is, this is not an unusual conversation for us. A week before that, Sweet Husband woke up one morning and decided to learn to bake bread from scratch. A few days before that, I ordered our first batch of baby chicks from an online hatchery. As our parents say, we're a little crazy like that.
I wouldn't call us crazy, but I would say we are quickly becoming urban homesteaders--those trendy city-folk, "farming" in town on a quarter of an acre, whilst bribing the neighbors with the occasional basket of peppers or loaf of hot bread. Garden? Check. Basement full of home-canned pickles, tomatoes, and jam? Check. Compost pile? Check. Chickens? Check. Bees? Well, I'm still researching that one.
I could say we do it to practice self-sufficiency and sustainability, but--while those do play a part--the real reason we're urban homesteaders? It's fun.
It's fun to eat dinner from your own backyard. It's fun to take your first batch of homemade beer to a party and watch your friends taste it. It's fun to knit and sew and make beautiful things for your house and family.
And the beauty of doing all of that within a few miles of the glories of Mass Street and several modern grocery stores is that you can just do the parts that are fun. Sweet Husband and I both have day jobs that we love. We have friends and a social life. We have two spoiled, demanding dogs. In prior centuries that may have been a hindrance to our homesteading goals, but the awesome thing about right now is that we can have all of the above distractions and still not starve to death. What we can't or don't want to make for ourselves, the Merc will.
Our goal is not to eek out as much food as possible from our little city lot or live completely off the grid. Rather, it's to make what we love, to live lightly where we can, to know where our food comes from, and to have a heck of a lot of fun learning along the way.
Welcome to urban homesteading.