Becoming (Accidental) Urban Farmers

| 12/23/2015 2:16:00 PM

Tags: urban homesteading, raising livestock, heirloom gardening, self reliance, heritage livestock, New York, Tobias Whitaker,


An urban homestead is as unique as the individuals who own the property. Our homestead developed slowly. In fact, my wife likes to joke that we are “accidental homesteaders.” We did not buy our village home nestled on 1/16th of an acre with the goal of becoming urban farmers, it just sort of happened out of necessity.

Like a lot of folks across the country, my family felt the crunch of the economic downturn in the early part of 2000. At the time, I was a new homeowner and my wife was eight months pregnant with our second child when I lost my job. I had a small kitchen garden and it helped during my transition from one job to another.

This all was a wakeup call, though, and I felt the need to expand my garden in an effort to feel more secure in my ability to provide food for my family. Luckily I did so, because three years later I suffered another layoff due to funding cuts.

As you can see, my initial venture into homesteading was a result of economic strain. Though there are a number of benefits associated with homesteading, such as health, land stewardship, and self-sufficiency, they were all secondary at the time. It really came down to dollars and cents and how to make my family more self-sufficient in the face of adversity.

Chicken in Garden 

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: August 4-5, 2018
Albany, OR

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!