Take Back Urban Homesteading is having a day of action today, to keep the words Urban Homesteading free for the world from the Dervaes’ attempts to have trademark rights to the words. The term Urban Homesteading has been in use since the 1970s in this country. It’s supposed to be a video on Youtube. We don’t have a video recorder so I’m just going to blog on pleasure and Urban Homesteading. If you go to the link you can check out all the videos.

First signs of green
This morning in the garden, the garlic is poking through!

Now for the instructions. To get the full experience here start by opening this in another tab.

winter garden

You won’t any chickens in the yard at this Urban Homestead. Oh wait there isn’t a yard at this urban homestead, just a hell strip garden and a back porch with herbs. Not much room for growing, yet last year we managed: Broccoli, Lettuce, tomatoes, eggplant, kale, chard, hot peppers, carrots and beets. As for herbs we had rosemary, basil, thyme, lavender and lemongrass. Planning for this coming season is underway, last year was our first at this house so there were a lot of bad soil to deal with. Luckily for this year we’ve got two bins of compost waiting under the back porch (yes we have a yardless porch).


early 2010

Why a call to pleasure? Because our little hell strip is all about pleasure, of growing, of eating, of sharing and teaching. Those are all parts of this space. If you’re willing to put your vegetable garden along the side of one of the busiest streets in Denver you have to be willing to talk to people, and every once in a while share. Because who can resist a raspberry or blackberry on a melting hot day?


just one month later

It’s actually the berries that taught me the most about what our role is as urban farmers out front. We live in a busy neighborhood, about a half a block from a convenience store. Everyone in the neighborhood know me and Alder because we spend a lot of time on the front stoop and in the garden. Last summer just before black berry season two boys were walking by on the way to the basketball court when they stop and are about to eat some pink-white blackberries. “Don’t do that,” I called from the stoop. “Aw come on their just a few raspberries lady!” one of the boys told me. “Oh you’re welcome to the berries but their black berries give them a week to get ripe.” I explained. A week later when the berries were shiny and dark I saw the same boys explaining to another boy about how they were now ripe. That’s the sort of moment when you can’t help a smile creeping on to my face. That night while having dinner (homegrown tomatoes on the salad) I couldn’t wait to share the story.

my boy

To me these moments of sharing are just as important as cutting my dependency on the supermarket. This is where the pleasure runs deep and everyone benefits. So next time you walk by our house grab a bean, but make sure the vine stays on the trellis.