5 Urban Homesteaders Share Homestead Stories – Part 3

Jenn from Cluck and Hoe, 1/6th acre

My husband, teenaged daughter and I rent a house in a suburb of Los Angeles County, CA. Our homestead lot is 7,086 Square feet, or .16 of an acre. We as a family have always talked about doing more for ourselves and depending less and less on the quick and easy amenities of city living. I have always loved to cook from scratch meals for my family and to garden. I have recently started baking our breads from scratch, which is no easy task as it takes plenty of forethought and preplanning but is so worth the added effort. We have planted a decent sized vegetable and herb garden in raised planter beds, pallets and containers.

We added a small flock of laying hens this past summer. I have been meal planning and learning how to get the most out of our food and what we have. As a primarily single income family of 3, it is vital that we stretch our dollars as far as we can.

We would love to raise a pig and maybe some goats, ducks, turkey and meat chickens but there just isn’t space or proper zoning to allow us to do that where we are. So for now, we enjoy what produce we do gather from the garden, like my head sized crowns of broccoli or the fresh kale, Swiss chard and lettuces. I may not be able to put things up for the fall and winter months but we are able to enjoy plenty of fresh produce during the growing months. We also have fresh eggs from our hens with enough excess to sell a dozen or 2 a week to friends and family.

Day_at_the_farm

Living in the city on a small lot most certainly limits the amount of homesteading we can accomplish, but it in no way prohibits us from at least enjoying a little here and there. We dream of one day moving out of state and finding a piece of land to call our own where we can fully engulf ourselves in the homesteading life. Until that time comes we look at where we are now as a great opportunity to practice and hone some vital homesteading skills before we finally are able to head out and plant ourselves on some acreage.

By the time we are on land, I will have mastered that elusive sourdough bread, collected enough mason jars to fill a proper root cellar and maybe even brushed up on my sewing skills. I even plan to find some husbandry classes at the local community college to expand my knowledge of the animals we hope to one day raise.

A big thanks to these lovely ladies for sharing their urban homestead experiences. I hope it was inspiring to you! I’m definitely a huge believer in doing what you can with what you have when you have it. Even if you have no acreage at all, you can practice making your own bread from scratch or buy some bulk fruit from a farmer to practice your canning mojo.

And most importantly, find your own homestead path and know that it doesn’t have to resemble anyone else’s! It can be whatever makes you happy, right now. Cause let me tell you something. Lean close, my friend, so I can whisper it.

Having a lot of land, animals and endless possibilities? It can be downright exhausting…to the point where the fun gets taken RIGHT OUT. Somedays I wish I was back in my cozy urban rental apartment — flipping through homestead books, making butter from cream I bought at Whole Foods and baking hamburger buns from scratch (which impressed our friends to no end). Which is why we’ve cut back a bit around here. Sometimes things look better on paper than they do in reality, and figuring out your happy reality is just part of the life + homestead journey!