Who says that gardening is reserved for only the country folk? Many are learning some incredibly inventive ways to foster the sustainable life in a city environment. When acreage is not an option, all it takes is a little ingenuity and some potting soil. Creating a lifestyle less dependent on others for one’s livelihood can be quite a rewarding experience. This is the embodiment of what Homesteading in the city truly is.
When many think homesteading, they tend to think Old McDonald Had a Farm. This is not an accurate notion because anyone who has the desire to live the lifestyle is able to. Over the past few generations, Western society has settled into a lifestyle that is less than self sufficient, creating a surplus of consumers. This is good news for big money factory farms, however, it does not bode so well for the individual who finds themselves in continual need of something that someone else can provide them, rather than establishing a sense of independence.
This is not to say that the perks of modern culture are not important and necessary. However, the pride that comes of having done something good for the planet and nutritious for the body is worth it. The homesteading lifestyle in the city can be as limited or as inclusive as one wishes. Herbs can easily be grown for cooing and for medicinal purposes, and salad greens make beautiful additions to any counter top area. Also, there are plenty of citrus fruits which are now available in what is called “dwarf indoor” varieties.
No matter the climate or region, many savvy homesteader’s are growing lemons, limes, and oranges indoors. This is due to the fact that these breeds of plants grow in diminutive shrub sizes, rather than trees. Not to mention these are beautiful besides just being functional.Beans, especially bush beans, can be cultivated in large flower pots and easily be sequestered on a small porch. Tomatoes can be grown in durable flower baskets and be allowed to climb down as they grow. The possibilities for decorative edibles are nearly endless. If one can dream it, they can put it in a plant pot.
In fact, strawberries, peppers, rhubarb, kale, chard, cabbage, onions, okra, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, radishes, and berry shrubs are just a few of the things that can be planted just like house plants, yet enjoyed just like they would be in a garden. The savings that are reaped by finding a way to grow one’s own vegetables, or at least supplement the grocery bill are astounding. Children also tend to be more inclined to eat vegetables and fruits that they have had a hand in growing. Since the vegetables are easily accessible, the kids can also help to harvest them once they ripen.
This is the true heart of homesteading-passing a long time honored traditions and teaching the next generation the beauty and functionality of nature. While rolling hills and wide open plains are undeniably the prime location for expansive farming opportunities, there are just as many opportunities for homesteading, even in the heart of the city.
By: J.A. Johnson