We plan, prepare and work to be self-sufficient because we want to feel accomplishment. A sense of doing for ourselves. To lessen our "carbon footprint". Etc. Here's the thought:
An urban homesteader is someone who enjoys living in the city, but doesn't see why that should stop her from engaging directly with nature, growing her own food, and striving for self-sufficiency.
We want to move to the countryside, but mostly because I'm a complete hermit, and love being out in the boonies. But we don't plan to live in a little shack or in a bomb shelter.
Right now, we have a nice little home, and if we have to stay here, in a suburb of Denver, Colorado, then we will. We have almost a quarter of an acre, and can definitely provide enough food on this bit of land for our family of three (we did very well in 2008). However, we can't have farm animals except for 2 ducks and 1 pig, and we don't like having neighbors so close that they can hear us breathe. Yup, we're looking for somewhere else.
A survivalist thinks the end is near and he better prepare. He stocks up on MRE's, bullets, and bandages. He keeps his plans completely secret, and his family practices and drills and researches. He stocks up on things that will keep his family alive through anything, including nuclear attack. He deprives and suffers away from modern conveniences, not because he wants to be a modern-day pioneer, but because he's preparing for when those things aren't available any more. He learns how to shot the eye out of a deer from a long distance. Survivalism in general is about the fear of death.
As opposed to...
"An urban homesteader doesn't necessarily live on a farm but associates with nature directly. We grow our own food and strive for self-sufficiency. We work to regain the almost-lost knowledge of our ancestors: tending to plants, animals and ourselves... moving away from "consumers" to "do-it-yourselfers". Urban homesteading isn't about suffering or deprivation or militant cults... it's about reclaiming our heritage. Urban homesteading is about life – it is a way of life founded on pleasure, not fear. Our preparedness comes out of what we know, not from what we have or don't have.
We have become the only animal that can't produce for and feed itself. We are consumers. We are working to become producers again.
Whatever space you have, you CAN be an urban homesteader.
- Garden (outdoors or indoors) to produce as much as possible (check out http://www.backyardgrocerygardening.blogspot.com/).
- Produce your own energy.
- Don't waste the water that's available, and even if you aren't in a drought, that's no reason to use lots of water for things that only a little water will do.
- Raise quail in your spare room - meat, feathers and eggs, plus manure for your garden. They aren't too smelly or noisy.
- Preserve the food you grow.
- Anything you can buy, you can make, grow, or happily do without.