So, what do we have to work with and what are we willing to do?
Our little urban homestead looks like this: I am estimating that the house sits on about 1/5 acre and the house is a little under 2,000 sq ft. You can get the picture and if you are a numbers person you are welcome to do the math (its not my strong suit). We also have a detached shop and a paved "RV" space for which we have no RV, but we do park a row boat for fishing.
At first I was frustrated with the paved area but I've come to think of it as a work space and I've learned a little more about container planting. I am in fact in search of oak barrels for planting potatoes.
The back yard has fruit trees and ornimental plantings with vegetible plants tucked inbetween. I read about small farms and I'd love to have sheep again and I'd love to live in an intentional community of simularly minded people. However I have to focus on what we have - which is a lot.
For now we are going to leave a spot of lawn in front. But on the other side yard - that peice that keeps us a comfortable distance from the neighbors, I am going to take up. Toward the back, and so must go in first will be a little shed for the chickens. They'll be better protected against the house. In front of that will be raised bed vegetable gardens. I know from last year that one 8x16" bed produced most of our needs for the summer - though there was little for freezing. What is going to hold us up is the cost of that shed - I'm not going to take on debt for it but it has to go in first so as to not take the delivery truck/tractor across the gardens. I'm planning on paying for it with the "economic stimulus" money from the feds but that doesn't seem to be coming fast.
I would prefer 10+ acres in the country but, there is an advantage to living in town: we live within walking distance of the church (and office), and girls withing walking distance of school. We are a block away from the library and three blocks from the hospital where I make regular pastoral calls. I know from past homes in the country that it comes down to a lot of driving. This experiment in urban homesteading is not to get away from society but to live with integrity within society, transforming from the inside outward.
I hope that by staying in town, and taking care of our selves right here in the city, others will begin to follow suit.