ANSWERS FROM THE URBAN HOMESTEAD

Lucie & Sissy

Q.Thank you for all of the inspiration you and your family are providing us!May I ask what type of tomato cages youare using? Perhaps this is something you would consider supplying us Urban Homesteaders in your store?Also, could you remind us of the breed of chicken you are keeping? I’m having difficulty finding it.Thanks!

– Becky

A. Thanks, Becky, for your positive comments.  We are blessed to have this opportunity to share our urban homestead with others.

As for the cages- homemade teepees using natural bamboo. You are right– trellising is something we should consider; however, the cost of shipping these days is outrageous. Sales are slow, so we are hesitant to add any new products at the moment.

About the urban homestead’s chicken breed.   We have quite a few breeds in our backyard flock. It’s hard to pick just one of these amicable creatures.   Since space is limited, our backyard flock consists mostly of bantams (assorted cochins, partridge rock and belgians) and one standard (“Easter Egg”)

PTF’s upcoming new, improved urban homesteading site will be complete with a new photo gallery showing all our animals. Urban farmgirl, Jordanne, will also be working on a backyard chicken kit. So stay tuned for all this and more – coming 2008.

Q.Okay, since alot of us are crossing these things off our lists. What do we use instead? I dont have a clue how to make toothpaste. Makeup I dont worry about I never wear it anymore. Who has the time. I do have that one tube of tented Burt’s lip balm….. oh well.

– Mia

A. Unfortunately, ol’ Burt didn’t give notice to his loyal customers so we too do have a few of Bert’s products and will wisely use them up. Out of all the toiletries’ products one needs in the bathroom, toothpaste is just about the easiest to make requiring only one household ingredient which you probably already have in your cupboard – baking soda.

Homemade toothpaste

and another

Homemade toothpaste

But you are right, in this busy day in age, “who has the time?”    Even we urban homesteaders get busy and find that we’ve run out of homemade this or that and it was great to have choice like Burts.   More and more folks are turning to sites like Local Harvest which feature local business. Also if you happen to have a non chain health store, peruse the isles. Sometimes you’ll find lesser known companies which are still committed to the environment and people’s health.

All natural beauty

Homemade beauty products

Q. Wow, this video is fantastic, it just shows what you can do. I would like to know how to build an earth oven, a solar oven and basically how you do all you do! Are you writing a how to book?

–lovelovinghorses

A. Thanks for your appreciation, lovelovinghorses (great username by the way)! Over these past seven years, many publishers have contacted us wanting us to write a book and there is enough info in our writings/diaries/interviews/collective memories & website to write a series of books, articles, videos on so forth. But, we find ourselves too busy living this homegrown urban homesteading revolution to add another project to our full plates. Because this revolution is a lifestyle-our way of life-the time taken to write a book means that our crop for the season might not get planted in time.   Every waking hour is chock a block full, there’s no spare time at the moment unless we drastically cut back on some aspects of the urban homestead life.

Some who attempt this urban homestead movement in order to write a book or documentary about their journey, often have other sources of income/ jobs or other things to fall back on and aren’t actually affected when their garden isn’t producing. We are different. This project is different and unique. As urban homesteaders we truly live off the land, rely on the land for food and income. Income and food from the land is first and foremost, when a crop fails or isn’t planted we don’t eat.   We didn’t start this journey, project/site with thoughts on writing a book or doing a video; instead, we thought rather small and simple.   We needed to be the change and thought if we showed the steps we’ve taken via the internet then others, too would be encouraged. Looking back, we realize we could/should have done things a bit differently and are slowly trying to incorporate such changes as we look towards the future of this site, the urban homestead and PTF.

So, for now, although there IS a definitely a book(s) here, it just isn’t organized or published at the moment. That’s why we are working on a new website, where we are trying to organize seven years worth of online efforts. As PTF grows, we do hope to expand our “staff” and find the time and means to work on such a book project in the near future so we can share our knowledge with others like yourself. We feel blessed that we are able to live and learn in this lifestyle and hope that one day when the time is right a PTF book will be available.   In the meantime, there is enough information you can glean from the PTF website.

:: Field Hand Appreciation ::

Thank you to DF for her generous $100.00 donation. PTF outreach continues to grow and your tax deductible contribution will go towards website upgrades, new PTF brochure that needs to be eco printed and more. The new site willbreakdown and itemize funds needed. Also we hope to implement a ‘thank you’ system where generous donors get certain privileges or perks.    So much to work on and, believe me, we are doing our utmost best.

Also thank you to our readers, GM, WW, TD, MM, RM, VC and CA, for their recent donations . For some strange reason we hadn’t been receiving the emails notifying us of such donations last month.    Last night Justin, who is chief financial officer, was checking to see if there had been any activity and, sure enough, there was!   Boy, was that a surprise because I can’t remember when we last publicly thanked the field hands that support this grassroots, homegrown work.

We wish you all a blessed and bountiful harvest season.