“Jack of all trades, master of none, though ofttimes better than master of one.”

Over the past years, we’ve had dozens of book offers, all of which we’ve turned down (I can hear the chorus of groans). Why? Well, for one, we felt that we must continue (at this stage) to forge ahead in our urban homesteading efforts. There’s a time & purpose for everything and we didn’t feel it was the right time. Everyone knows that when you decide to write a book it takes up pretty much ALL your time and you can’t do anything else – gardens go into neglect, projects hang in suspension, stuff gets shunted aside as one expected to meet the publisher deadlines. Plus, we have too much stuff to learn – by doing!

Since urban homesteading is our life, we are ever so busy doing and have very little time to write about what we were doing except for here on the journal – which acts as a chronology or diary of an urban homesteader. A picture is worth a thousands words and many people have told us that our urban homestead blog is our urban homesteading book! The urban homestead is not words on paper but a living-working model in production that’s full of success and many a failure.

Another thing that we have learned in this 25 year urban homesteading journey is that each year that you add a different skill or project, the challenge is to keep this “plate spinning” along with the others you’ve started. Believe me, we’ve dropped a few plates in our time but we don’t give up!

Learning by doing is still the best way to learn how to farm and homestead. Such times that we have learned the most about farming/homesteading have been when we were thrown into a situation and forced to sink or swim.

Here at Little Homestead in the City we are striving to keep true to the eco pioneer spirit as one family tries to keep all the plates spinning – all at once.

I always cringe at the term “master (fill in the blank).” If you cease to learn, you cease to exist. Nature teaches you firsthand that one is never the master of her domain. Nature also teaches you humility and patience. Just when you think you have it “made” – she throws you a curve ball that can leave you swinging.

Another thing we’ve learned is that you are never REALLY “master” anything – always a student. Learning through the trials, tribulations and growing along with them.

So with, as one of our friends wrote and we are now borrowing, “Patience, Persistence & Humility” we enter another year here at the urban homestead.

Ready to be taught by our surroundings, ready to accept (hopefully with humility) what’s in store for us and grateful and blessed to be able to share our journey with you.


  1. Kathy says:

    Thank you so much for posting what you do and for the awsome pics. It has inspired me to do the same here. I’m slowly expanding the raised beds in my garden and I finaly got some chicks this last summer and their now laying! My kids love to go out with me to check if we have any. I would love to have a farm one day but at least this way I can start to gain the skills needed for that someday. Thank you so much for all you do and may your harvest be blessed in the years to come.

  2. Nebraska Dave says:

    I agree with those that say you are blogging a never ending book. There can’t be any better way to write a book than over 10 years of blogging. I for one would rather read the daily adventures of the Urban Homesteaders than a book that would contain mostly what’s already in the blogs but less. I truly admire you dodging the limelight of media except on occasion when it feels appropriate. It’s one of the things that draws me to faithfully read your blog about the good, the bad, and the ugly things dealt with to run an Urban Homestead. Keep up the good work and quite frankly I don’t know how you have time to blog so much but I’m glad you do.

    Have a great post Christmas week or should I say a pre New Year week.

  3. Tessa says:

    Very nicely written- very true. Good thing growing your own food is full of ever changing lessons…I’d get bored!

    Blessings to you and your family in the coming year,

    Tessa Neill

  4. Daniel Heublein says:

    Thank you for doing what you do. You are a real inspiration for those of us who aspire to be more self-sufficient and give more back to the world around us.
    If only I lived a bit closer I’d be haunting your operation regularly 😀 I know I can learn much though, from afar, and even up here in cold minnesota, I can feel your warmth and presence on this planet! Keep it up!

  5. Kevin says:

    I also feel that blogging when you can and getting on with ‘doing’ has far more value to yourself and the reader than a book. Wise of you to resist the temptation.

  6. Ginger says:

    II appreciate all you share. I’ve been led in some new, very interest ng directions by reading your posts. Thank you for sharing your life and you marmalade.

    • Anais says:

      @Ginger: I’ve gotten so many positive comments on that marmalade. Thanks!

  7. Joleen says:

    Thank you for taking the time to share with us and help each of your readers learn with you. Many blessings and happiness to you in the new year.

    • Anais says:

      @Joleen: Thank you all the best in 2011 to you too!

  8. Vegetable Garden Cook says:

    Some folks have asked me about a book too, but I feel that I still have so much to learn! Sure I could write down everything I know, which is things we’ve all read in gardening or homesteading books, but I want to figure out how to do things more efficiently… more cheaply… more sustainable, etc. Keep up the good work, I enjoy your blog posts!

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