I consider myself to be an "Urban Homesteader" - if only in a small way - at this point in time anyway.
I grow some of my own veggies, (or attempt to, when the snails aren't busy thwarting me) I have fruit trees, I can and preserve - as well as occasionally freeze my homegrown fruits and veggies.
I collect rainwater for re-use in the garden, and the rinse water from the washing machine goes directly on the garden.
I compost, mulch, recycle, repair and reuse or give stuff away... whenever I can.
I do what I can to be self-sufficient, and although I'm certainly not where I want to be yet, I'm walking the walk and talking the talk.
But the right to call myself an Urban Homesteader may soon be taken away from me - and taken away from any of you - who consider yourselves to be *Urban Homesteaders*.
See, it seems there's now a war a-brewing, and it all has to do with the Dervaes family aka Dervaes Institute - feeling that they, and they alone, should have the sole legal right to use the term "Urban Homestead" or "Urban Homesteading".
Because they "trademarked" the terms in 2010.
"Last year, the Institute managed to register the term as a trademark (in connection with “educational services” such as blogging) and it is now sending take down requests and warning letters targeting individuals and organizations that have been using the term for years."
Now, as far as I know - and according to numerous sources smarter than me - "urban homestead" or "urban homesteading" is simply a term in common usage... and it's used by folks all over the world, who are only just trying to reduce their impact on the environment and live a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle.
By growing their own food... whether it be fruits and veggies, or chickens or assorted livestock for personal use, or collecting rainwater, re-using grey water, canning, dehydrating, freezing, making cheese or butter, or wine and beer ... plus a whole lot of other things.
It's what people have been doing for a long, long time... and in all that time, the terms "Urban Homestead" or "Urban Homesteading" have both been in common usage.
As a matter of fact, a lot of urban homesteading books have been in published in the last ten+ years or so (before the term was copyrighted)... and I'm lucky enough to own a couple of them.
(Neither one these though.. but they're definitely on my wish list)
Urban Homesteading by Rachel Kaplan and K Ruby Blume
("Rachel Kaplan has been gardening in and around urban environments for over 15 years and belongs to a family of farmers and lovers of the land... and K. Ruby Blume is an educator, gardener, beekeeper, artist and activist, with 20+ years experience gardening in an urban setting.")
Urban Homestead by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen (published 2008)
To check out their blog - "Root Simple", go here
Now these very people are being unfairly confronted with legal action... all because the Dervaes family/ Dervaes Institute - believe that they - and they alone - should have sole right to the terms.
They even went to the extreme of contacting face book ... and managed to get several pages belonging to Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen as well as others (folks who use the terms) disabled.
Good one, face book.
But... this whole kerfuffle has ticked off a lot of people who consider themselves to be "urban homesteaders", as well as getting in the faces of Face Booker's and Bloggers...
So the upshot is that there's now a serious backlash against the Dervaeses' and their stand-over tactics ...
And that's as it should be, in my humble, urban homesteading opinion.
Take Back Urban Home-steading(s)
(face book page)
3 hours ago