Stuck in the Suburbs

For a homesteader like myself, living in suburbia can feel like living in limbo. There are so many things that I’d like to do: plant berry bushes, build a smokehouse, build a hoop house, plant fruit trees, and so much more. But since I know that this is not the place where we will be living for the next 20 years, I feel like there’s so much I just have to wait on.

Besides those things that are too long-term for our present homestead, there are some very basic self-sufficient things that would be illegal for me to do. Our development has deed restrictions that forbid livestock and poultry point-blank. That’s right, in the city I could have had up to 4 chickens, but here on the edge of farmland, I can’t have a single laying hen.

So, stuck in the suburbs, I’m looking for those things that I can get started on now. This year, I’m experimenting with plastic hoops over my garden, and I intend to continuing my brewing adventures by building a thermostatically-controlled brewing chamber. I might even build a smokehouse, albeit one that I can move when it’s time.

For any reader who is in a similar situation, how do you cope with the limitations imposed by your living situation? I’m sure there are creative ways to continue to learn the art of homesteading no matter where you are, and I’d love to hear your stories or suggestions.


5 thoughts on “Stuck in the Suburbs

  1. I have had the practice farm, the transition farm, etc. All code words for can’t do nothin until I get a real farm! Each place has allowed more and more activity and I am on the verge of being able to rent a real farm. I have found that there are so many homesteading skills to practice while we wait. Gardening, canning, knitting, spinning, making cloth, reading by kerosene lamp light, learning an instrument, making butter and cheese, all things we can do without our future farm. Write, pray, and keep busy until it all comes forth! And don’t worry about planting a few berry bushes. So, you pass them on to the next tenant and you get jam in the meantime! Good luck!

  2. Read, learn, practice.
    Also you can buy local foods in season and begin canning and storing food. That would be a huge accomplishment to already have learned whenever you get your homestead.

  3. Thanks for the encouragement! We’re going about learning and practicing the best we can. Our seedlings are doing well so far this year, and our pvc-pipe hoop house over our one raised bed is currently nurturing some early salad greens. I’ll have to write a post about our springtime fun soon.

  4. I was so looking forward to that house in the suburbs with the huge yard just right for berry bushes and fruit trees, enormous garden, and greenhouse with seed-starting trays! Guess we’ll stick it out in the city with our little yard for a while longer.

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