Some of you may have already heard of the Dervaes family, a family that lives completely self-sustained right outside LA, but they are proof that living in the city shouldn’t hinder your opportunity to garden and strive to be more self-sustaining. If you haven’t heard of them yet, check out their blog urbanhomestead.org or watch this video that’s been circulating Facebook to give you a good summary of how they’ve done it.
Although their story is very inspiring there are a few factors that some people may differ in, adding some complications to the process. For example, I love meat and am not a vegetarian. This is a difference that I have with the Dervaes family because they’re vegetarian which is one of the reasons they’re able to live on so little money. Because I eat meat, I would want more chickens and possibly even some beef. This may require a little more space. A solution to this would be to join a food cooperative or even build a relationship with a local farmer and trade goods.
Another issue you may have living in the city are the zoning regulations for the space you live in. For example, Jordan’s parents house is just outside the zone where they can have chickens in the backyard. But because of the regulations in their zone, they are not allowed to have chickens. I think it’s very impressive that the Dervaes are able to have so many animals in the middle of a city; that’s rare in the more populated areas of Omaha. But again, I think the way around this would be the food cooperative or making some hookups with fellow farmers and gardeners in your community! That’s one of the best parts about living in a city, there’s a wealth of people to build relationships with. If you’re planning on moving soon and are desiring to become more self-sustainable this is something you really want to look in to. Because I am more of a country girl, I see myself living out in the country. But for those of you who love the convenience and action of the city, don’t let that be an excuse for striving for self-sustainability in the city.