I’ve always had this romantic idea of living off the land, in a patch of woods surrounded by dense forests instead of buildings. Growing, preserving, and fermenting my own food to last me through the season. Owning chickens, goats, and pigs. How novel an idea…
The older I get, the more I realize how much being centrally located matters to me. I work as an environmental educator in schools and urban areas, promoting exploration of nearby-nature and advocating that you don’t need to travel far distances to be in the “wild”. I also enjoy going to shows, eating out, and riding my bike to work too much to feel comfortable living so far away from a city center.
As I’ve come to terms with the reality of my romantic homestead dream, I’ve started to notice how some of these homesteading concepts can be found living in a city. Urban orchards provide many fruit picking opportunities without the hassle of upkeep or waiting for your tree to mature and fruit out. Look a little deeper, and you’ll find many city dwellers willing to share their profits form their backyard chickens. Homesteading in the city comes an added bonus, community.
One of my best memories is of an event that was put on by an organization called City Fruit in Seattle. As a volunteer we had been picking apples around the city vigorously and at the end of the season, we pressed many of the more mealy apples into cider during their annual cider fest. I went home with a growler of fresh pressed cider and many new friends around my neighborhood. It turns out that sometimes you can find your dream right where you are.
Hannah Newell is a recent resident to Bellingham, WA, where she plays and explores the great outdoors for her job as an environmental educator. She believes education is the heart of change and has dedicated herself to showing our youth the importance of living a thoughtful life, taking human and non-human life into consideration.
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