The Urban Homesteading movement is all about creating a healthy and sustainable living environment down town. And there is no denying that living in a natural green environment is better for your health than living in a concrete jungle devoid of all things nature. It is also better for your health to eat naturally grown foods that have not been genetically modified, heavily sprayed, or picked pre-ripe so that it survives the journey to the supermarket. Never mind the cost saving benefits in supplementing your diet with food grown in your own backyard.
Are there down sides to Urban Homesteading?
There are a lot of good reasons to turn your section into a mini farm, but are there downsides?
Curtis Gilbert of MPRreports on the current controversy in Minneapolis that allows people to farm in urban areas as long as they do not try and turn a profit from their farming endeavors. If he gives away, consumes, or allows other non profit ventures to harvest the produce from his urban land he is within the law to farm it. However, as soon as he tries to charge his neighbors and friends for a melons or a cantaloupe he has broken local council bylaws.
Those in support of the idea of urban homesteading are outraged at this breach of rights. After all, harm is there in generating a little extra cash from any surplus of ones hard labour? It is not hurting anyone, and most neighbours would be delighted at the prospect of a source of fresh vegetables right next door.
Or would they?
Spare a thought for the residents who live in town because they like their neat homes and tidy properties. They like having neigbours who also keep a manicured street frontage and with clean sweet fragrances drifting from the orderly gardens. They probably quite like the house valuations that reflect such prim and proper neighbourhoods also.
Imagine their surprise and horror when they find the gentle fragrance of decomposing waste drifting across their section from the neighbours composting operation. Not to mention their immaculate garden view suddenly dwarfed by a neighbours tunnel house, and the noise of the country assaulting their ear drums. Cocks crowing early in the morning, heavy gardening implements clattering and banging away all day, sprays and dust billowing in the afternoon breeze, traffic clogging up the street to buy from a curbside stall, and rodents and bugs congregating in the cluttered corners of the urban farm next door.
While these may be slight exaggerations, many residents are hoping that the council does not relax the bylaws to an extent where this eventually could possibly be an actuality.
What do you think: should councils be legislating to stop this dirty and noisy invasion on peaceful suburbia, or should councils be allowing the common people to use their own land to produce healthy and sustainable food? Enter your comments below.