I Practice Urban Homesteading!


I just wanted to say it. Some of you may have read about a particular family in California who has become a huge factor in the urban homesteading. Their methods for sustaining themselves on a 1/5 acre lot have been the inspiration to many urban and city dwellers to take up a spade and do the same.

This same family that has contributed so much and has always been held in high esteem in the urban homestead community, has now decided to behave in a very unmannerly manner. They have chosen to copyright the terms “urban homesteading” and “urban homestead.” Not only are they copyrighting these terms, but they are having Facebook pages removed for other organizations who use the term, and even to libraries and Amazon.com to remove published books from their shelves.

There have been quite a few very eloquent statements regarding this issue, I’ll post the links at the bottom of my message. Truth be told, I do not have the energy to really type out how I feel about this issue. Suffice it to say again, I had always held them in very high esteem and that is now irreparably shattered. My first thought when I read about this issue this morning was how it reminded me of Monsanto – patenting their GMO corn, and then suing small farmers for copyright infringement who had never even done business with them, simply because their corn had been pollinated by someone else’s GMO corn.

And what it comes down to, really, is this: shame on you. Shame on you for putting your own business interests first, and slashing and burning the community as you go.  You are hypocritical to practice what you call “sustainable farming” yet behave in this manner – sending cease & desist letters to bloggers and libraries, and all the other things you have done.

Other, more eloquent posts are here, here and here. Also the Pasadena News. A new Facebook page has been set up to protest this here.  This post is mostly my little protest against what they have done, and to also make the statement that I will never again do business with or recommend them in any way, shape or form. I love my urban homestead, am proud of it, will not stop calling it urban homesteading and I do not intend to start peppering my speech and writings with the trademark symbol and backlinks like they are supposedly demanding.  No apologies here.

Edit 2/21 – We’ve organized today as a global day for urban homesteaders everywhere to respond to this.  Here is my post – I did get a little hot under the collar, but I think I managed to keep it mostly cool.  🙂

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  1. !!!”Applause”!!!

    Gosh, maybe I can copyright “kitchen garden”. Or “Granny”…..nobody better be using MY name!

    It doesn’t take long for the almighty dollar sign to become #1, does it?

  2. Bravo! I just hear about this on the HT board the other day. I had never thought of the terms used. When I think of sustainable and homesteading, urban or otherwise I always remember Carla Emery. I am working to build a Hobby Farm myself and think it is wrong for terms such as these, that came about way before this family began using them, could belong to 1 person or set of people. If you personally coin a phrase I might feel differently but they just picked up a phrase some one else coined first.

    hugs sweetie

    1. oh, right! I agree – I think the part that bugs me is that they claim to have “given” Urban Homesteading it’s modern definition. I will never say they weren’t participants, and leaders even, but taking the credit for it? Someone’s too big for his britches.

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