How to Become a Modern Homesteader

Save money, eat more healthfully, and help the planet.


Container gardens can be an ideal first step for people who live in apartments and have access to outdoor space; you might also want to think about sharing someone's yard. Lisa Munniksma, managing editor of Urban Farm magazine, recently started a low-maintenance salad garden on her outdoor deck in Lexington, Ky., that includes lettuce, tomatoes, cauliflower, cucumbers, peppers, and basil. Her upfront expenses were only about $30, which covered an armful of terra cotta pots, soil, fertilizer, and seeds. The diminutive garden yields a surprising amount of produce, she says, "and there's satisfaction in saying, 'Look what I did myself.'

Gross likes the fact, too, that homesteading in the city is environment-friendly, maybe even more so than in a rural area, since you use fewer resources and leave such a small ecological footprint. Plus, she notes, conscientious urban homesteaders can get access to tools and supplies without a whole lot of driving. Not only is homesteading good for the pocketbook, Gross says, it's also "good for you personally, it's good for community, and it's good for the planet."