I applaud the spirit behind The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City (by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen). I really do. I'm on board with their opening projects: composting, a little raised garden bed, container gardening, etc. But when it starts to veer into hardcore, I'm afraid I have to get off the train. A few things I will not be doing:
1. Well, pretty much anything from the "Urban Foraging" chapter. I will not be harvesting and eating weeds (I have eaten weeds--Mom used to make dandelions like endive; chopped up and mixed with mashed potatoes and a bit of bacon--but I got enough of that in my youth) or dumpster diving for food.
2. I know it's all the rage right now, but I will also not be keeping chickens.
3. Composting toilets, making use of my own waste? No freaking way, man. I LOVE my flush toilet, I'm clinging to it until civilization ends, and then I'm just going to give up and die. If that makes me a bad person, environmentally, then so be it.
So I will not become an urban homesteader. There were still a few interesting things in the book, although I found a similar title, Kathy Harrison's Just in Case: How to Be Self-Sufficient When the Unexpected Happens, to contain more helpful information about being prepared and what to have on hand for basic emergencies and first aid. Over the weekend I also picked up R.J. Ruppenthal's Fresh Food from Small Spaces: The Square Inch Gardener's Guide to Year-Round Growing, Fermenting, and Sprouting, which I predict I will find interesting until it actually comes time to plant something. Further bulletins on this book as events warrant.