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Urban Homesteading has become a new trend in cities.  Hipsters seem to latch on to this idea, but it has also taken hold in young families with stay-at-home mothers.

And let’s be real – who can argue with hipsters and stay-at-home moms?  Hipsters know everything (right?).  And anyone with half a brain knows never to mess with a person capable of being as long-suffering, persistent, and bold as a stay-at-home mom.

Don't mess with a long-suffering, persistent, bold #stayathomemom. Click To Tweet

Urban Homesteading is a way to “live off the land”, while doing it in a city.  It has become popular because of the cultural desire to take care of the environment and become economical in your lifestyle choices.

But from a Christian perspective, it can actually be a ministry.  As a part of the Innovate Series, urban homesteading is an innovative way to take care of your family and your community.

What is Urban Homesteading?

urban homsteading cultural creative fresh fruitsUrban Homesteading is all about maximizing the space you have to grow crops, raise animals, and harness your own energy.

There are very special techniques, such as putting up tall chicken coops, micro-farms, rain gardens, aquaponics systems, solar panels, and the like.  Using the small space available in a city lot with a home on it, you can provide for yourselves meat, eggs, vegetable crops, fish, and renewable energy.

It can certainly be expensive, but the returns are amazing with all the fresh food and cost on utilities which would become available to you.

Besides, the fresh foods just taste better.

Why Participate in Urban Homesteading?

Genesis 1:26-28 tells us that as God made us in His image, we were also made to rule over Creation.  We are to utilize Creation to flourish.

But Jesus’ style of ruling and leadership is about serving those (and those things) we have authority over.  If we are responsible to rule, we cannot ignore our responsibility to take care of Creation.

The fact is, urban homesteading takes care of the environment.  It allows you to grow organic foods which do not pollute the ecosystem with different industrial pollutants or chemicals like harmful pesticides, and utilize energies which are non-fossil-fuel based.

Here are some examples of how you can grow foods organically in an urban homestead without using harmful chemicals.

How is Urban Homesteading a Ministry?

Photo credit: Mananasoko via Foter.com / CC BY

Photo credit: Mananasoko via Foter.com / CC BY

First of all (and most obviously), it is a ministry to Creation itself as stated above.  Romans 8 talks about how all of Creation groans as we wait for Christ to return.  If we care for it now, then its own pains and sufferings will be eased until the Day of Redemption.

And for those who are already in Christ Jesus, isn’t that what ministry boils down to anyway?  Easing someone’s pain until Jesus can take away all their pain?  So do it for all of Creation as you care for the environment.

Secondly, the unique lifestyle of urban homesteading offers you a ton of opportunities to start relationships with your community.  Show the light of Christ in your relationships and show how compassion for the environment is part of God’s good calling on our lives.

Teach your neighbor how to set up their own homesteading systems.  Serve your fresh food to your friends when you have them over for dinner.  Give food to people who need it.  Help your neighbor save on their utility bills with new systems.

#Creation groans as we wait for #Christ to return. #sustainability Click To Tweet

How does Urban Homesteading Help Your City?

urban homesteading cultural creatives cityfarm projectAside from the obvious benefit to the city of less pollution and more economical energy, there are plenty of other ways it helps.

With the abundance of high-quality, fresh foods, you can sell it at your local Farmer’s Market.  Maybe sell it at a local health foods grocery store.  You can teach community classes about health and nutrition, environmental sustainability, and how to actually set up the systems.

This is what my friend in North Carolina does through his business, The CityFarm Project.  Check out his site for ways to serve the community through Urban Homesteading.

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