Suburban Homesteading

I have a not-so-secret fantasy that I'd like to live like a homesteader in the old west. Steak my claim. Plant my fields. Milk my cows. Get eggs from my chickens. To take it one step further I'd love to live on a homestead as part of a cooperative community. But what is life without a completely implausible dream or two?
While my fantasy hippie-homesteading-commune is not much more than a pipe dream I do want to live a more sustainable, simplified life in our humble townhouse. Trying to make a townhouse into a 'homestead' is quite a challenge. Here's what we have so far:

Clothing and Laundry 

I use the line to dry as much of our laundry as I can. Using cloth diapers is something we've done for years but it's very in-line with the idea of homesteading- Not needing to make purchases day after day and not making waste.

Embrace the clothes line.

Rock some DIY clothing items.

Like diapers (I've made two so far).

In the Garden

We only have one 4x8 raised garden bed.  We've successfully grown radishes, garlic and lettuce so far this season.  I the background you can see our rain barrel, so even when we water we're not using 'the grid' to grow the plants.

I love that growing veggies gets the kids involved!

And keeps them involved.

We even practiced some counting with the tomato plant.

When you can't grow your own: Pick Your Own

I can't grow high enough quantities of some produce items, or they won't grow in my partial sun location so we frequent our local Pick Your Own farm to bolster our collection.

It's a great activity with the kids.

Then we make preserves (or in this case Jam). Great as a gift or to put int the pantry for later.

Make From Scratch

I like making things from scratch because it has so many benefits.  Things just taste better homemade.  I can use healthier ingredients like natural sugars or whole wheat flour.  The kids love to participate in the process.  Making food myself has got to use less energy than food from an assembly line. 

Besides, who doesn't love a scone?