The blogosphere is on fire. Since I am not a fray-enterer, I will just say that I concur with what the people are saying. A very famous family in CA has trademarked the words "urban homestead" and "urban homesteading". Those of us who are also gardening/keeping animals/orcharding/etc will now be unable to use these terms unless we give credit to The Family.
Boy howdy. There are some excellent posts out there. There is a face book page. Here are a few links:
From Kate at Living the Frugal Life
From Dog Island Farm
and Havenscourt Homestead with a whole list of other links (including a very good one from Punk Domestics which happens to be another favorite site of mine and has a good rundown of the full story to date...)
Many of these folks say exactly what I would... The Family has done a lot of good work. I have always been somewhat uneasy with their persistent marketing. I gave the benefit of the doubt. It is tough to make a living as a farmer, especially when there are 4 mouths to feed and none of them seem to work outside the home. They did a great job of promoting themselves. They had lots of speaking gigs and reporters and TV shows etc. I am sure they work hard. But they have also isolated themselves from the other people who have embarked on this journey. They assumed that since they were getting attention that they were leading the pack when the truth is, they were part of a resurgence that would have happened with or without them. The internet has allowed them to have the spotlight shone upon them which they seem to enjoy. It also seems to have blinded them to the rest of the community.
The Family's response to the hulla ba loo in all this is to shut down, retreat and play the injured party. Sorry Family, but here is my message to you. If you want to play in the big leagues you have to act like adults and enter the conversation - shutting down your sites and turning off the comments is cowardly. Get your head out of your .1 acre and start looking around at what all these great people are doing for sustainability, food security and environmentalism and the local food movement. You didn't start that movement. There is ample evidence you weren't the first to come up with the term or the methods. Step off and let people talk and share info and celebrate good work without having to give you credit. There are a lot of people working jobs while trying to make their way through all this. Finding ways to coop their effort and restrict how they talk about it are absurd and unfriendly.
Wow. Look at that, I DID enter the fray.
And now for more regularly scheduled programming... I made the leap and planted some seeds outside yesterday. Radishes, lettuce, arugula, beets, chard, spinach and mustard. And onion sets. I NEVER have luck with onions, but I do love banging my head against a wall. The seedlings in the basement are finally coming around. Way too slow for me, but there you go.
I may do some more planting today, but it is windy something awful. I may just go ahead and start the tomatoes and peppers and such. It is early, but those stinkin' eggplant take for freaking ever.
My neighbor gave me some cranesbill, which I am very excited to have. I bought seeds, but I am hoping that this will get me started while I see if I can get the other stuff rolling. It may be a whole year before the seeds even sprout, so it is nice to have a jump start.
If the ducks don't start laying soon, they are going in the stock pot.
So far the bees are alive, but with this warm weather, I need to be sure to keep them fed since they will be up and about and eating more but without any food out there.... Generally they call March the "starving time" for bees around here for this reason.