© 2010 Joshua Stark
I'm going to let you in on the secret to homesteading, urban or otherwise.
Two weeks ago (nearly), our baby boy was born. Both sets of grandparents have done some of our laundry, brought and cooked dinners, and provided some shoulders to lean on. Aunties and uncles have taken time out of their lives to come by and hold him and his big sister, or have taken the big sis for sleep-overs.
During our pregnancy (being the man, I still feel like I'm cheating by putting it that way, because she did all the work), and during my unemployment, we've received trips and dinners and lunches, wonderful meats and fully cooked meals, handmade clothes and canning supplies - sometimes with canned stuff already in them. Friends and neighbors, in-laws and outlaws, all have pitched in.
We've given back as we've been able, with fig preserves and duck eggs, but we know that we won't be able to really give back until we are back in shape, but that's okay. When we will be able, people will get the bounty of our love, probably in the form of spiced elderberry jam, nocino and Thrifty Italian, pickled tomatillos, and more duck eggs. For those who fish with a fly, they'll get some custom numbers for their particular style.
These folks give us plenty of incentive to make sure we can grow, or gather, or pickle or steep or jam things to give back, to show our love and appreciation for all they've done for us through creating healthy and productive things for our loved ones to enjoy.
I look forward to the networking connections I'll get to make at the BlogHer Food conference this weekend, but not just for the chance at SEO tips or increased traffic to my site (though I'll love that, too!). I look forward to strengthening the reason for my attempts at homesteading.
That's because the secret to homesteading, the reason for trying it at all, the impetus behind striving to get better at it, is community. Thank you to all who've been there for us this year.