Making Homesteading Approachable

Urban homesteading is more doable than you think.

At the risk of stirring up controversy for using The-Term-Formerly-Known-As –Urban Homesteading, I’d like to talk about the practice of achieving more self-sufficient, sustainable living in cities from a strictly aesthetic point of view. Who says keeping chickens has to be hard? Take a look at the Kippen House above, a modular, multifunctional and modern chicken coop designed by Seattle-based architect Traci Fontyn.

Kippen means “chickens” in Dutch, and the Kippen House is a combination of the designer’s Dutch heritage, her love of Scandinavian design and “curious interests with urban agriculture in the form of an urban garden chicken coop.”

The Vertical Homesteader

The amazing thing about gardening trellises is that you can repurpose them out of anything (from old ladders to headboards), and they provide much needed support for the urban or vertical homesteader with a taste for cucumbers, tomatoes, and other climbing produce.

This one is made by UK artist Clare Harris who constructs trellises, bath mats, waste paper baskets, and table mats out of natural and locally coppiced materials. The trellis seen here is made from hazel poles and willow withies.

The Knife-Wielding Homesteader

UK retailer Hen & Hammock claims that every gardener needs a good pocketknife, as well as a trug and some string. I’m going to trust them on that. Clicking through their site is a lot like paging through a J. Crew catalog: not only is every object a total lustable, the entire lifestyle is, too.

The Bee-Keeping Homesteader

The well-documented peril of bees is that they’ve been dying off at a staggeringly high rate for years. Our life cycle is connected to bees in many ways, both seen and unseen. The direct impact on homesteaders meanwhile, is they need bees to pollinate their crops. Enter the Bee Station, an innovative little refueling and nesting station you can stick right in your garden.

Does all this talk of urban gardening have you hankering to show us your gorgeous stems and desirable pots? Then give us a peek into your homestead. Send pictures to

K. Emily Bond

K. Emily Bond is the Shelter Editor at EcoSalon and currently resides in southern Spain, reporting on trends in art, design, sustainable living and lifestyle.