"Don’t Be An Urban Homesteader Asshole"

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Re: "Don’t Be An Urban Homesteader Asshole"

Post by Mr. E. Monkey » Sun Feb 02, 2014 5:24 pm

dogbane wrote:Discussion starter. More at the link.
No one likes it when people imply that their way of life is oh-so-much-better than everyone else’s.

[snip]

So get out there in your front yard and grow those berries and that chard. Send the kids out to gather those eggs. Walk the walk, but be soft with the talk. Show your neighbors that Urban Homesteading isn’t just for hippies. If you are experienced in a certain area, mentor those who truly want it. They’ll find you. Be proud of what you are doing, but be gracious with those who are doing less or who aren’t in the same place in life. Focus on your community and your neighborhood. Be welcoming but don’t scare people off. Let people find their own first step.

Don’t be an Urban Homesteader Asshole.

http://www.nwedible.com/2011/02/dont-be ... shole.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Do you "evangelize" your way of life or do you let people discover it...ahem...organically?
I think there's room for middle ground. It seems that the assumption that "not being preachy" means "not saying anything," and I don't think that's necessarily true. Implying that if you let somebody see your garden, you're an asshole is ridiculous.

Yes, if your garden is in public view, keeping it nice and neat goes a long way toward being a good ambassador, so to speak.

No, going door-to-door to tell your neighbors how much you think they should have a garden of their own is probably taking it too far. Offering some fresh veggies to a friendly neighbor, and *gasp* telling them that you grew them yourself? I think that's perfectly reasonable. It's fine to let people come to you with questions, but why not give them a positive opportunity to do so? Then, if they're not interested, fine, leave it be.

Do we call gun owners assholes for inviting someone to the range?
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Re: "Don’t Be An Urban Homesteader Asshole"

Post by crypto » Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:23 pm

Here's my take on this:

I think people who buy houses in organized subdivisions with onerous HOA rules that place aesthetics first to keep property values high get exactly what they deserve. They are willing participants that signed the contract, and are now held to it. The subdivision is full of people who want it that way, which is why those people moved there to begin with.

You want a front garden? Thats awesome, and it's absolutely your right to grow one. PROVIDED, OF COURSE, THAT YOU DID NOT EXPRESSLY WAIVE THAT RIGHT WHEN YOU SIGNED THE CONTRACT TO BUY YOUR HOME.

I'm a little jaded. I spent almost a decade in a HOA-governed subdivision. I chose poorly. But I realized that as much as I wanted weird shit in my yard, it was utterly unfair to the people who just wanted the neighborhood to look tidy with everyone having identical golf-green lawns. So I left. I looked at the deed indentures I signed, and I realized that maybe I should have fucking paid closer attention to the 2" stack of documents I ripped through on closing day, instead of just thinking everyone else was an asshole. No, the asshole is the guy who says he wont agree to the rules he already agreed to in writing.

Don't be an asshole. Move somewhere that lets you have a garden, or an orchard, or whatever. The more people who do that, the more subdivisions and developments will cater to those needs. Eventually, you'll have subdivisions where neighborhood commongrounds are community gardens. But don't try to buck the system and piss off people who just want a drainage pond and some benches there. They signed the contract too, and thats what was on it.
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Re: "Don’t Be An Urban Homesteader Asshole"

Post by lokifz1 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:05 pm

Image[/quote]

That looks like shit in the front yard. The only good thing appears to be that there is no room to park a car in the front yard.
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Re: "Don’t Be An Urban Homesteader Asshole"

Post by duodecima » Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:12 pm

And that's why this gets contentious. I think that looks fine. Maybe not quite my style, but it's clearly organized and neatly maintained. If it's an HOA type deal, then you did sign on to certain rules. If it's not however, there may be city ordinances, and then we all have different opinions about exactly how much government and/or our neighbors should be able to tell us to do with our stuff.

And if it's a complaint-driven system, it gets even more inconsistent - a friend who lives less than a mile away had a letter from the city when he was doing a natural wildflower lawn with prarie grasses. He was miffed because he's really unhappy about the herbicide/pesticides the complaining neighbor puts on his yard but there's no legal way for him to complain about it. On my street nobody says boo when you let the front lawn basically turn into scrub.

tl;dr - living around other human beings is maddening. Make an effort not to upset your neighbors for no good reason, but sometimes you just can't make somebody happy.
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Re: "Don’t Be An Urban Homesteader Asshole"

Post by ineffableone » Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:43 pm

lokifz1 wrote:That looks like shit in the front yard. The only good thing appears to be that there is no room to park a car in the front yard.
And still your offering no substance. Just your personal opinion.

My personal opinion is grass front yards are eye sores. To me they are disgusting and purposeless. Just a waste of money and resources.

What my opinion hasn't swayed you? Why not it was filled with the same amount of persuasion as your argument.

It seems to me that your just being argumentative.
duodecima wrote:And that's why this gets contentious. I think that looks fine. Maybe not quite my style, but it's clearly organized and neatly maintained. If it's an HOA type deal, then you did sign on to certain rules. If it's not however, there may be city ordinances, and then we all have different opinions about exactly how much government and/or our neighbors should be able to tell us to do with our stuff.

And if it's a complaint-driven system, it gets even more inconsistent - a friend who lives less than a mile away had a letter from the city when he was doing a natural wildflower lawn with prarie grasses. He was miffed because he's really unhappy about the herbicide/pesticides the complaining neighbor puts on his yard but there's no legal way for him to complain about it. On my street nobody says boo when you let the front lawn basically turn into scrub.

tl;dr - living around other human beings is maddening. Make an effort not to upset your neighbors for no good reason, but sometimes you just can't make somebody happy.
Very true duodecima. Personally I would never move somewhere with an HOA.

Personally I like the this one I had posted
ineffableone wrote:Image
And I like the other one Doc Fab posted
Doctorr Fabulous wrote:Image
To me they are both nice. And for me both are much better than a grass lawn. However I do like wild flower and prairie grass lawns too. Though my preferred front yard is neither garden or grass, it is a nice wooded space. I personally find a forested yard the prettiest. In general I am of the mind of what ever floats your boat. If you enjoy it, then good. Only time I get ticked is when people try and say their way is the only proper way. I have never understood why some wish to push their thinking on others.

And that brings us back to being on topic.

This thread is not just about front gardens. It is not even just about gardens. It is about not being an urban homesteader that annoys your community. This means not pushing your ideas on others obnoxiously. Which means not just what you put in your yard or not, but also how you interact with other people. Not acting holier than thou because your homesteading.
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Re: "Don’t Be An Urban Homesteader Asshole"

Post by ZombieGranny » Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:20 am

There was a Bones episode where three people attacked and killed a man because he put up a wind turbine outside his home.
Another where a garage was burned down because someone kept mowing their lawn on the diagonal.

It doesn't seem like a house like those in the previous photos is "imply[ing] that their way of life is oh-so-much-better than everyone else’s " unless someone is looking for a reason to get upset.
People need to keep their noses out of other people's feed sacks.
Sometimes all available money goes to doctors & surgeons, and they might downright NEED that food.
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Re: "Don’t Be An Urban Homesteader Asshole"

Post by dogbane » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:06 am

lokifz1 wrote:[img]picture[/img]
That looks like shit in the front yard. The only good thing appears to be that there is no room to park a car in the front yard.[/quote]
To me, the garden is the only thing redeeming that boring cookie-cutter house.

I think the comments about HOAs and covenants are right on. Comply with rules and ordinances or love somewhere without such restrictions, otherwise work to change the rules and risk being the "proseltyzer." Sometimes a neighborhood needs an asshole, and sometimes ideas deserve apostles. I prefer to fly under the radar a bit, but I also live in a neighborhood with no covenant or HOA. All I have to deal with are city and county zoning codes. They tend to be enforced with less zeal and cheaper consequences than are HOA covenants. :lol:
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Re: "Don’t Be An Urban Homesteader Asshole"

Post by Wraith6761 » Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:55 pm

ineffableone wrote:Image

And I like the other one Doc Fab posted
Doctorr Fabulous wrote:Image
To me they are both nice. And for me both are much better than a grass lawn. However I do like wild flower and prairie grass lawns too. Though my preferred front yard is neither garden or grass, it is a nice wooded space. I personally find a forested yard the prettiest. In general I am of the mind of what ever floats your boat. If you enjoy it, then good. Only time I get ticked is when people try and say their way is the only proper way. I have never understood why some wish to push their thinking on others.

And that brings us back to being on topic.

This thread is not just about front gardens. It is not even just about gardens. It is about not being an urban homesteader that annoys your community. This means not pushing your ideas on others obnoxiously. Which means not just what you put in your yard or not, but also how you interact with other people. Not acting holier than thou because your homesteading.
The only thing I don't care for in that top one is that raised section made of 4x4s and 2x4s (I'm guessing for creeper vines of some sort?), as it looks like it could block some or all of the house numbers from the street view, which makes it harder for emergency services to find the house...it's exceedingly rare when I call for any emergency services, so when I do call, I don't want them having to drive around for 20-30 minutes trying to guesstimate where my house should be at cause they can't see the numbers. I'm also not crazy about the walkways; yeah, they look nice and neat, but it makes the yard look bare and sparsely planted. I personally prefer the fuller greener look of the one posted by Doc to the separation and gravel walkways of the first, but that's my own taste.

As for HOAs, I've never understood why anybody would WANT to live in an area with one of those...effectively paying others money for them to tell you what you can or cannot do with your own home and yard, no thanks. This is part of why my realtor hated dealing with me when I was house-shopping...every house with a HOA I immediately said no thanks, usually without seeing the house (tbh, it was partially her fault, she knew I didn't want to deal with HOAs to begin with).

I think a lot of the issues, both urban homesteader asshats and whiny complaining asshats alike, boil down to the simple fact that people these days just can't seem to figure out how to mind their own business and stay out of others'...yes, you may have an opinion on something, and that's great for you, but sometimes letting your brain-mouth filter kick in and stop you from expressing that opinion can be a good thing to practice. Be proud of your garden, and if somebody asks about it, or compliments your cooking (with stuff that came out of the garden), by all means feel free to talk a bit about it. But don't be that guy who brings it up in every frigging conversation (a good example of "that guy" would be the episode of Big Bang Theory after Howard comes back from the ISS). Same goes for if you don't care for it; if they ask you what you think about it, let them know it's not your style, or you don't particularly like it. But again, don't be that guy. Let others live how they want, at least up to a point - if your neighbor is boiling live puppies, it might be a good time to intervene, but growing lettuce and cabbage instead of tulips and daisies? It's. Not. Your. Concern.
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Re: "Don’t Be An Urban Homesteader Asshole"

Post by ineffableone » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:00 pm

Wraith6761 wrote:I think a lot of the issues, both urban homesteader asshats and whiny complaining asshats alike, boil down to the simple fact that people these days just can't seem to figure out how to mind their own business and stay out of others'...yes, you may have an opinion on something, and that's great for you, but sometimes letting your brain-mouth filter kick in and stop you from expressing that opinion can be a good thing to practice. Be proud of your garden, and if somebody asks about it, or compliments your cooking (with stuff that came out of the garden), by all means feel free to talk a bit about it. But don't be that guy who brings it up in every frigging conversation (a good example of "that guy" would be the episode of Big Bang Theory after Howard comes back from the ISS). Same goes for if you don't care for it; if they ask you what you think about it, let them know it's not your style, or you don't particularly like it. But again, don't be that guy. Let others live how they want, at least up to a point - if your neighbor is boiling live puppies, it might be a good time to intervene, but growing lettuce and cabbage instead of tulips and daisies? It's. Not. Your. Concern.
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Re: "Don’t Be An Urban Homesteader Asshole"

Post by AfleetAlex » Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:43 am

lokifz1 wrote:Do whatever you want in your backyard. Keep a tidy neat lawn in the front.

Otherwise your an urban homesteader asshole.

Negative, Ghostrider. Turning your available space into a garden to produce food is a responsible thing to do for yourself, your family and your Country; as it hedges against inflation. "Keeping up with the Joneses", is how our Country got into the financial mess we're in.

Grow food. Not lawns.

Vocally disturbing livestock however, is another story.
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Re: "Don’t Be An Urban Homesteader Asshole"

Post by Anomic1 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:17 am

gundogs wrote:Someone is concerned with pesticides & fertilizers. Man,I see lawn services & homeowners using a LOT of both on lawns!
Plus many lawns are weed free---imagine how much herbicide is needed to attain that!? Also,mowed lawns are of no real benefit to anything,other then "aesthetics".
I see nothing wrong with maintained gardens on another's property-front,back or side. There are already too many restrictions on our freedom
Dont forget the gas for mowing!! In the area i work there is a lot of "snob zoning" (the county zone 5acre minimum lots to stop developement. They kept building anyway just huge mansions on 5 acre lawns!). I think the asshole is the guy with a prius in the driveway that has the lawn service show up twice a week with an old f250, 2 zero turns, weedwackers, leefblowers, and chem spreaders. I wouldnt doubt they use 5-10 gallons per week doing those lawns and nobody is ever out there anyway just nice golf course lines.


I been there done that with hoa. When i purchased my 2nd house i made NO hoa no covenants a requirement. My county i also had to get over 10 acres to be exempt from some county zoning that has similar rules to hoa. Hell it was worth it!!! Guess who has a flock of 30+ guinea/chicken/turkey in my front yard right now?

Now i do mow about 50' out from the house in all directions for rodent control but the rest is for the horse/pigs/chickens etc. AND I DONT EVEN PICK UP THEIR POOP!

Btw i think a good thread would be dumbest things nosy neighbors complain about in HOAs

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Re: "Don’t Be An Urban Homesteader Asshole"

Post by AfleetAlex » Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:50 pm

Anomic1 wrote:
gundogs wrote:Guess who has a flock of 30+ guinea/chicken/turkey in my front yard right now?

Now i do mow about 50' out from the house in all directions for rodent control but the rest is for the horse/pigs/chickens etc. AND I DONT EVEN PICK UP THEIR POOP!

Btw i think a good thread would be dumbest things nosy neighbors complain about in HOAs

How do you keep the guineas in?? We want to get one or two for our 1/4 acre garden this year.
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Re: "Don’t Be An Urban Homesteader Asshole"

Post by Anomic1 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:27 pm

AfleetAlex wrote:
Anomic1 wrote:
gundogs wrote:Guess who has a flock of 30+ guinea/chicken/turkey in my front yard right now?

Now i do mow about 50' out from the house in all directions for rodent control but the rest is for the horse/pigs/chickens etc. AND I DONT EVEN PICK UP THEIR POOP!

Btw i think a good thread would be dumbest things nosy neighbors complain about in HOAs

How do you keep the guineas in?? We want to get one or two for our 1/4 acre garden this year.
I would recomend at least a pair if not 4-6 minimum. They are really flock oriented and would be very lonely alone.

I let mine range the guineas and turkeys do not ever get cooped. They go out soon as they are fully feathered and stay out. The chickens have a coop and "tractor" and i also free range them during the day but i dont leave them out at night. The big advsntage of guineas is they are more hardy and can handle being 100% outside much better then chickens. I loose an occasional bird to an owl that is around and have lost 1 to cannibalism! But they do very well.

On 1/4 acre you would have to cage them they will roam way farther mine go 400+yards from their roost daily. Ive seen them 1/2 mile away at times!! If you are going to coop anyway i would go with chickens better meat, more eggs, and much pretier!

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Re: "Don’t Be An Urban Homesteader Asshole"

Post by Dawgboy » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:04 am

Nothing prettier then a well tended food jungle. I am all for people growing veggies in the front. If it's all you have, use it!
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Re: "Don’t Be An Urban Homesteader Asshole"

Post by .milFox » Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:07 am

dogbane wrote:Discussion starter. More at the link.

Don’t be an Urban Homesteader Asshole.
It's not an asshole move if there's a ton of people here doing it. There's an apiary down the street. Pretty much everyone here does rainwater and has a garden somewhere. At least several chicken keepers in the neighborhood. Also, a small group of goats that are being sat by multiple households. Heck, the city is working on (and a bunch of the neighborhood pushing) an edible park (think, enhanced pea patch). The CC has a community orchard in it's back 40...

Here's asking - why aren't more people doing it?

Oh, and we're about 5 miles from the downtown core of Seattle.

...
Very true duodecima. Personally I would never move somewhere with an HOA.
Funny enough, we have two cohousings in our neighborhood. Legally, they're condo's .. but a lot more than that. It's closer to a commune under condo association rules. Private space still, but smaller, for all the folks living over there. But a lot more in the way of shared and pooled resources, including a big ole' meeting house with industrial sized kitchen (pretty awesome, if you ask me), shared IT and maintenance and food growing infrastructure...

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Re: "Don’t Be An Urban Homesteader Asshole"

Post by Armor76 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:59 am

http://books.google.com/books/about/Red ... 5jPwAACAAJ" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Americans have an almost pathological fascination with lawns that goes back to the beginning of our country. Lawns are an expression of wealth and property ownership (Look at me! I'm a member of the landed gentry!) human control over nature(nature was considered wild and evil once upon a time) unity with American values (a house with a lawn is the American dream), solidarity with and acceptance of a (sometimes unspoken) social contract and many other things.

You mess with someones narrow concept of what is acceptable in a lawn (ANY lawn, even one they don't own!)... and you stir up all kinds of things, personal values, social issues about power and control...

If you want to be a good neighbor, tread lightly. It's going to take a long time to change some peoples minds about stuff like this. Cramming it down their throats isn't going to do it. If the SHTF it would be nice if you were on good terms with the neighbors. Compromise, even though it's your land and your right to do what you want. Leave some lawn. Plant a rose bush and some flowers in with your tomatoes. Send them some produce. Give them a few years to adjust to the idea.

My neighbors get all kinds of stuff and they love me. :D
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Re: "Don’t Be An Urban Homesteader Asshole"

Post by Black November » Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:22 am

Nobody likes to be told how to live.

Telling someone to raise chickens is no different than telling someone they can't raise chickens. Don't push your viewpoint on others.

You can either accept the restrictive laws and oppressive neighbors in your area, or you can move. Attempting to change the laws or views of your neighbors is just you pushing your views on them.

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