February 21, 2011 - I Am An Urban Homesteader

Well, I'm not actually an urban homesteader, because I don't raise chickens and stuff and I'll be darned if I'm going to eat my dogs. I am, however, an urban homesteader wannabe who is angry that the Dervaes family (of Path to Freedom fame) has successfully trademarked the terms "urban homestead" and "urban homesteading" and is forcing Facebook to shut down pages that use the term, and are sending legal notifications to businesses and blogs with the term "urban homesteading" in them. I'm not alone. If they want to shut down my blog, have at it, along with hundreds of other angry bloggers who will be proudly stating .....

I Have An (almost) Urban Homestead!
I Am (almost) Urban Homesteading!

Really, the following people have stated it much better than I ever could. I urge you to read each and every one of them.

I Practice Urban Homesteading!

Urban homesteaders: cease and desist

Adam Parfrey of Feral House Fame and the Electronic Frontier Foundation Prepare to Challenge Dervaeses over "Urban Homestead" Trademark

I Am an Urban Homesteader

The Dervaes Institute Sparks Debate in Urban Homestead Community

The Importance Of Having Integrity

Larry Wilson: Legal dirt of Pasadena's farming Dervaes family

I'm an Urban Homesteader

Urban homesteading – or PR 101

Facebook's page Take Back Urban Home-steading(s)


  1. Eating dogs? What?! LOL. As an urban homesteader and one that's been following this thing since the beginning (I have friends that have been directly affected by it) and now in charge of the Google group on dealing with the legalities, I can honestly say this whole situation is horrible. Thank you for posting about it.

  2. I'm with you on this! I can't really call myself an urban homesteader either, but what they're doing is not right.

  3. LOL, Rachel, Annie and Otto are the only "livestock" I raise. Oh, I forgot about Cookie! I guess raising a rabbit makes me a real urban homesteader...not that I'd ever eat him.


    Alison, it's just wrong, wrong, wrong. What a way to ruin a reputation!

  4. This is absolutely crazy!!! How in the heck can anyone get a trademark for this???

  5. I agree with you all. What they are doing is horrible.

  6. I actually found out about the TM issue from another extremely well written rant on a local blog I read. I don't mind them stopping Monsanto and others from capitalizing on the name and their hard work, but to stop anyone else from using it with no profit motive is wrong. I understand they aren't going after us that use it for fun, but I can't say I know the how many ever folks they sent letters to. Sure backfired on them! I stopped going to their sites about a year or two ago. I bet they lost folks over this one for sure! Oh, and I'm NOT an urban homesteader, but I am getting chickens, hehe.

  7. Yay Annie... i've made 2 posts on the issue as well.. i think they've stirred up quite a hornets nest... over at the Crunchy Chicken, Deanna Duke is requestion 'rebel/pirate' posts..


  8. Ya know, I USED to read their site, they had a lot of good info, and I liked what they were doing....but, in typical fashion, they got TOO BIG FOR THEIR BRITCHES. I think the backlash from all of this is just the kick in the pants they needed.
    I'd LOVE to see them try to mess with AG. Whomp em' Granny!!!!

  9. Yes, what they are doing is unbelievable - I was one of the people that had some issues with them anyways, so I'm not surprised. I AM AN URBAN HOMESTEADER TOO!

  10. Wow I hadn't heard about that yet. I read their blog all the time (with a lot of others I never comment on). I'm really sad to hear they are doing this. For me it really destroys their reputation for who they are. Their reputation is for being outreach people for urban homesteading. Trademarking the term and making others not use it makes them seem greedy and petty. And certainly isn't very neighborly. Nor does it show any sort of outreach. Where is their integrity?

  11. Isn't the world getting crazy.. How do you trademark something that has been used in the English language for hundreds of years.. Crazy world.. what people will do for a buck...

  12. Truly a dumb move on their part and has reduced my respect for the family considerably. More because they do not seem to be backing down when confronted by the inappropriateness of it. I have a link to their site on my site but I am intending to remove it as my own form of protest.

    Unfortunately I really cannot declare myself an "urban homesteader" as "suburban homesteader" is really a more apt description in my case.

  13. Excellent post... I added it to mine! Thanks!

  14. Good to see you are participating! I did actually go a little overboard on today's post about this as well... the one good thing that's coming out of all of this hullabaloo is how UNITED we all are! It's wonderful :)

  15. Thanks so much for linking my piece on

  16. I think that most of us who are very urban (as in, living in a CITY, not a suburb) have both bylaw and land issues when it comes to livestock.

    By saying (as that Californian family does) that you're only an urban homesteader if you raise livestock AND grow 50% or more of your food, then you're immediately discounting most of us who are seeking sustainable, self-reliant, low-impact lives in the middle of cities.

  17. I don't think it is a hill I want to die on. Before they started their site, I just called what I do, "gardening". I've learned so much from them that I feel like they can have the name if they want it that bad. They are still an inspiration to me. The gardening community has not really lost anything except for our reputation for kindness.

    Deborah....sub-urban farmer.

  18. thanks for blogging about this issue and linking to me! I look forward to following your blog!

  19. Forevermelody, you're most welcome. This little fiasco has made us aware of many more gardening friends!