When we left NOLA in the Oilpocalypse, the Dixiecutioner, whom we’d only met once, invited us to stay on this farm she just moved to in NorCal. You work to make food, you get fed. Have a job on the side for incidentals; participate in community. Sounds great.
Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a free lunch from a benevolent feudal lord, and there’s no such thing as a creepy-sex hippie farm with no creepy-sex hippies. Court cases prevent us from saying more about that.
But we know a good sensei when we see one, so we follered Julie (the Dixiecutioner), and we rented us a couple adjacent houses on the Russian River where we could conduct our Hoodsteading away from the prying eyes of self-serious anarchists and passive-aggressive hippiecrits.
Julie the Dixiecutioner is the Tyler Durden of gardening. She can’t help it. It’s what she does. She murders lawns, transforms dull space, and makes food happen. She’s done it a lot, but it’s our first time (apart from childhood with parents and grandparents) growing things and then eating them. Verdict? SO FUN. Here’s our garden, which until 6 months ago used to be a plain hillside covered in blackberry vines.
We do the building and obtainium and watering and the dishes; she does the planting and the know-how and the cooking. No we are not lovers. We are fighters for a worldwide resurgence in plant-based, home-grown eatin’.
Homesteading generally means you own property; Hoodsteading means you rent and make do.
How does Hoodsteading differ from “urban homesteading,” you might ask? Well, it doesn’t, except for the mindset. And it’s less of a mouthful, and less of a foofy title and more just short for neighborhood gardening together.
Hoodsteaing is for fleet-footed folks who move around restoring tweaker-uppers into little derelicte paradises never think about how long they’ll be there — only about what looks good, costs the least, and makes the most sense.
Hoodsteading means maximizing your space for food production capabilities, any way you can swing it, instead of spending precious time keeping up useless ornamental bullshit — or worse yet, paying a gardener to spray chemicals around where you live and sleep.
Hoodsteading means transforming the place you live into somewhere you love. It’s daunting at first — to spend time on something that might not be yours tomorrow, to refuse to live vicariously, to take control over what you put in your mouth, and to dance by yourself, so to speak.
But kinetic energy is infectious. Just watch: Get up and start dancin’ — tear apart your lawn; abolish dull and neglected space; leave everything better than you found it; create life where there was nothing.
Start beautifying your hood just because. We promise you, others will join in.
Hoodsteading. Go look!
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