I used to consider myself one, at one point. Now I live vicariously through other’s gardens. Like the lemon grass in the water glass I left in Pittsburgh for my mom, or the new landscaping in my dad’s front yard. My sister looked at me like I was insane when I pointed to the rosemary next to pansies next to roses and told her she could eat most of it.
Today I realized I’m not.
In my heart I’m still a gardener, and gardeners are versatile. Much like my Grandfather was and his grandfather before him, be it a farm or a plant in a tin can on a window ledge. Take one Polish farmer and an equally bullheaded plant and you have the beginnings of a beautiful relationship. That relationship is a very different thing than the beast that I saw today.
The point is, Urban Homesteading/Garden/Agriculture has been around for ages. Today I found out the Path to Freedom people trademarked the term “Urban Homesteader” and have been hammering down on bloggers and business owners. The irony is that the majority of their success is from the people who they are now turning against. The movement spread because of bloggers, so their success (THEIRS, not the movement. That started during the agricultural revolution) spread because of the same people they are oustracizing now. They have forgotten their community.
The community is turning against them
I’m watching the social movement take place now: a facebook page with 1500 people in 24 hours. Twitter trended #dervaes and #urbanhomestead, even the petition that I started. The first few hours were intense, things were moving forward, we were all coming together to define what we felt and share our gardens. Change was in the air. Our fellow homesteaders who were attacked would soon be able to talk about their passions again.
Then something changed.
People stopped thinking, they lost track of what the community was and of the spirit that brought us together. The knee jerk reactions started. The name calling, the religion bashing and the energy of the community ignited into flames with the intensity I would imagine gasoline on a lake has. People began spiting anger in there posts, others started taking personal credit as opposed to acknowledging the community movement as a whole. People were quick to add their two cents but no one offered up solutions. The group started focusing on benchmarks and even benchmarks could not motivate them to act productively. I filtered rage out of the comments of the petition.
We didn’t try to rebuild, we didn’t try to help those whose accounts had been lost to the great and powerful FbOz. They called them nut-jobs, said they wouldn’t budge but nobody tried. They didn’t care about change, they focused on publicity and growth. BB fueled the fire. We became them.
Then it became a political statement about the Electronic Frontier Foundation and C.O.I.C.A. and that is where I broke.
It was hostility. It was manic. and with one swift “unlike” I left.
I walked passed the pansies today with their giant smiling faces tipped towards the sun. This is what it’s about, call it what you want to call it.