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s and i live in a neighborhood with lots of vacant land in the motor city.  we keep bees, garden, cook, can, ferment all kinds of yummy stuff, make art, travel and adventure, and generally have a fine life.  s works as a beekeeper and artist, and i work on one of urban farms in the area.  s was a huge fan of little house on the prairie books as a child – she has never seen the television show.  this blog is for sharing skills we learn and learning from others, as well as recording when and how we do things so we can go back and look at it.  as a tool it’s set up to be most useful to us, but i hope that you find it useful too.

i think it should be noted that the name is a bit tongue in cheek – and bit of self mocking.  we love what we do, but terms like urban homesteading make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.  this is not a lifestyle – i don’t identify as an urban farmer – it’s just what we do to that make us happy.

not all the city is the open urban prairie of the neighborhood that we live in, and the reason for these open spaces has largely to do with the racist policies of the fha and white flight.  regardless of way that the media portrays the motor city, it is not wide open, it is not a blank slate.  it’s a vibrant city full over 7000,000 people.  if anyone is thinking about moving to the city buying up blocks and starting a farm, please think twice.

this page is very much a work in progress, i’m still trying to figure out how to present what we do and talk honestly about it.  any recommendations are welcomed.

you can contact us at dirtysabot (at) gmail dot com

13 responses to “About

  1. When I was over last night, “ma” told me about your blog, which is funny because I’d always secretly hoped you’d start one. Your weekly email updates are so informative and entertaining and now this! Looking forward to following!

  2. Patrick,
    Just started reading your journel, what a joy and hope you know that your “guiding light” is reaching others and causing change.
    Your words are a modern “Living the Good Life” urban Scott and Helen Nearing outlook.
    Thank you for sharing!

    • thanks, being compared to helen and scott nearing has to be pretty high in the complement ranks.

      when eliot coleman was in town doing workshops at the farm this past summer, among my favorite things was when he told stories about when he used to live next store to helen and scott.

  3. Hello. I looked for a regular contact form but couldn’t find one, so please pardon this coming in in comment form. I’m interested in finding out more about what you’re doing and seeing if you’d like to trade links. Can you please contact me? Thanks! Jen

  4. You and ma and the family are truly amazing people and Detroit and the world is a much greater place with you guys in it. Thank you for having faith and compassion for a city when so many people have given up.

  5. Just found your blog after having seen a PBS program on Urban farming,Detroit was featured and I found it fascinating. Having grown up in rural Michigan we went to the motor city regularly for cultural and sporting events as well as shopping. It’s great to hear positives about a place I always enjoyed. Thanks

  6. Pingback: Habits of an Urban Farmer: Novella Carpenter

  7. Hello! I used to follow you when I had a different blog. I was delighted to find you again. I see you have built a cordwood building. I am interested in coming down to check it out and talk to you about your experience with the process if that is alright with you sometime soon…? I am in the burbs currently.
    Happy Spring to you!

    • i don’t have a cordwood building – it must be from a photo i took. what post is it? i can help you find the source.

      • oh. Let me see if I can find it again. Did you perhaps write about helping someone with a cord wood tool shed?

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