The Kaplan-Kinsey clan lives on a small site on Petaluma’s west side that they call Tiny Town Farm. The site sports intensive use of every area that can support plant life – there are plants in the ground, in containers, in raised beds. The yard provides habitat for rabbits, chickens and bees as well as hanging out places for Esmé, age 11, who likes to have her own spot in the yard as well. Tiny Town Farm’s small size (less than 7,000 square feet) has inspired farmer Rachel and bee-keeping Adam to look for other places to grow food and keep bees. Rachel keeps a garden in the backyard of a friend, within biking distance, as well as at a nearby community garden. These additional sites make it possible for her to grow staple crops in more bulk—drying beans, garlic, onions, potatoes, corn, etc. Adam’s beekeeping extends to the farm at Petaluma Bounty, where he works alternately as grant-writer and volunteer beekeeper. Tiny Town Farm, is a gathering site for ceremonies, workshops and general conviviality. As a rental property, Tiny Town Farm is an inspiration in working with the materials in the moment, and a deep commitment to place, regardless of ownership status.
Urban Homesteading – The Book
Rachel is the author of a great book that we are all very proud of. She shares the many lessons of an urban homesteader. The following is from the book’s website, “In 2011, we published a book called Urban Homesteading which was about the work we were doing in our own backyards and the work we saw happening in our neighborhoods and cities to reclaim the means of production, simplify our lives, and reach towards sustainability. When we sat down to write the book, we wanted to tell a good news story in uncomfortable, bad news times.”