Homestead Stores Across the Country

See how these gardeners and farmers are inspiring and encouraging city dwellers to buy local, grow their own food and even raise chickens.
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Photo By: Image courtesy of Urban Farm Store

Photo By: Image courtesy of Ten Speed Press

Photo By: Image courtesy of Urban Farm Store

Photo By: Image courtesy of HarmoniousHomestead.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of HarmoniousHomestead.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of HarmoniousHomestead.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of Sweetman's General Store

Photo By: Image courtesy of Sweetman's General Store

Photo By: Image courtesy of Sweetman's General Store

Photo By: Image courtesy of Urban Homestead

Photo By: Image courtesy of Urban Homestead

Photo By: Image courtesy of Mountain Feed and Farm Supply

Photo By: Image courtesy of Mountain Feed and Farm Supply

Photo By: Image courtesy of Mountain Feed and Farm Supply

Photo By: Image courtesy of Rick Havlak, Homesteader's Emporium

Photo By: Image courtesy of Rick Havlak, Homesteader's Emporium

A New Breed of Farmers

Farmers and gardeners in cities are currently transforming vacant lots, empty buildings and even rooftops into urban farms and greenhouses for growing food. As a result, homesteader shops and urban farm supply stores are springing up everywhere to provide their communities with sustainable products and tools such as Urban Farm Store in Portland, Oregon, which is operated by Robert and Hannah Litt.

Fowl Play

Robert and Hannah Litt have also published this guide for urbanities who want to go local and raise their own backyard birds for eggs. From instructions on how to build your own coop to tips about raising healthy chickens to delicious egg recipes, A Chicken in Every Yard is a handy nuts-and-bolts manual for city farmers.

Chicken Central

Urban Farm Store's year-round offerings include animal feed and supplies, pet food, gardening tools and other products, but they specialize in poultry for the urban chicken farmer. Customers can select from 30 breeds of chicks for purchase as well as chicken coops and other accessories for flock-keepers.

Locally Grown

City Folk’s Farm Shop in Columbus, Ohio provides homesteading supplies to city dwellers, as well as a mentorship program where community members can learn specific skills and build gardens together. Native plants and locally-grown herbs from within a 100-mile radius are available, as well as the necessary materials to help you make your own cheese, collect rainwater or create worm compost.

Pressing and Straining

A variety of innovative kitchen supplies are available at City Folk’s Farm Shop for gardeners who like to cook. Cherry stoners, tomato presses and food strainers are some of the devices that can help reduce canning or recipe preparation time when using fresh ingredients.

Let's Get Pickled

Pickling everything from tomatoes to okra to eggs is gaining in popularity, and City Folk’s Farm Shop has all of the necessary accessories and supplies, including pint, quart or half-gallon jars.

Off the Grid

Many of the new urban farm supply stores start small and slowly expand as their customer base grows, such as Sweetman’s General Store in Lakeshore, Oregon. Currently offering plants and produce grown in their raised beds and hothouse, this “off-the-grid” operation also sells rabbits and ducks for those who want to raise their own meat, and chickens for eggs. In the future, they hope to sell goats and micro-cabins.

Lots of Lettuce

Organic lettuce is almost ready for harvesting in a raised bed at Sweetman’s General Store. In addition to plants and vegetables, the operation also sells soap-making supplies, essential oils and self-healing products.

Reaching New Heights in Gardening

Raised bed farming is an ideal way to insure the best results in producing a bumper crop of healthy organic vegetables, as seen here in the backyard of Sweetman’s General Store, which is also known as Oregon Coast Homestead Project. 

Local Legends in Pasadena

One of the first and best known city farm operations is Urban Homestead in Pasadena, California, which began in 1985 on a 66-foot by 132-foot lot. Owned and operated by the Dervaes family (pictured from the left are Justin, Jordanne, Anais and Jules), the farm now produces over 6,000 pounds of organic food annually for their own use and for sale to local restaurants and caterers.

Front Porch Farmstand

This image of the front porch farmstand at Urban Homestead displays some of the local produce and products they provide to the local community. The Dervaes family also enjoys sharing their skills and ideas in local workshops on gardening, seed diversity and environmental and sustainable lifestyle issues. 

Water Conservation and More

As part of their commitment to water conservation, Urban Homestead sells and advocates the use of ollas (clay pots) as a traditional irrigation technique that delivers water efficiently to plants. The olla, which contains small holes in the design, is buried in the ground with its neck protruding out. When the clay pot is filled with water, the liquid remains intact if the soil is sufficiently saturated but it flows out naturally when the soil becomes dry in arid conditions.

Gifts for the Urban Homesteader

Mountain Feed & Farm Supply in Ben Lomond, California caters to both home gardeners and small farms with a wide array of homesteader products. Pictured are a variety of DIY books, supplies for raising chickens, feeders and other accessories.

Lessons in Beekeeping

Most urban farm supply stores offer more than just agricultural and organic products for sale. Educational workshops and classes are a key component of this growing movement such as this beekeeper seminar offered by Mountain Feed and Farm Supply.

Not Your Usual Country Store

The general storeroom of the Mountain Feed and Farm Supply features canning supplies, fermentation crocks, home-brew equipment, kitchen gadgets, equipment for meat processing, yogurt making accessories and more.

Sustainable Goods

Stacks of hen scratch, potting soil and wood shavings give way to watering cans, sausage stuffers and cheese moulds as you enter the storefront of Homesteader's Emporium in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Urban Farming Boot Camp

For people who haven’t grown up with a garden, Homesteader’s Emporium hosts beginner gardening workshops throughout the summer. In this photo, class participants get their hands dirty by planting seeds, weeding and harvesting vegetables.