Urban Homesteading at Sunstone

John takes spent hay from goat pen for sheet mulching new garden beds.

John takes spent hay from goat pen for sheet mulching new garden beds.

Friends, it’s time to give you an update on what we’re doing here at Sunstone since moving to New Mexico last fall.

Our intention was to live rural with larger acreage as we did in New York, but after much thought, we decided to explore the urban homesteading model, settling just 11 miles outside of the city of Albuquerque in the historically agrarian South Valley.

Instead of a 100 or 20 or 5 acres, we landed on 1.5 acres in the fertile Rio Grande Valley. This is a far cry from the greenbelt we once called home, but already our smallholding has the same peaceful feel of our farmstead in the Catskills.

The urban homesteading model is one that we are excited about exploring and encourage others to experiment and learn with us. With 98% of the US population living off farm, one of the ways to really increase local farms, local foods and local economies is for people to start their own urban jungle of fruit trees, vegetables and healing herbs. We can’t all go “back to the land,” but we can each do our part to create greenbelts of our cities.

Some of the projects we will blog about after our period of “long and thoughtful observation” are sheet-mulching, planning an urban farmstead, harvesting rainwater and creating micro-pastures and edible fences for our goats.

To see what one enterprising family is doing with their urban homestead, check out the inspiring Path to Freedom website. Si se puede! – Jen

This entry was posted in About Us, Farm Animals, Herbs, South Valley - Albuquerque, Urban Homestead and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Urban Homesteading at Sunstone

  1. wooddogs3 says:

    I’m delighted to have found your blog. I also used to have a farm in the Catskills, but now have a little urban lot and produce as much as I can on it. I hope you’ll visit my blog, My Urban Homestead, at wooddogs3.wordpress.com, and my website at http://www.localfoodalbuquerque.com. I’ll read your future posts with interest.
    Thanks, Heather

  2. Hi Heather. I just read through your wonderful blog and website. We love lamb’s quarters as well and hope to have as many growing throughout our new gardens here as we did in New York. I listed both of your sites in the Links section of our blog. – Tree

  3. Thom says:

    I’m looking seriously into following the examples you have been making into sustainable agriculture. I have access to some property on the north end of Corrales and would like to set up a program to grow medicinal herbs and other good vegetables and fruits.
    Our neighbor next door has an apple/pear orchard that needs some assistance in maintaining, so I’m looking for more information and would like to meet you and see what you have been doing if possible.

    I’ll look forward to hearing from you.

  4. Hi Thom,

    I’m glad to hear of your plans. Are you thinking of growing medicinal herbs and food crops for you and your family or are you considering this for income or both?


  5. Thom says:

    Thanks for the reply. We will be looking into both scenarios. Need to start somewhere. Let me know how to reach you other than the blog and maybe a visit to your farm is in order.
    Thanks again for the reply, talk with you soon.

  6. Angela says:

    Wow, I’m glad I found your site. Currently we are looking to buy a house or land to start our homestead. We would love to meet up with you guys sometime. Right now we’re in Rio Rancho but we are looking to be closer to the South Valley and the Parajito Mesa. We started a blogsite to chronicle our journey in finding our homestead site if you’d like to read it sometime:


    I look forward to hearing from you,

  7. Hi Angela,
    Good luck in your search for a new homestead. Feel free to email me off the blog for feedback on neighborhoods. It was just a few years ago that we did the whole South Valley search. I love the Los Padillas area if you can find something down here. If you are looking to homestead then I would have to advise against looking at land/properties on the Pajarito Mesa. Apart from other issues, water is a huge one. I would suggest staying in the valley and making sure you have access to the acequia and/or an irrigation well (that works! and is deeper than 10 feet!). Best, Jen

  8. Gilbert Sanchez says:

    I’m Gilbert Sanchez, Founder of Gil’s Professional Youth Services, I’m in search for an area to hold year round camps and would like to find out what it would take, also if you have available land area for programs, etc…

  9. Hi Gilbert, We don’t have the facilities or land for year round camps. Wish I could help but I don’t know of any place to refer you to. Good luck with your search! Jen

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