How to Utilize Every Square Inch: Radical Home Economics on 1/12 acre and a 900 Square Foot Home

Thanks, Ann!

Self-Reliance in L.A.

“Erik Knutzen and Kelly Coyne have been farming their yard in Los Angeles for over a decade. In addition to a mini orchard and extensive veggie garden, they have all the instruments of an urban homestead: chickens, bees, rainwater capture, DIY greywater, solar fruit preserver, humanure toilet, rocket stove, adobe oven. But they don’t like to talk about sustainability of self-sufficiency, instead they prefer the term self-reliance.

“‘I don’t like the goal of self-sufficiency, I think it’s a fool’s errand to chase that goal,’ explains Knutzen. ‘I think we live in communities, human beings are meant to live, and trade and work together. I think self-reliance is okay, in other words, knowing how to do things.’

“Knutzen and Coyne share their tinkering, DIY and small scale urban agriculture experiments on their blog Root Simple and in their books ‘The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City’ and ‘Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post Consumer World.’ They believe in the value of shop classes and old-school home economics (back when you learned how to make things, not shop for things).

“For the couple, their true goal with all of this self-reliance is freedom to live as they please. By growing their own and canning, pickling, preserving, freezing and baking their own breads and beans, they live frugally. They also only own one car (plus a cargo bike), one cellphone and no tv. ‘I think a lot of it has to do with our overdriving ambition to be free,’ explains Coyne, ‘makes being cheap fun, because it means you can be free.'”

Root Simple:

Original story:…

*Cameraman Johnny Sanphillippo also films for the site Strong Towns:

7 responses to this post.

  1. Reblogged this on Spirit In Action and commented:
    I read in the Anastasia books that Russian people have taken to gardening in such numbers that more food comes from home gardens than from agriculture/stores. They experienced the crash the West is tumbling thru years earlier so it is good to follow the solutions they already implemented.



  2. have never seen an urban homesteading video with so much useful info, simple, common sense outlook, very cool attitude about community and self reliance as one. love Kelly’s feelings on trusting intuition, “just go with what’s calls to you” she said it many times, very cool, also love their laconic sense of humor.
    thank you so much for posting this, picked up my spirit’s that have been under duress fending off the intense fear frequency being shot out into the ether now.



  3. Really enjoyed this video…all doable and simple tips that anyone could do along with affordable and multipurpose…thank you for sharing this. Really appreciate the information and they were a really down to earth couple.



  4. Posted by Damon on October 17, 2013 at 5:34 am

    Reblogged this on Awakestate.



  5. Posted by Alex Jones on October 17, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Thanks for the link, this is a site I will be spending many hours reading.



  6. Huge resource of free DIY and permaculture information:



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