Next World TV

Common Sense Solutions - Starting Now

Self Reliance In LA: Radical Home Ec

Remarkable Urban Homestead on 1/13 of an acre

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Taking Back Common Sense

On a parcel that is less than 1/12th of an acre, Erik Knutzen and Kelly Coyne in Los Angeles have a mini orchard, extensive veggie garden, and even some room for raising chickens and bees.

They also have a very cool rooftop solar dehydrator, a rainwater capture system, DIY greywater, solar fruit preserver, humanure toilet, rocket stove and adobe oven.

They share one car, one cellphone, have no TV, and they love the simplicity it brings.

"I think a lot of it has to do with our overdriving ambition to be free," explains self employed Coyne, "makes being cheap fun, because it means you can be free".

This couple believes in the value of old-school home economics, back when you learned how to make things, not shop for things.

"We've been through an anomaly. For all of human history, people have kept small stock, grown a little bit, even in cities, all around the world. Just since WWII to now, we've had a little period of forgetfulness, where we forgot our common sense, and thought we could buy everything off the shelf and use and use and never give back to the soil and have no contact with other creatures or the earth." says Coyne.

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".

--Bibi Farber

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