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My Economy

Homesteading in the digital age

Sean McHenry Jan 9, 2018
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An urban farm in Berlin, Germany.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

My Economy tells the story of the new economic normal through the eyes of people trying to make it, because we know the only numbers that really matter are the ones in your economy.


In Oakland, California, Stephanie Goode, who has no yard, runs a small homestead on her roof. While it’s not a money-making operation, her farm provides about a tenth of her monthly groceries. 

My name is Stephanie Goode. For work, I freelance, doing various things related to IT, design. And then when I’m not doing that, I’m working in my very, very small farm. It’s a small operation, it’s not a money-making operation. But it is intensive.

I brought a couple of chickens with me from my friend’s small farm, and then I decided to get my own chicks and start my own flock. The problem started when I got the new young birds, and that’s when the fun starts. One of the original birds, she seemed to have some kind of intelligence, I could be projecting, but she just flipped, and she didn’t want to have anything to do with these young birds. And she got in the way of they’re being able to naturally go into the egg box and start laying. And unfortunately, we had to remove her from the flock.

I saw that exchanging eggs for other goods, it’s kind of like a gateway. People understand, like, this is something that has value, and I’m willing to give you something in exchange. Like, if I have to be out of town, and I have somebody, or multiple people, helping me out with homesteading, I give them eggs. And people also offer, you know, “Can I trade you for goat milk?” I have friends who are, say, into pickling, exchange for pickles, or different things.

It’s an open secret that you can grow your own food, and you can invite other people to participate in it. As long as you’re willing to get dirty. 

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