Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Spread the vanstead gospel with Walking Onion!, Part 3

This is the 3rd (and final) post from an email I received from Walking Onion.  He is such an inspiration to me!

"One more option I want to mention, that may be worth a post, is the fact that you don't have to own land to vanstead.  I am fortunate to have my mom's backyard to do with as I like in WI in the summers.  But the rest of the year, I garden wherever I'm parked.  In TX, I spend time parked in my friends backyard (the last pic I sent, of plants on the roof)  I don't "own" their garden, but, I do take responsibility for it.  I always work it like it's mine, making paths and beds and planting trees.  We work together to grow crops, share meals, and last year we even butchered a rooster together.  (They have chickens for eggs, and inadvertently got a rooster in the mix)  I do the same when I stay in Florida, working in my sister's back yard.  People who live in houses are usually overwhelmed with projects, and so everyone appreciates the work I do in their yards to make them into little homesteads.  They get fresh food and landscaping, and so do I!  

Our society places so much emphasis on "ownership", but honestly, it's nothing more than a concept, a social construct. We are all responsible for it, how can anyone "own" land?  We, as vansteaders, can spread the gospel of being responsible for the place where we park, for however short of a time that is, and make it better than when we arrived.  We can garden it, we can maintain it, clean it, dig it, water it, or simply leave it alone.  Let's not wait until the day we own our own farm, let's make that a reality where we find ourselves parked.  We also shouldn't worry about throwing away our energy, wasting our time working on something that we don't own.  Isn't a garden a wonder gift to give someone?  

Whew!  Glad I got all that off my chest!  Hehe, anyway, ...."

This option is how I was able to vanstead for the last few summers.  

Walking Onion, thank you for your amazing perspective.  I'm looking forward to hearing from you in the future.  You're passion for vansteading is unparalleled and I am grateful to you for sharing your thoughts!


  1. Heidi, great series & I love what Walkin Onion has been doin. Never really thought about using friends and relatives property for gardening and such. What was even funnier was in my sleep deprived state when you posted on gorilla gardening and linked to the first Walkin Onion post, I envisioned a couple folks rolling up to a remote part of a state park or some other rarely visited place, dressed in fatigues with some face paint, doing commando runs to plant their crops where others won't find them. I know that's not what it is, but thought y'all might get a kick outta that. I love what WO is doing here though, well thought out and I can see all kinds of benefits.

  2. Remi, I love that visual! Although I need to warn you that some Guerrilla Gardeners use seed bombs! Thanks for the fun comment!

  3. Great posts. I love your site and think any body traveling from one location to another could really get into this. When we are traveling though, we just stay usually for a month at a time, so, would it be worth the trouble to find some place to store the growing plants in the RV while moving? I still love the idea though.

  4. Hi Pidge, I understand what you're saying... I won't be storing plants in our little van home either... except maybe some seedlings. I'll most likely plant perennial feed plants in places where we'll return. This is the subject I keep threatening to post about... and then I get a something else I'd rather post. I just want to get as many ideas as we can think of so that *anyone* can find a way to be a vansteader, if they choose. Thanks for being here Pidge. You've been in my thoughts.

    I hope everyone will keep the suggestions coming in!

    Thanks for the comments!