What is nomesteading?
Suburbs of the past century or so, such as the MoCo suburbs, were designed to be extensions of the city. One of the first was built by B. F. Gilbert and intended to be “a fashionable suburb for Washington bureaucrats and a sylvan resort community where Washington’s wealthiest families could escape the unhealthy summer air in the capital.”
In a homestead, one or more people, live on a tract of land in a rural setting. Homesteaders “work” the land, and “live off” the land. This means they manage to provide their basic needs from local sources.
They might have a large garden, some farm animals, and a well or stream. They might spin their own thread, make some of their own clothes, and heat their home using wood or in some other sustainable manner: solar, geo-thermal, wind, hydroelectric. They rely on cooperation with neighbor homesteaders for things like roads, for extra support when needed, and for barter and trade of the products of their labor.
Can all this be done in a suburb? Yes. People were homesteading where Takoma Park and Silver Spring are today before these places became suburbs. We call what we do nomesteading, a mashup of nomading + homesteading.
We can build a distributed nomestead community by coordinating the efforts of individual suburban and urban nomesteads.
How can someone in MoCo who is yearning to nomestead get started?
The easiest way to nomestead is to find out which products and services are available from existing nomesteads, homesteads, and sustainable companies in the suburbs.
We spread the word to the public by distributing material to people at farmers markets, on the streets, and going door-to-door, and through that newfangled contraption the internet.
Local clothing, organically grown food, and green homes, etc. are all within reach.
Sustainable companies in Montgomery County
Here is a survey of companies that are already producing sustainable goods and providing sustainable services.
Help us add to this list until we have a complete local industry that will provide MoCo residents with food, clothing, shelter and more.
We also include in the list non-profit organizations, academic institutions, local governments, and citizens who network together harmoniously to advance sustainable living.
B. Willow is in Baltimore. I first met the founder at a street festival on Grant Avenue in Takoma Park, though, and so I include the store in this listing, and because they may expand to this area
B. Willow re-aligns indoor dwellers with the world outside through small and large-scale interior plant design for homes, businesses, offices, & any indoor space.
Would you be ready to take your life savings and/or put yourself in debt to preserve a local parcel of land from sub-development? A group of friends did just that not far from Westfield Mall. They are turning the land into gardens, a forest refuge, and an artists colony. Their stated goal is to expand beyond their borders to surrounding residential homes, encouraging neighbors to garden more.
Takoma Park Co-op
The Takoma Park Co-op supports the local food industry. The co-op is also taking the lead in organizing all Maryland co-ops into an alliance. The website has a list of the many local food producers who sell their products through the co-op.
Here is a link to TPSS.coop.
Here is a link to an article about the origin of the TPSS Co-op.
Lady Farmer is located in the MoCo Ag Reserve. Here is a quote from the Lady Farmer website: “Join our community. We’re a sustainable apparel company, but we’re about more than clothes. We’re a farm-to-closet revolution for the do-ers, the dreamers, the mothers, the daughters, the farmers and the seekers.”
Here is a link to Lady-Farmer.com
Amicus Green Building Center
Green building material.
The Charles Koiner Center for Urban Farming
Link to website
Quotes from website:
“The mission of CKC Farming is to manage and preserve urban farms that inspire the next generation of sustainable food innovators through hands-on, farm-based education.”
“CKC Farming is a small local land trust, dedicated to protecting urban land for the purpose of agriculture and education. CKC Farming was founded in 2018 specifically for the purpose of protecting Koiner Farm (currently the only urban farm in Montgomery County, MD). While Koiner Farm is and always will be our flagship farm, we envision a network of urban farms throughout Montgomery County protected from development and accessible to the public, so that generations to come can connect with food and farms.”
University of Maryland Extension office
Montgomery Countryside Alliance
Bed and breakfast for goats
Farmers Market .Pizza
Pizza baked in a mobile pizza oven
Housing for local workers in sustainable industry