The mention of homesteading often invokes the image of being on a remote, large piece of land. But space and being removed from society isn’t what it takes to be self-sufficient. This is the same thinking that the Farallones Institute had when they started the Integral Urban House (IUH) in Berkley, California in the early 1970’s.
A group of architects, scientists, and engineers collaborated together to create a home that could serve as an educational experience for urban dwellers. Renovating an existing 100-year old Victorian home on an ⅛ acre lot, the group utilized their resources. Using passive strategies to heat and cool the house, along with maximizing space to grow and raise food, the home became an example of what is possible to accomplish on a small urban lot.
Over the ten years that the project was in operation, the numerous interns that assisted in making the project possible collected data that is included in The Integral Urban House book, published by the Sierra Club in 1979. This book includes do-it-yourself plans and gives detailed instruction for everything from raising bees to constructing a greenhouse. There are several other projects and books that have come to realization as well as IUH that give inspiration on how to do a lot with a little.