Sheila Julson 

Return to Our Roots

By Sheila Julson

For three summer seasons, I had a gratifying role of interviewing farmers for a feature series I wrote for a community newspaper. I became somewhat of a “farmer stalker” as I scoped out vendors to interview at area farmers’ markets. I had to catch these men and women of all ages, backgrounds, and education levels as they quickly placed their nurtured produce, honey, syrup, eggs, and small-batch homemade treats into customer’s bags.

Meanwhile in the city, urban dwellers have returned to their roots by taking creative measures to maximize space in small city yards and utilizing abandoned lots to reduce food deserts. I find it rewarding to return to the ways of my grandmother, who was an “urban homesteader” way before the term became chic. She crammed as many vegetables and flowers into the garden on her city lot, and we kids helped her tend to the carrots and tomatoes as Fels-Naptha cleansed laundry flapped from a clothesline strung across the yard. She was the ultimate recycler, saving jars and paper grocery bags for reuse instead of buying food storage containers or disposable plastic grocery bags.

Whether one homesteads and farms on rural acreage or in a city or community garden lot, we can learn from each other. I still feel the need to share the tales and talents of these farmers and homesteaders I encounter, as well as what I’ve learned. Here are our stories. 

Subscribe today

Capper's FarmerWant to rediscover what made grandma’s house the fun place we all remember? Capper’s Farmer — the newly restored publication from the rural know-how experts at — updates the tried-and-true methods your grandparents used for cooking, crafting, gardening and so much more. Subscribe today and discover the joys of homemade living and homesteading insight — with a dash of modern living — that makes up the new Capper’s Farmer.

Save Even More Money with our automatic renewal savings plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $6 and get 4 issues of Capper's Farmer for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $22.95 for a one year subscription!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds

click me