Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"Urban Homestead" Legal Hubbub & Taking a Break

Hi everyone!

So by now it's probably apparent that I'm taking a little break from blogging. The workload at my day job gets really heavy at this time of year, and it's coinciding with trying to plan a new, very large garden that is requiring a lot more than last year's little 10' x 3 ' bed required.

Of course in the meantime of my small sabbatical, there's been some big news in the "urban homesteading" culture that I feel the need to post here, since this is an "urban sustainability" blog!

I haven't read the flurry of documents about the drama, but HOMEGROWN.ORG has a full discussion and lists many links. Here's an excerpt of the drama, as posted on Boing Boing:

The Dervaes Family, who run a great urban farm in Pasadena, CA, is catching a lot of heat from urban homesteaders. They are objecting to a letter the Dervaes Family sent out a couple of days ago to let bloggers know that the terms "urban homestead" and "urban homesteading" are trademarks owned by the Dervaes Institute. They registered the terms in 2008.

The other side of the issue appears in a new post from Root Simple (formerly Homegrown Evolution):

We've landed in the middle of all this because in 2008 we wrote a book titled The Urban Homestead. Because they apparently believe this title infringes on their trademark, the Dervaes Institute has interfered with our ability, and the ability of our publisher, Process Media, to promote the book. We are by no means the only people affected by their actions, but we can only speak for ourselves.

This debate should sound familiar to many Baltimoreans, as we just went through our own trademarking firefight over a local businesswoman's trademark of the word "Hon."

I guess I could come down on some side of the debate, but frankly, I don't care so much. Too many other things on my plate. And Chicken-Man keeps reminding me that I started all of this because I love food and growing things, and if any of it starts to get too frustrating, let it go. So I'm keeping that in mind.

I do love the internet for how much it allows us to build a community, but I've been wondering what will happen as "urban homesteading" becomes more and more of a culture. I guess this is one of the things that happens.

But for now, I've got to figure out if the mail lost my leek seeds so I can get these super-early spring crops in the ground!

And by the way, apologies for a random photo up top, I hate posting just text, and wanted a generic photo but not some junky free clip art from the Internet. And in light of this post topic, I didn't want to steal a photo from another site!

P.P.S Special shoutout to Nick Biddle for being a curator of the Internet and being the first one to tip me off to this debate.

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