Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The "Good Neighbors" Trend

I read this fun article this morning: "Why Urban, Educated Parents Are Turning to Do-It-Yourself Education." It's basically about city couples who are embracing the whole backyard-garden-bee-keeping-chicken-raising-knit-sweaters-make-soap lifestyle. And with all that, it makes sense to teach your own kids. Because you're already doing all this fun, educational stuff at home, right? Why not share it with your kids?

Anybody out there remember Tom and Barbara Good?
 Good Neighbors was a hilarious BBC T.V. show, back in the '70s. It's about a suburban couple in London who decide to quit jobs, dig up the backyard, and become self-sufficient.
Guess what some Americans are doing? Backyard chicken coops are becoming the new craze. Some urbanites even give up a room in their house, for chickens, if they don't have space in the yard. Or don't even have a yard.
 Some coops are visually interesting.
 Adam knows a beekeeper who gave up bees and decided to do full-time what he was already doing: helping city folks set up backyard gardens in small spaces, in California. It's a big new business.
Many cities (like Philadelphia) have legalized beekeeping again. Roof-top beekeeping is trendy, and cities are a great place to keep bees, since our rural areas (i.e. agricultural lands) have become mono-cultures, and bees have a hard time thriving there. They love cities, where such a variety of flowers, trees and shrubs are blooming, and are often well-tended.
 The urban garden? It's thriving too. Vertical gardening, and attaching gardens to walls, are popular.
In other words, people want to get their hands in the dirt again. They want to know where their food is coming from. They are weary of driving around all day to school/work/sports, eating junk food in the car daily, barely being in their homes, and never, ever being in their own chunk of nature: their yards. They have no time for animals. The American Dream they've been chasing has left them weary and dry.

And part of the lifestyle they want to reclaim involves having their children at home. I think all these trends are happy things. What do you think?


  1. I think they are happy, too. I didn't know that about the urban bees -- very interesting!

  2. Oh the Good Life was essential viewing in our house in those days! Still very much a city girl here though- too lazy for all that hard work! Like to think about it though!


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