It saddens me greatly to see how deeply the “legal happy” mentality of our nation has saturated our lives. As you may well know, the Dervaes family (http://www.urbanhomestead.org) has caused a complete uproar in the Urban Homestead movement by filing for, and obtaining, trademarks on “Urban Homestead” and “Urban Homesteading”. Notice I said movement. Up until yesterday I thought the Family, as I shall refer to them from now on, was at the forefront of this movement. They offered not only a view of what could be created in your own home, but also education. I really thought they wanted to teach people how to live more self sustainably so that we could all join hands and fight against the man. My high school idealism got the best of me again. I really thought I had grown out of that.

In doing some research regarding the current situation, I came across a page on the Family’s own site that kind of shocked me. This page contains the definitions for “Urban Homestead”, “Urban Homesteading”, and “Urban Homesteader”. The definitions are very well written. What shocked me was how obviously in contrast they are to filing for a trademark on a concept, a movement, a way of life. I now present the Dervaes Family Definitions, taken verbatim from http://urbanhomestead.org/urban-homestead-definition .

Urban Homestead [ur-buh n hohm-sted]

n. 1 a suburban or city home in which residents practice self-sufficiency through home food production and storage.

n. 2 the home and garden of a person or family engaging in sustainable small-scale agriculture and related activities designed to reduce environmental impact and increase self-sufficiency.

n. 3 a name describing the home of a person or family living by principals of low-impact, sustainable self-sufficiency through activities such as gardening for food production, cottage industry, extensive recycling, and generally simple living.

USAGE IN A SENTENCE “My neighbors’ urban homestead is so productive, they’re able to live entirely on food they grow themselves.”

Urban Homesteading [ur-buh n hohm-sted-ing]

v. 1 the act of transforming a city or suburban home into a property that produces some or all of its residents own food and other subsistence needs.

v. 2 participation in home-based activities such as gardening, raising poultry or small livestock, producing simple products through cottage industry, minimizing consumer purchases, and generally seeking ways to increase self-sufficiency in a city or suburban environment.

v. 3 the creation of an urban homestead with the goal of reducing one’s environmental impact and returning to a home-based, family-centered, self-sufficient way of life.

USAGE IN A SENTENCE “Their urban homesteading started with a small vegetable garden, but over time they become so self-sufficient that the family could sustain itself in the middle of the city without working any outside jobs.”

Urban Homesteader [ur-buh n hohm-sted-er]

n. 1 a person who practices self-sufficiency through home food production and simple living in a city or suburban environment.

n. 2 a person who transforms a city or suburban property into a home that produces some or all of its residents own food and other basic needs with the goal of reducing environmental impact while increasing self-sufficiency.

n. 3 someone participating in the movement of 21st century eco-pioneers striving to create a better world for themselves and others by exemplifying a self-sufficient, sustainable, ecologically sound return to home-based agriculture, industry, and family life.

USAGE IN A SENTENCE “One urban homesteader’s garden can feed his whole family—and serve the greater community good by demonstrating how other families can live more sustainably too.”

Do I even have to point out that there are no TMs here? There are no definitions involving products or branding or the Family at all. How can you create definitions such as these and then stick you foot in your mouth by trademarking them? I see things about community and neighbors and good food and living. What did you fertilize your latest batch of greens with to make you do something so insane and out of character? I pity you, for being frauds, and I pity myself for being so naive.

Urban Homesteaders SALUTE!

(p.s. We’re getting chickens soon!!!)

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