About New Urban Habitat

About New Urban Habitat


Hi. I’m Abby Quillen. I’m a freelance writer, and I live in Eugene, Oregon with my husband, son, three cats, and four chickens. I started New Urban Habitat in March of 2009.

New Urban Habitat is a blog about simple, healthy, and sustainable city living with researched articles, tips, and personal essays.

What’s the New Urban Habitat?

Several decades ago, a bunch of folks moved out to the country with dreams of achieving self-sufficiency. Quite a few of them were inspired by the likes of Helen and Scott Nearing.

Well, we’re a new generation of homesteaders. We’ve got stacks of dog-eared Mother Earth News and Foxfire Books stowed on our bookshelves. But we’re young, hip, and urban. We’ve ditched the pickup for the bicycle cart and swapped isolated acres of tilth for back-yard raised beds and apartment-deck container gardens.

We’re learning to grow organic veggies, raise hens in our back yards, pack our pantries with preserves, bake bread, sew quilts, knit, crochet, build things, tell stories, and play instruments. We brew beer in our spare rooms, ferment sourdough in the back of our refrigerators, concoct wines and vinegars, and treat our ailments with the plants growing outside our back doors. A few of us even have babies in our living rooms.

We’re connected to the natural world, the seasons, and the fruits of our own labors. And the best part is, we live within walking distance of farmers’ market, bike paths, health food stores, libraries, cultural events, and each other – and we love it. It’s the New Urban Habitat.


You’ll find articles here about topics such as:

Backyard chickens
Family life
Simple living
Natural parenting
Organic gardening
Whole-foods cooking
Car-free living
Home life
I’m also interested in broader social movements, particularly New Urbanism – a planning movement aimed at retrofitting suburbia and building less car-dependent, more livable cities.

Questions or comments?

I’d love to hear from you! Send me an email at newurbanhabitat at gmail dot com.

You can read more of my writing on my website.

11 Responses
on June 9, 2009 at 10:18 am | ReplySuzy
Love Helen and Scott Nearing! They’re my heroes! (I’m just wondering…. is Frank a relative of Helen and Scott?)


on June 10, 2009 at 8:58 am | ReplyLisa Zahn
I love your description!


on July 1, 2009 at 6:06 am | ReplyRae Grant
Love it!


on July 6, 2009 at 12:16 pm | Replynewurbanhabitat


on July 1, 2009 at 12:24 pm | ReplySuzy
You are very inspiring! Keep up the great work and please keep sharing what you’re doing! 🙂


on July 6, 2009 at 12:15 pm | Replynewurbanhabitat
Thanks, Suzy!


on January 30, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Replybrite
Wow- my mom just sent me the link to your blog with a note saying, These people are weird like you! 🙂 We’ve had our three babies at home, we brew beer, make our bread, preserve food, sew and love to create vs. consume, etc., etc…all in rental homes. (I didn’t know there was a name for us other than odd, although my husband has called me us “Essentialists” before). We’ve had small gardens and we’re trying to figure out if we can do chickens without our landlady kicking us out. Love the blog and look forward to reading more!


on February 1, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Replynewurbanhabitat
That’s so funny. Isn’t it fun to connect with other like-minded (a.k.a weird) people? Thanks for commenting!


on January 31, 2010 at 12:57 pm | ReplyAnonymous
Great blog!


on February 1, 2010 at 11:48 am | Replylibertyrequiresvigilance
Great blog! Going to be doing some work with the Denver Homesteaders movement this spring and summer and will send you worthy news bits! I also admire your extensive collection of links. Keep up the great posting!


on February 1, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Replynewurbanhabitat
Great! I’d like that. I lived in Denver for many years. Thanks!