Courtesy Brian Kraft
His reeducation is being caught on camera in The Urban Conversion, a documentary series Schley is producing with Timothy Nyman of Denver-based production studio Blue Fusion. Billed as â€śan urban homesteading guide for dummies,â€ť the series follows the self-proclaimed conservative city-slicker as he engages in what he calls â€śextreme greenâ€ť urban-farming experiences, often with hilarious results.
Schleyâ€™s wife, Gina, was the impetus for the show.
â€śSheâ€™s more sustainable, more green,â€ť he explains.
Wanting to move beyondÂ composting and backyard gardening, Gina gave her husband two choices: Buy a farm in the country or bring the farm to the city. Rodman opted for the latter, and the series documents his learning process as he turns this urban-farming dream into reality.
In The Urban Conversion‘s pilot episode, Schley (ineptly) milks aÂ goat and cleans out theÂ chicken coop at Sundari Kraftâ€™s Denver backyard farm. A video on the showâ€™s YouTube channel documents Schleyâ€™s trip to Colorado Aquaponics, where he discovers the ins and outs of another form of urban farming.
Schleyâ€™s goal is to have the ultimate extreme-green lifestyle. Currently, heâ€™s collaborating with Moss Owl Studio to build what he calls â€śthe perfect urban homesteadâ€ťâ€”one that is â€śas extreme as possible.â€ť The homestead is more than just a project, he says: â€śItâ€™s a home that Iâ€™ll be building for myself and my family.â€ť
Thanks to The Urban Conversion and the homestead project, Schley says his young daughters, Sophia and Cecilia, will know a completely different childhood from the one he experienced.
â€śWe just didnâ€™t know,â€ť Schley says of his own generationâ€™s understanding of agriculture and sustainability. â€śThere are so many things we didnâ€™t get to see when we were kids.â€ť
Even though the Schleys will be taking green to the extreme, Rodman says even casual environmentalists can learn from The Urban Conversion.
â€śYou donâ€™t have to do all of these things to this degree, but maybe you can do something,â€ť Schley says. â€śGoing green doesnâ€™t have to be inconvenient.â€ť
The Urban Conversion will feature urban farmers from across the U.S. and is still looking for a network to call home. (Schley and Nyman began pitching the series to TV execs in late 2010.) In the meantime fans can follow Schleyâ€™s extreme-green adventures on Facebook,Â YouTube and on the show’s website.