The Rented Homestead
“To me, homesteading involves a sense of connection to the simple ways – now I don’t mean “less work” when I say simple… it is usually the other way around! But there’s a pleasure that comes from simple work.” – Amber
Homesteader Profile: Amber is a wife and full-time employee in the working world. She is the also the author behind Pixie’s Pocket. Amber lives in a rental property on less than 1 acre (gardening zone 6b).
Amber’s Homesteading Journey
For my first three years of life, I lived with my parents in an old sharecroppers’ house in the country, without running water. We used a wood stove and I was toilet-trained with an outhouse. We then moved to the suburbs where I got to see some of the pleasures of city life, but I always missed my cow and deer friends in the country.
Always being an avid reader, it was only a matter of time before I discovered the Little House on the Prairie books and decided I wanted to know all of the skills that the Ingalls family knew!
I now live in a rental with my husband, Eric, a kitty (Akasha) and puppy (Sandy). Rental living don’t stop me from homesteading. I plant native medicinals, I use the ditch weeds and plants that come up wild, and cultivate foods in containers. I tend to pot a lot of plants since the yard was neglected for so long. Thankfully my landlord doesn’t mind my “meddling” with the yard. We have a few young apple trees and a Muscadine vine that we planted last fall.
My husband and I had a few hens that were in sort of a pitiful state when we nabbed them off Craigslist. They recovered and provided some lovely eggs for a few years. Once we rebuild the coop, we hope to get some more. I dream of goats and bee hives and a flock of happy hens when I become a homeowner.
In a further effort to keep things simple, I make our bread from scratch and booted most processed food out of the cabinets. I buy whole chickens and cut them down for multiple meals. I am a big advocate of not wasting food, money, or energy unnecessarily! When I have an overabundance of any given food, I’ll see what I can make from it and how to preserve it. My goal is to try and leave the ecosystem in as good if not better shape than when I got there.
Amber’s Advice for Suburban Homesteaders
Just GO FOR IT! It doesn’t matter if you don’t have acreage. Put a few pots of soil on your patio and try to grow some herbs or food. Every effort is worthwhile, and there’s no time like now!