…there was nothing. Well, I guess not absolutely nothing. We have each other, our kitties and rabbit, our network of friends and family and extended community, a little patch of yard surrounding our rental that gets less-than perfect sun and is extremely vulnerable to deer and raccoons, and a household full of items just waiting to find their second life’s purpose. And the internet. It’s certainly a start.
My darling life partner Alfred and I are pretty typical people living in the suburbs of DC. We share a rental home with multiple roommates. We don’t make a lot of money. We are nerdy, video-game playing, Netflix-watching, Renaissance Festival-attending, overweight fast-food eaters. We are NOT what you think of when you hear the term “suburban homesteader.” But we do have a desire to be as self-sufficient as possible. This blog will be a record of our adventures in growing our own foods, homebrewing, crafting, and whatever else tickles our fancies. The goal? Complete self-sufficiency would be ideal of course—an off-grid and mostly self-sustaining homestead with garden, orchard, and livestock—but mostly this is just an experiment to see how far two broke but happy suburban thirty-somethings can get towards achieving their dreams. We’re recording our experiment in the off chance that we inspire some other people to start their own experiments. We’re certainly indebted to a couple of bloggers for inspiring this venture.
So what led us to this desire for self-sufficiency? Well, we are what you might call suburban survivalists. We’re not talking about the crazy levels of preparedness that you see on the reality show “Doomsday Preppers,” we’re talking about common sense stuff: keeping extra canned and dry food in the pantry and plenty of flashlights and candles in case of a long-term power outage or heavy snow storms, having a first aid kit and road emergency kit in the car at all times, keeping a pocket knife or multi-tool on your person in case you need to open a box or cut a string. Yes, we keep bug-out-bags (so do you, whether you realize it or not). Basically, we want to make life easy and carefree, and feel comfortable that we can deal with whatever life throws our way, in both everyday and emergency situations.
This is prepping at its base level. Observing what you and your family needs to be happy and comfortable, considering possible ways your happiness and comfort might be interrupted, and coming up with methods of ensuring access to the things that keep your family happy and comfortable no matter what the interruption. We all do this on some level, often without even realizing it. These experiments will mostly be just that: observing what we need, and figuring out how to provide it for ourselves with what we have available. Because we’re working with limited funds (read: poor), limited space (read: suburban), and limited supplies of motivation (read: lazy), we will be employing as many principles of permaculture as possible. Plus it just makes sense.
Thanks for joining in our journey!
“Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” ― Bill Mollison