Homesteading in Light of Covid-19

Have you seen the meme asking how to cancel the subscription of 2020? If no, I shared it for you here. Don’t we all feel like that right now? I have been trying for weeks to sit down and write this blog post, but the truth is I just couldn’t find words to say. I think 3 weeks back I was going to share about something I was making in the kitchen that day, chicken paprikash I think. But since then it has been hard to concentrate on anything other than what is going on in our world. This virus, the Coronavirus or Covid-19, has changed the entire world as we know it.

It really is no laughing matter, but wouldn’t it be great if we could go back to the beginning of this year? I would like to think that maybe I would look at things a little differently. Maybe try to be a little more prepared for what was coming. I don’t mean hoarding more supplies either, I mean just an overall preparedness, physically, mentally and spiritually. I am sure we are all going through a bit of an emotional rollercoaster right now. We don’t know whether to crawl into bed and sleep until it is over or to get up and plant our victory garden.

I do know that I am grateful that I started my homesteading journey last year. I wish I had 5, 10, maybe 20 years under my belt, but I am glad that I at least started when I did. People get the terms prepper and homesteader mixed up sometimes, and while there is often overlap, they are totally different. Preppers often are ready for any doomsday scenario and vary in degree of what they are prepping for. Homesteaders are not really preppers at all, but the skills they acquire allow them to provide for their families when necessary and that makes them prepared.

An example: Last week when we went grocery shopping, the whole world seemed to be going crazy buying toilet paper and all of the meat, bread, milk, eggs, etc. off of the shelves. I felt a sense of peace in the store because while I looked around at what seemed to be a dire situation, I knew that we were going to be just fine. We have a few chickens that provide enough eggs for our family’s needs at this point, and although the stores were out of bread and pasta, I know how to make both and prefer to anyway. These are skills that I learned and that are fairly easy to do once you know how to. I also know that Spring is here and that means gardening season is upon us. I am planning on growing a garden that will meet a fraction (not all) of our family’s needs for the next year and I have the skills to can these items and store them until we need them.

Obviously there are certain things I cannot provide in our small urban space. I don’t have space or the resources to provide our own meat or milk. Those are areas I worry about now but will find long term solutions for in the future. I think hunting and buying beef, pork, and chickens from local farmers this fall will be a great investment in not only our family’s budget but also a wonderful way to support our local farmers. I will be researching ways to make milk available all the time whether that is through canning (not USDA recommended) or freezing.

I still have a long way to go on my homesteading journey, but the crisis we are in has definitely shown me the value of homesteading and encouraged me to keep learning and keep going. The path to self-sufficiency helps us to be calm in times like this when the world around us seems so uncertain. And even if we aren’t in situations where we can have a full-fledged homestead, we can still make decisions in our urban settings that draw us closer to being self-sufficient and skillful enough to provide when times get hard.

Speaking of hard times, I really loved this blog today from Amy over at A Farmish Kinda Life: 10 Lessons You Can Learn in Hard Times. Amy has a bunch of great info there on her blog, including a fabulous recipe for making bread. You should check her out, especially if you are just getting started on your homesteading journey. Spend a few hours there. You won’t regret it.

How about you, friend? What has this crisis we are in taught you so far? Have you used this time to learn a new skill? Have you learned a new recipe? Or made do with what you have had on hand? What are you doing to prepare for the weeks and possibly months ahead? I have a slew of things I want to continue to learn as a homesteader, but one of the most important ones to me at this point is how to make medicine using what God has provided around us. For this reason, I have decided to pursue a Clinical Herbalist certification. I think it is important to keep learning through our life and to pass the lessons we learn down to younger generations. I am praying that in light of this virus and the events of the world around us that a passion for homesteading, whether urban or otherwise, be ignited in the hearts of many and that we will have a new generation that seeks simplicity and self-sufficiency away from the noise of the world behind us.