Starting with shutdowns and food shortages, the 2020 pandemic hysteria fueled a new era of urban farming. As the year progressed, mass destruction, as a result of protests across the nation, added to the need for many to become even more self-sustaining. Now, as we head into the election cycle, social and news media are fueling even more division. For most, this has turned the idea of urban homesteading into more of a need to maintain their safety – to disconnect from the chaos.
During the first run of shutdowns, combined with an unknown future, there was an immediate run on vegetable seeds, gardening supplies, and firearms. Even small farms that sold live chickens and other urban-friendly foul found themselves out of stock fairly quickly.
Then there was a calming time where a lot of people found work from home and things were seeming a little more normal. There was even a rash of chickens and such for sale on Craigslist and other marketplaces at this point. This was because some who dove in were not ready or the work that a home survival garden or farm entails.
On the other hand, many have kept up with the idea and have steadily grown their home production. There is a freedom and sense of security in knowing that you can sustain yourself if need be. Many are feeling this for the first time, and well – the feeling is good.
Firearms and ammunition for home defense, self-defense, and hunting remain to be highly sought after. There are barren shelves and online retailers that are completely out of stock. This is due to the wave of new firearm owners who, along with their new life of urban homesteading, have found these items as tools that work towards maintaining that lifestyle.
All of this has to do with personal security. Self-sufficiency and maintaining your sustainable lifestyle create a safety net around oneself and family during one of the most volatile times in recent history.
On the other hand, there is also a large portion of the population that has always lived this way to certain extents. In this, they are also rushing to collect supplies to maintain the homesteading lifestyle that they have built for years – if not lifetimes.
But, as each is learning to deal with shortages, another phase of homestead related learning is taking place. This includes learning how to harvest your vegetable seeds, home canning, farming backyard foul, fine-tuning processes, reloading ammunition, and being creative with re-purposing nearly everything most used to consider waste.
I believe this is all a good thing for society as a whole. Recent generations have become so disconnected with self-sufficient practices that food runs, restaurant closures, and various supply shortages left their lives in immediate shambles. Perhaps this was the “slap in the face” many needed to wake up and realize we have the tools, knowledge, and means to move on without being dependent entirely on others or the systems in place.