Homesteading Through a Pandemic

Hello, you guys, I am just checking in real quick, and this is going to be an unexpected episode two. There will still be an episode airing on Friday during our regular time.

However, I just wanted to stop in and do a quick checkup with you, and this is going to be pretty raw and pretty candid, but I wanted to make sure that you guys are OK and to give you a little heads up on what what we’re doing on our homestead during this time of panic, of sorrow, of fear for a lot of people. So stay tuned and I hope you stick with me.

Listen to the Podcast Here!

This m4a audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

I wanted to hop on a little bit earlier this morning before the family got up and things were going on, but I didn’t have the time with chores and just getting things done and starting the day. Everything escapes you in that moment in time.

Homesteading During a Pandemic

What prompted an unexpected episode two was when San Francisco announced last night that they were shutting down the city. The whole city was going into quarantine and I thought, Oh my gosh, this is going to release a true panic across America and newsworthy for the whole entire world.

I thought this would be a great time for me to check in with you guys and to see how you’re doing. To tell you how we’re doing. And then on top of that, to really touch base on what we’ve done to become prepared and what we really could have done a little bit differently.And what I see us doing and altering and what we’ve learned in this process in time.

For your convenience, this episode of a Simple Homesteading Life Podcast has been transcribed. Please note, minor edits made during the transcribing process to allowed for an easier read. Feel free to listen to the original episode or other episodes of my podcast by clicking the link above.

But more importantly, I just wanted to see how you guys were doing, and I wanted to ask you guys to give grace to the individuals who are not prepared in any way, shape or form, who are not equipped to to live this sudden, you know, quiet lock down life and to really encourage you on how you can step out and teach people without having a platform like our brand or a platform like home cities of America.

But how you can actually impact your immediate friends is to give them the encouragement and the tools to living a homesteading life regardless if they were living in the country or in the city or just in the suburbs.

So stay tuned. We’re going to just cover something like this real quick, and I just want to check in and just say that every single person in this world right now that I am truly thinking about you guys and I just trying to really grasp the idea of how we can reach more people, and I think I’ve come up with it.

Shutdowns in Seattle

Right, so what’s happening in King County, Seattle, Washington right now? Basically, I was still working.

I teach at a Christian preschool two days a week for three and a half hour segments on Monday and three and a half hour segments on Wednesday. And I teach one class. I teach the young three’s class.

At that moment in time, prior to yesterday, we were planning on still attending and working schools have been closed as of last week, Friday in our areas, but the teachers were still planning on going to classes. We have plenty of work we had to do and then on top of that, we were going to do online Zoom classes just to give some kind of regularity to the parents and the teachers.

Most of our parents come from India, so we wanted to give them a sense of just calmness and a sense of just having something regular for their children. And it was a great idea. It’s a great idea and we are still doing it.

However, yesterday our director decided that it was probably best that we no longer work at school, that we were to come home and just zoom our classes from home, and that that was great. It hit home. You know, I love working from home. That’s what I do anyways. And and in that process. Of her saying that I did recognize the fear that I saw in a lot of our teachers faces in that time.

It was great. We’re working at home. It was just a sense of relief that we didn’t have to come in and just that they could stay at home and be with their families and just monitor their children a little bit more because there are only three of us left that actually have children at home and everybody else has their children’s.

They’re empty nesters and their children have moved on to college and careers and whatnot and the families of their own. However the three of us, because our children’s were out of school, we wanted to actually be home and to help them and monitor them just a little bit more.

I do not homeschool. My children do attend a public school, so I definitely wanted to keep an eye on them. So that was that was what was happening at our school.

In the community, Oh my gosh. If you had to listen to my podcast from Melissa Norris that we had done maybe two weeks ago now, maybe a week ago, I don’t even remember you would have learned that the emotions in the community right now are kind of crazy. It’s kind of crazy.

Markets & Shops Are Empty

You can go to a market and it’s completely empty. You know, you can go to any store like a target or a Walmart, and it’s completely empty. And mind you, I’m not going to these places. I’m just literally running and grabbing what we needed to make sure I have it on supply and I’m out.

People aren’t looking at each other. People are barely making eye contact. And, you know, Seattle’s a pretty friendly city and to see this is just a true validation that these people are scared and that they would rather just grab their stuff and go.

There were a couple of individuals that you could tell were just trying to get out of the house and they were just leisurely shopping. And most of younger couples without any children. So that was about that was their business, not mine. I grabbed my stuff and I went out the door and I just made do with what I needed at home at that at that point in time.

You see it, you see all the emptiness everywhere, and especially in a city like Seattle, who it’s always hustling and bustling, fast pace, everything is eating out. Everything is, you know, barely home cooked meals. They have busy families. They’re all majority of them are executives. The ones that aren’t executives are, They do go to the market, they buy the food and they continue on with their lives.

But to see Seattle in a state that it is, it’s just incredible to see how people shift. And the longer this happens and the more information that’s being released and the news media that’s sharing things, we’ve really seen people go from happy, go lucky to truly unsure where they’re at.

Schools & Restaurants Are Closed

So right now, as of standing, much like yours, our schools in our areas are closed down. They will be closed down until the end of April on this. And then on top of that, the quarantine in regards to event sizes.

Now, as of yesterday, restaurants are closed. Anywhere that sits to eat is closed. So you can actually, you know, if you wanted to do a fast food, the fast food drive ins are open, and that’s it. Certain grocery stores are only allowing up to 50 people at a time into the market. They come in, they get what they want, they leave and then they’ll allow another person in at this point.

It is one of those things. Our public libraries are closed here as well, too. And you know, I think with as things start closing in, King County is when people start to become more fearful. You know, before when it was, everything was still opening. School is still going in session and whatnot, people did not really stop and think that there was there was actually something occurring.

Panic is Setting In

As things are closing, more and more places are closing. And as the state is mandating these closures, people are starting to realize what’s going on. And now they’re like wondering, I’m not even going to bother addressing the hoarding situation. I’m not going to address the panic situation.

I am only going to say this is that fear does crazy things to people. People aren’t hoarding for the sake of I’m just going to hoard it, there are some that will hoard it and sell it online at a higher rate. And what not, the people who are fearful will do that, and that’s something that we have to just remember.

If they’re afraid, they’re going to hoard that’s what they do. You know, I don’t fault these people. I do fault the ones that hoard and resell, but I don’t fault the ones that are actually hoarding it.

I know some of you guys are probably going to just look at me with and not agree with what I’m saying. But in truth, in a mass hysteria that we have done three weeks prior to the rest of the country, it is something that I truly believe.

The Shelves Are Empty

Justin, I ran to the market just to grab a vegetable or something like that because, you know, we’re out of season. And when I walked by, he goes, Oh, why don’t grab another roll of toilet paper? I think we’re down to a couple of rolls. And I was like, OK. And I couldn’t find the toilet paper.

Justin goes, babe, I think it’s because of the COVID 19, I’m like, no way the store is remodeling, it’s probably because of that.

I went to ask the person I was like, Where is your toilet paper? He goes, We don’t have any. And I said, Oh, did the truck not come in? He’s like, No, we’re sold out. I go, How do you sell out toilet paper? And I’m like, Wait me in the store for being unprepared and whatnot.

And he goes, he goes, Yeah, it’s because people are panic buying at this point in time. So I was like, Oh, OK. And then, you know, there was like a couple of those really cheap ones that don’t even last very long. And I was like, OK, I’ll just grab that and we’ll just go about never got restocked of it again.

And then as I started to walk around the store, I realized, Oh my gosh, they’re out of everything, everything. And so that’s how it is. So emotions play a huge aspect into this. We all have someone that we worry about.

I have my parents who are elderly. I worry about them and they are in Florida and I’m in Washington. There’s no way that I can help them. Luckily, I have my sister that’s only 10 minutes from them, who has been really helping them out and keeping an eye on them. And then on top of that, you know, friends.

Friends who did not stop and think that this was something that was going to progress. I now see panic in their faces, and it just it’s devastating to me. It truly is devastating to me. They don’t homestead. They don’t live this life. So it really plays on my heartstrings.

I’m truly and I think that from looking in as someone who is prepared and organized. I’m going to say the word organized because, it takes organization to live our homesteading life successfully looking at individuals that aren’t, it truly pulls at your heartstrings. It truly, truly does.

How Homesteading Prepared Our Family

Luckily as homesteaders, you know, over the years, if I was just starting this journey, it would be a different story. This was year one of our journey and COVID 19 ran rampant across the world. This would not be a conversation we would be having because we wouldn’t be prepared.

We wouldn’t have a pantry full of home canned foods. We wouldn’t have a freezer full of meat. We we wouldn’t have supplies on hand and what we would normally have.

So I cannot address this for everyone, even year two, I think that I would say I would not be equipped for something like this. Year three, yes, we’re getting there in that moment in time.

My original podcast, my first one episode one talks about where we were in year one two three four five six and now seven. So if you haven’t listened to that one, go back and listen to it and it will show you where we’re at in that moment in time.

So now I can sit back and say, OK, I’m prepared. I can make do with everything that we need, truly everything we need. The fun stuff we could still make, we could still bake cakes. We could still do a lot of that stuff here at home.And I don’t really need the market for that.

I can make bread, we have potatoes, we have our cold storage is running really low. However, I do have some frozen veggies still left. Not a lot, but just enough, you know? And unfortunately, it’s happening right now where everybody’s storage is kind of like running down a little bit.

Pigs are first getting harvested right now, kind of things like that. So what are we at? We have enough flour on hand and things like that to continue to make bread, pasta, whatever we need to do. Desserts, even, you know, the sugar is here as well, too. These are things that preservers always have on hand. I always have that.

I always have a salt on hand with a pickling or the fermenting and whatnot. So what? What do we have for sure? Flour, sugar, salt always, always deep in black pepper peppercorns because I like to season my ferments with, you know, a nice whole peppercorn.

On top of that, what do we what do we don’t have? I don’t have dried milk, which is ridiculous. So Justin today is going to be picking up milk so I can dry some milk in our freeze dryer.

The other thing that I have on hand that is necessity would be enough wash to you know, to be able to wash our clothes, not a big deal, but that’s what we have.

On top of that feed, we have enough feed our poultry team completely free ranges, so we have enough feed to give them a little bit of a supplement and forces them then to fully free range to gather what they need the grass, the bugs, the grubs, everything that they need out there.

We do have enough on hand for our broiler birds. We have thirty five broiler birds sitting there right now. I have Delaware enhanced getting ready to come in from McMurray Hatchery, so we do need to maintain a feed source for them, which we have.

And then we also have the orchard grass for our goats and rabbit team. Those are things that we had to pick up additional as far as food goes, you know, the basic necessities were at. I don’t worry about it because of the fact that I always put up a little extra of something else just in case.

Justin works construction. Unemployment sometimes happens, and so I wanted to make sure that we were always, always there. There was a point in time when we lived in town before we started this journey that Justin was unemployed for six months and it was it was hard. It was hard for us.

We had seven children in the home and we were living basically off of unemployment. I decided I was doing the part time job in that moment. And so after unemployment and part time work, we were able to make do and get by.

But I didn’t want that situation to happen as a homesteader. So, just your basic necessities that you have, there’s going to be a blog coming out on my website here this week that’s going to tell you what your basic necessities to always have on hand.

Justin loves dried milk. I don’t understand it. He does. He loves dried milk, also likes dried potatoes. So to have those items on hand at all times is great. I do have dried milk, but only one box because sometimes if I want bread to be, you know, to be prepared and rising, sometimes I’ll put it in my bread machine and just bake it in the morning and I want to add milk to it. It’s there.

You know those things, so to check on my website and come back and you’ll see a full list of basic items that you need to have on hand at all times that you wouldn’t even think that you really need.

I can sit back and say that my family, if I made no trips to the market at all to to grab anything extra we can get by, the only thing that I wouldn’t have would be rice. And we are an Asian family. So I have gone to the market and we have grabbed enough rice that could get us through, but at least a month and a half. And so that’s that’s nice for us.

Everything else I didn’t really need, it was just basically the rice that I needed. I make my own coffee creamer, so I have enough stuff to make that. And so there wasn’t really, truly much on that list.

Keep Bulk Dried Goods


Now, if you were to run out right now prior to the shelves being empty, I would always tell you, always have flour on hand, go get a 10 gallon food grade container and fill it always. Put your flour in there and always have it and work off of that.

Don’t reserve yourself to buying a little bit of flour at a time. We do not mill our own flour. I have at this point said I am going to mill my own flour from this point forward.

I’m going to get the wheat berries and I’m just going to do it. It’s the skill that I’ve always wanted anyways, and there’s much more nutrition in that. So I’m going to do that. If you are not keeping a sourdough starter, get one.

I have a great connection for my friends. The Alderman’s Patty actually has a beautiful e-book that I’m going to be offering to you guys coming up here on how to work with your sourdough starter and some amazing, amazing recipes.

Her starter is beautiful. She dehydrates it herself and she just sells the starter so you do not have one get one. You can actually make your own starter if you wanted to. You can capture the wild yeast that’s out and about and make your own starter.

But if you want to support a small business, my friend the Alderman’s will actually have a starter for you, plus an amazing cookbook. And if you would rather have an e-book, she’s allowing us to sell her e-book at a very small amounts for this. So stay tuned. That’s coming up as well, too.


Flour is great to have on hand. Sugar is always great to have on hand. You do not want to go into preserving season for the first part of the year and possibly not have anything because you do realize that if the trade overseas should stop for an extended period of time, we may not get restocked on a lot of items so always have a 10 gallon container of sugar.

We’re going into preserving season. You should have it anyways on hand. If you can get honey, I’m going to tell you honey, grab your honey. Your local honey and keep a couple of gallons of it on hand. It doesn’t go bad, even if it crystallizes it can be placed next to the wood stove to slowly lose that crystallization and then go back into its true raw form.

Powdered Milk

The other thing I would suggest is always keep powdered milk on hand. Always, always, always, always. You’re going to need it at some point in time. It’s it’s one of those things that you’re going to want. I’m trying to think of what I have that I needed to have.

The flour and the sugar was the most important for us. You know, we raise our own meat. So that was always in the freezer, you know, just your basic perishables. I mean, something as simple as shampoo. If you wanted shampoo at that point in time, have a couple of bottles on hand for the couple of months that would lapse, you know, things like that. Again, a full blog is coming, so I just wanted to touch base on that.

Share Your Knowledge With Others

The last part of this video? What have we learned? All right.

That’s it. That’s what I have a completely unscripted. I just needed to just talk to somebody kind of podcast, and that’s what I did.

I hope the one thing that you did get out of this podcast was the last bit of it of just utilize the platform that you have available, your Instagram account, your Facebook, your Twitter, whatever it is to continue to teach people and to soothe them in it.

The most people that are going to get impacted by what we do in the everyday lifestyle that we live are the ones that are going to be on your Facebook page, especially the ones that do not live the life that we live. Remember that.

I can’t give you tips and tricks on how to grow a platform or how to create a brand. I’m working on that every single day, but what I can tell you is how to impact the people that are on your private pages. And that is something as simple as, like I said, sharing a recipe. Doing what you need to do and giving tips and tricks on something like that.

And by all means, give grace to the ones who are afraid, give grace to them and just know that this is not something that they intended. They are unprepared for it. And when people are unprepared, they are scared. So just give some simple grace.

Use the hashtag #teachdontpreach, because believe it or not, it is growing. And what you can do with something like that is to just continue to share.

You know, I will never share pictures of my chickens on my private page, but I will, from this point, move forward with sharing recipes, tips, tricks on how to get things done. And I encourage you to do the same thing.

Give a recipe for homemade bread. Give a recipe for homemade bagels. Give a recipe for homemade jam. Whatever it is. You know, how are you going to cure your corned beef? How simple it is to do something like that if you need that recipe? It’s on my website.

You know, things like that. It’s time to use our lifestyle to benefit and help others, and you don’t have to have a platform for it. You don’t.

So that’s it, you guys. That’s all I have today. I’m so glad I was able to just get this off my chest. I tried to be as scripted as possible and obviously I strayed from it. oin me back on Friday for our regular scheduled podcast. And until then, you know, just keep grace with everything that you have and try your best to just be patient with the ones that are not as prepared or are not as equipped for a situation like this. And I’ll talk to you guys on Friday. Have a great week.

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