Modern American homesteaders have always been on the butt end of ridicule and jokes and that’s not likely to change soon. In a society that doesn’t collectively remember times of shortage or want, it’s to be expected. After all, as the naysayer so cleverly points out, why would you do that when you can drive to the store and grab a gallon of milk and pound of tomatoes from the shelf?
They wouldn’t understand.
But after the events of the past three years, the world is feeling their vulnerability at the hands of the Experts™ they’ve trusted. Not only do they trust them to dispense medicine but even the basic necessities, food, and goods. Now that those Experts™ have failed, homesteading is starting to look a little less crazy. Our resiliency in the face of their dependency is a raw, open, and festering wound. The future is, undeniably, more uncertain than ever. Our culture is crumbling like sandstone. And the fear of uncertainty is unnerving.
Homesteaders can no longer be attacked on the point of our “stupidity" for not trusting the supply chains to run and the Experts™ to tell us what constitutes healthful food. After all, we’re the ones with the problem of so many eggs in our basket we don’t know what to do with them instead of inflated prices and empty shelves.
So the conversation is shifting to attack our way of life.
The attacks aren’t that we don’t want our children to be glysophate-soaked lab rats, that we want them to learn valuable and meaningful skills, how to labor with their hands, to foster family-centered connectedness and unplug from the system, machine, hive mind, to be connected with our food… it’s that we want to “run away” to the “middle of nowhere” in cowardly “defeat.” We’re lying about how much our food costs us to raise, we’re fakes, frauds, fanatics, fantasizing, LARPing, lying. We can’t really support ourselves without outside income (was this a goal?) We spend all day on the internet, not really doing anything. On the flip side, we don’t have enough land or enough equipment to really be really real farmers. It’s coming at us from all sides, big ag farmers and soft-handed urban dwellers alike.
Take heart young homesteader, the proof is in the pudding as they say and you’ve got the eggs to prove it.
We will increasingly experience a massive cope as folks watch us experience no lack while we daily exchange our labor for a consistent supply of nourishing food for our family, while, at the same time, knowing joy over the fruit of our hands while being surrounded by the beauty and wonder of Creation and the falling away of our fear as we learn to depend on God to provide our needs.
A piece1 I recently read illustrates this perfectly. Entitled, Homesteading: How to Become a Powerless Peasant, it stands out for the strenuous mental effort to justify not picking up a hoe and feeling the productive, repetitive contraction of muscles and beading of sweat on the brow. The author, who clearly has no experience with the visceral wonder and beauty of growing food, is rationalizing her disconnect from her food sources and goes on to explain that homesteading is a “prison” and those who work the land “spiritual peasants.”