What does Country Living have to do with the Coronavirus (or any infectious disease)
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Pandemics, Country living, Coronaviruses?
It’s Sabbath afternoon. Our family stayed home from church, attended an online service, and spent the day quietly.
We kept in touch with family and friends via phone and text, and actually communicated more than our usual.
I’m sitting at the top of our ridge, looking down at our homestead—our temporary home in the camper, and our future home, still in construction. I see our three boys trotting down the hill at the bottom, carefree and boyish, even though they’re all teens now.
The breeze tosses about leaves all around me, and I watch the small trees sway slightly. I feel content.
Here, I have no fear of any virus invading. Not while we are outdoors, walking and enjoying each other’s’ company. The rocks and trees will not infect us. We can be free.
When we go into town, it’s another story.
Here in upper East Tennessee, and in all of the state, we are now under mandatory Shelter-At Home orders. This is serious, but we are not frightened. We must act wisely, to protect the health of our own family members, work contacts, and the general public, who may or may not follow the counsel. We must do what is right.
We go into town now less frequently. Groceries. Check on older family members, laundry while there, and, for me and my husband, work. I still have my nursing duties, thankfully in a private home, not the hospital. My husband still may work, as he is alone, and providing a valuable service. We are grateful for the work in these uncertain times.
Mostly, lately, I am grateful for our little shelter away from the city…our ridge haven. Our property, though still rough, does feel like a haven, and we mean to do all possible to make it a more productive place this season.
This got me thinking. Of all of the places I’d rather be during a global pandemic, a country property removed from the congestion of the city is certainly at the top of my list! We may not have much, but we do have pure air, tall trees all around, and room to roam!
Maybe it’s time for you to consider Country Living, or Homesteading.
Here are a few reasons our family came up with why we’d rather live in the country than a city. In the country we can more easily have:
- Fresh air
- Natural resources–wood to burn, pure water, rocks for building
- Space to grow our own garden
- Animals, if we choose
- Alternate power–Solar, Wind, Generator
- Fruit Trees and small fruit bushes
- Hard work
- Peace and quiet!
- Connection with Nature
- Connection with our Maker
You may not see every item in my list as a blessing, but let me assure you—even in the hard work that naturally comes with a homestead, or country living environment, you can find a benefit.
In general, air quality in the country is better than in an urban area. Naturally, you will have to take into account air pollution caused by farmers spraying pesticides, and whatever surrounding influences you may have in your particular environment.
But…as for now, in our current climate, air quality, in terms of viral loads with the Covid-19 virus, will be much more favorable outside of any city. The larger the city, the more danger you will have if becoming infected. So…spread out and settle down where you can enjoy the pure, fresh air!
In a country living environment, while you may not have everything at your disposal, if you choose properly, you can have many advantages that you may not enjoy in the city.
If you have trees in your property, you will have wood to burn. What a wonderful feeling to know you can provide heat in the winter from the wood on your own homestead!
Even if you’re not building a house, lumber is useful for raised garden beds, fences, and much more around your property!
Wood can also serve other purposes—building materials! We have constructed our home (still in progress) from the trees my husband has cut and milled.
Stone and rocks. Sometimes you wish you could just get rid of these nuisances in your yard or garden. But, if you’re creative, you can do so much with rock!
Walls, fences, edging, stepping stones, fire pits, ovens…the list goes on and on of items you can make from stone.
If you’ve got it, use it! Think of rocks and wood as free gifts!
Space to Grow our Own Food
This was top on my husband’s list. And it ranks high on mine too. With our boys growing food all winter in the greenhouse, we really got spoiled. Anything you can grow yourself is as good as gold!
But even if you aren’t in a rural setting, you can grow many different vegetables and small fruits right in your own backyard! Even if all you have is a few pots in a back patio—grow what you can!
A few vegetables you can grow in pots:
- Green beans
In fact—if you Get Earth Box type planters, you can pretty much grow anything—my parents even grow corn in theirs!
Animals, if we choose
While we are a plant-based homestead, there are many reasons to raise chickens, goats, and sheep, among other farm animals. We don’t eat meat, but if we did, we’d want to grow our own. Occasionally my husband will get eggs from a neighbor who raised her own. It just makes sense to raise your own if you have the room and ability. You will then know what they’re being fed and how they’re raised. I’d actually enjoy goats just for fun, but I hear hat they have their share of challenges, so for now, we will stick to growing veggies.
But bees…everyone can have a couple of beehives, to harvest your own honey! Yum!
Alternate Power—Solar, Wind, Generator
This is self explanatory, really. The more detached we are from the power grid, then more independence we have. Going off-grid will entail more work and possibly more expenses, though. It’s not easy, but I believe it will be worth it. So far, we just have generator power, so we are still tied to buying gas or propane. It’s not cheaper at this point. We hope to get some solar in soon, but even now, when the power goes down, we don’t know about it, because we aren’t tied to the grid.
Fruit Trees and Small Fruit bushes
Start your own little orchard! Plant some berry bushes! Grow your own edible landscape! You can do this, and enjoy the sweet rewards for years to come! It’s very rewarding to grow your own fruit! Our personal favorites are blueberries!
Pretty much everything written so far leads to a life with more independence in the country or homestead than in town. And independence makes us stronger.
Yes, this is a blessing!
Peace and Quiet
The silence out in the country can sometimes even be felt.
To look up at the starry heavens, with the only sounds to interrupt your thoughts coming from swaying trees and chirping birds—this is a treasure!
You can think so much more clearly while out in a natural setting.
Connection with Nature
This really goes with the natural setting and the peace and quiet. Nature has so many lessons, practically and spiritually.
Connection with our Maker
Probably the easiest place to sense God’s presence is out in Nature. In the woods, on a hill, in the garden, or beside a lake or stream. When you see the wonders that His hands have made, you naturally are drawn closer to Him, in heart, soul and mind.
If you ever feel distant from God, why not try spending more time outdoors? This is a natural byproduct of country living.
Country Living and the Coronavirus
While not every suggestion I’ve mentioned directly relates to the coronavirus, I do believe that living in this time of history, we would do well to consider where we are living, and why.
Living in the city has many advantages, but more and more, the benefits of living in the country become more important to notice.
A few resources had we have found very helpful are listed below.
Sustainable Preparedness website
I hope you stay well!
Blessings on your journey!