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About Couch to Homestead

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Started at the height of the pandemic, Couch to Homestead helps people go from the couch to the homestead. It’s really that simple. Focused on livestock, food forests, and self-sufficiency, we help you grow your own food and become more secure.


Story

Food Shortages, Supply Rations, and Endless Lockdowns

In March 2020, my girlfriend and I were in San Francisco celebrating her birthday. We walked along the street, stopping in lively boutique shops and local restaurants. Towards the end of the night, we picked up some bougie chocolate bars and hot chocolate. We had a good time and walked back to where we were staying before going to sleep.

The next day, panic spread.

We walked along the exact same street, just as we did the night before. Only this time, it was dead. All of the shops were closed, boarded up, and deserted. Inside, items and chairs were scattered as if the stores closed in a scramble. Outside, there was no one, and no cars were on the road. It truly looked like an apocalypse occurred overnight.

So, we decided to drive back down to Los Angeles early, not knowing just how widespread this was.

After an hour or two, we stopped for some snacks at a grocery store. When we walked in, we found checkout lines 50 people deep and sold out meats, produce, toiletries, and more. I’m not kidding—the lines went past the end of the freezer isles, and more than 90% of their food was gone in less than 24 hours! Fresh, dry, canned, all of it. The shelves were almost entirely bare.

We thought maybe just that one store was busy, so we tried others. But we saw the same thing.

grocery store in California sold out
What most grocery stores looked like in our area – Photo Credit: LA Times

Empty streets and barren grocery stores continued all the way down the California coast. We arrived back in LA and decided to wait out the pandemic at my parent’s house in Ventura.

While staying there, we continued to watch as food storages, supply rations, and lockdowns became the norm. Riots also began at our local shopping centers.

At this point, two thoughts became cemented in my mind:

  1. We’re too far removed from our food sources (in many ways)
  2. Cities aren’t a safe place to be when SHTF

I was so reliant on grocery stores to provide me with food that I had NO idea what I would do if their supplies continued to run out. On top of this, many cities (including my own) were experiencing instabilities that I was not at all comfortable with.

I had to draw a line.

Discovering Homesteading

That April, we sat down to watch TV and scrolled through a list of movies. We decided on a docu-film called The Biggest Little Farm. As with most documentaries, I was skeptical. But by the end, I was watching with starry eyes.

It amazed me that challenges like snails overrunning and eating your orchard could be solved with simple, nature-based solutions like running your ducks through the orchard to then eat the snails. The result? The snails are gone, the ducks are fed, and their manure fertilizes the soil. The pest becomes the solution!

While it was more of a farm (growing for profit) and not a homestead (growing for the household), seeing John and Molly’s experience from their eyes gave me the spark to dig deeper and look into homesteading and permaculture.

What I found changed the course of my life.

The pandemic primed me for a different way of thinking. The Biggest Little Farm put it all into motion.

Starting Couch to Homestead

So, in April 2020, I started a homesteading blog and named it Couch to Homestead. I made it my goal to learn all I could about homesteading and help others go from the couch to the homestead as well.

Then, I found an amazing blogging course called Project 24. Through their course, Jim and Ricky taught me everything I needed to know to “make it” as a blogger. It’s designed to get you to a full-time income in 24 months, and it worked wonders for me (I hit full-time after 18 months).

To help people go from the couch to the homestead.

The Couch to Homestead Mission

Many people I spoke to thought the lockdown and pandemic would be over within a month. They said the same thing when April came. Then May. June. July. August, and so on.

What did I think?

I thought there was little chance it’d be over soon. And even if it did end—what’s stopping it from happening again?

So, after three months of staying with my parents, my girlfriend and I moved to Texas for a change of lifestyle. Because she’s originally from Mississippi, and I’m from Florida, we quickly readjusted to the south’s climate and culture.

From mid-2020 to today, I’ve been research-writing for this site, getting involved in the homesteading community, and studying Permaculture Design at Oregon State University. I’ve also been consulting—helping others harness the many benefits of permaculture.

To plant now and grow tomorrow.

Read more about Tyler