ESCONDIDO — An Escondido business launched a variety of homesteading classes in April to cater to a growing response as people worldwide are in lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Heather Thelen, the owner of Hawthorne Country Store, said her employees, along with local experts, will be teaching a series of classes online.
“We have had so many inquiries about gardening, baking, preserving, chickens, goats, beef and milking cows,” Thelen said. “We have been happy to see the trend go this way.”
For Thelen, the art of homesteading was instilled in her at an early age.
“I grew up with an organic garden, preserving a large portion of our food,” Thelen said. “My mom is ‘Suzy Homemaker.’ We have been working with animals and specifically livestock my whole life and professionally for 22 years.”
Thelen said she’s excited to see a growing interest in homesteading. More and more Americans are choosing to learn to make their own food at home as certain groceries have become difficult to find, according to a San Diego Union-Tribune article published April 11.
Thelen said the report proves to be true among the people who have called upon her store for advice.
“Folks are seeing that food availability is not guaranteed,” Thelen said. “Some folks have always wanted to raise some of their own food but lacked time. Time, concern, interest and education (looking for ways to teach kids while at home) lends to farming and homesteading easily.”
“We are launching videos like: How to raise chicks, Chicken 101, Cheese-Making, Canning, etc.,” Thelen said. “We will continue to work on subjects based on our customer feedback.”
The video series will be free, while live online classes will be $10.
“They can expect solid basic practices colored with our own personal experiences and those of our customers,” said Thelen, who noted a relative has contracted the COVID-19 disease. “We are really happy that this tragedy has the benefit of bringing people back to the skills that we hold so dear.”