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Covid Is Turning Us All Into Hipsteaders

Driven by frugality, product shortages and lots of time at home, millions are embracing raising chickens, beekeeping and more.

From top left clockwise: Tynika-Ann Carter, 24, turned an old trailer into a chicken coop. Chase Beathard, 34, grows vegetables and raises pigs to avoid rising meat prices. Piglets at Beathard’s home in Shelton, Washington. Abdel Elshiekh, 31, said a lack of supplies drove him to make his own plant fertilizer and moss poles. 

From top left clockwise: Tynika-Ann Carter, 24, turned an old trailer into a chicken coop. Chase Beathard, 34, grows vegetables and raises pigs to avoid rising meat prices. Piglets at Beathard’s home in Shelton, Washington. Abdel Elshiekh, 31, said a lack of supplies drove him to make his own plant fertilizer and moss poles. 

Source: Tynika-Ann Carter, Chase Beathard, Abdel Elshiekh

When Covid-19 arrived this winter, Chase Beathard worried so much about meat shortages that he took advantage of a Craigslist ad offering a free boar. Now the 34-year-old breeds pigs.

Producing pork, from his home in Shelton, Washington, places Beathard in a cohort who plunged into do-it-yourselfism while hunkering down during the pandemic. They are gobbling up content, like a YouTube series on growing food from Homesteaders of America that had a 10-fold jump in subscribers in 48 hours. Meanwhile, sales more than doubled at Etsy, an online market for handmade goods. Revenue gains at DIY giants Home Depot and Lowe’s are the highest in nearly two decades. And if you’re looking for a pressure canner, chickens or mason jars, good luck; they’re often sold out.