On Friday and Saturday—October 8th and 9th—over 5,000 homesteaders came together in unity to learn about homesteading, farming, self-sufficiency, growing their own food, taking control of their health, and living a simple life. But more importantly, they came together to say “we are here, we are free, and we are standing”.
A few weeks go, I posted a challenge to all homesteaders throughout the country and beyond. It simply stated that you are welcome at our events no matter what your beliefs are. Whether you are vaccinated or not. Whether you wear a mask or not. Whether you are a different race, religious belief, and all of the diverse things we are allowed to be in our country. You are welcome at our events….even if we have different beliefs than you. And even if we don’t. There is no judgement here, and there should be no judgement here.
It also challenged homesteaders and people living this lifestyle to take full control of their lives. Create your own community cells for when things really do hit the fan. Get to know your community around you, and beyond you. Set up communities that are dependent on no system except for the one you’ve created. This is how America used to be, and how it should still be. If it were, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
This post created a few rifts and waves, but for the most part, all agreed. And that was proven by the massive amount of ticket holders that decided to actually show up this past week for the fifth annual Homesteaders of America conference in Virginia, just outside of our nation’s capital.
For the last four out of five years, we’ve hosted the annual Homesteaders of America (HOA) conference at the fairgrounds in Front Royal, VA. We knew it would grow, but we didn’t realize just how quickly it would grow. And so, on Friday morning, when almost every single ticket holder showed up at the same time, we were unprepared, to say the least. We can always expect about 25% of our ticket holders to not show up for the event, so we decided to add more tickets this year. Little did we know, almost ALL of you would show up….all at the same time.
Traffic was backed up all the way to the major interstates. It took over an hour for tractor-trailer drivers to get to and from the interstate. The sheriff’s department showed up (and they were extremely forgiving and understanding). The ticket line was literally out into the road—people standing and waiting.
But something amazing happened—people talked.
Homesteaders got to meet other homesteaders that they wouldn’t have otherwise met. Camaraderie began to grow and spread. And suddenly, homesteaders were here for a greater purpose—they were here in support of freedom, and these were their fellow freedom fighters. They were actively meeting the people “in their corner”….even if they had different beliefs. We all had “freedom” in common.
We pushed through the issues of the first morning—ticket back up, potty shortage, and crazy parking. We opened each day with the national anthem and a prayer. Have you ever heard over 5,000 homesteaders singing the national anthem? If not, you really missed out—it was glorious.
Attendees went about their day listening to multiple lectures, hanging out with new and old friends, and trying to decide whether the potty line or the food line was more important. Some decided to divide and conquer. Eventually we added more potties the first day, and the crowd roared.
There was something else that happened at the 2021 HOA Virginia event that couldn’t have been planned, though. The feeling of hope in the air. The atmosphere literally vibrated with energy….and mostly….hope. I cannot tell you how many people came up to me to express their gratitude for the event. But more importantly, their gratitude of the feeling of hope they’ve been given. Hundreds, if not thousands of homesteaders at the event have lost, or will be losing, their jobs due to tyrannical mandates. They came to learn more so that they could do more, because at the end of the day, homesteading will now be their true and only way to survive.
Have you ever considered how you would survive if you couldn’t work due to current laws? It may be something you want to start thinking about, even if you’re self-employed. These people are now living in this reality, but so many more of us could be living it before we know it.
With increasing food shortages, product line shortages, and more, this year’s event wasn’t just about coming together as a community to learn and have fun. It was about coming together as a community in order to survive, and help others in the process.
We are Americans. We are the new “system”. We the people are the authority….and it’s time to remind our fellow Americans that we absolutely can survive this. We can create new systems. We can create new communities. We can create new job opportunities. We can grow our own food and share it with our communities. We can do this.
Not only were thousands of adults at the event, but the next generation of homesteaders also attended. Over 1,500 children attended the 2021 HOA VA event. Kidsteader classes were packed to the max. Kids played hard and enjoyed each other’s company. They made penpals and real pals.
One of our greatest joys is being able to inspire and cultivate the growth of the next generation of homesteaders. Thank you for bringing your kids and allowing them to see what this movement is all about. Thank you for encouraging them to be better and do better. They will absolutely change the world.
Thank you. Thank you to our speakers for inspiring, encouraging, and supporting all of our attendees and this community. Thank you to our sponsors for financially supporting this movement so that events like this can happen. Thank you to our vendors for bringing amazing products to share, and to help others learn. Thank you to our volunteers for working your tails off, long after your shifts were over. Thank you to the HOA team leaders and contractors who have worked endlessly, far beyond the week of conference, to make this event (and others) possible. You are all the true heroes of the day. You are all worthy of recognition. None of this could’ve happened without every single one of you—and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Thank you to the attendees who were kind, generous, loving, and vigilant. Thank you for being welcoming to all, and sharing this homesteading life with others.
Thank you to the families of the people who make these events happen—your sacrifice of time is very well seen and appreciated. I hope you know that you are part of one of the most influential and purposeful movements of this century. You are a world changer, and so is your family.
Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing—I hope you know you’re making a difference in this world just by living this homesteading lifestyle. When you share your knowledge on how to grow tomatoes. When you post an instagram post about harvesting goldenrod for respiratory issues. When you teach others how to preserve the harvest. And even when you don’t know any of those things, but you aren’t afraid to ask how.
Your courage and bravery inspire others to be courageous and brave. Keep being brave, even in the face of adversity and chaos. Keep moving forward, even when they tell you “you can’t”. Keep seeking truth, and speaking truth, because the truth is what sets us free.
To everyone who came, who wished they could come, and who watched online—may you know just how incredible you are for just being who you are. And may you realize just how important this movement is, and how liberating it will be to those who need it in the future.
Love, peace, and homestead blessings to all of you.
Stay tuned for announcements on upcoming 2022 HOA events in Tennessee and Virginia!
See more posts on Instagram and FB by searching #homesteadersofamerica .
Be sure to look for the OFFICIAL HOA Recap videos coming soon on our Youtube Channel!
Founder of Homesteaders of America. Author, blogger, podcaster, YouTube, and entrepreneur over at The Fewell Homestead — www.thefewellhomestead.com