The coronavirus pandemic has altered almost all aspects of daily life, but not all changes have been for the worst with some set to stay into the future.
Genelle Jessup has been living and working in Sydney but when COVID-19 forced Australia into lockdown, she was able to work remotely from her home on the New South Wales south coast.
As a result of the pandemic, Ms Jessup says she’s made major changes towards becoming more sustainable and self-sufficient.
“When COVID-19 hit I was able to work remotely but up until then, there was really nothing about my house that was particularly sustainable,” she said.
“But within about two or three weeks I’d put solar panels on my roof and I started a vegetable garden … now I’ve got about two or three large gardens and then I got chooks.”
She said the changes have had a huge impact on her wellbeing and has set her on a path to realising the importance of self-sufficiency.
“It’s really changed me and not just from a temporary perspective, I actually really do believe we all need to know how to grow our own food,” she said.
“I really did become sustainable in that period of time and it’s to the extent that I am now considering trying to find myself a larger block of land so I can have more chooks and a larger garden.
“One you delve into it, it’s actually a really enjoyable and lovely thing to do. I feel totally at peace just being at home because I don’t feel I have to go out to keep myself entertained because there’s so much to do at home.”
According to recent sales statistics from major garden retailer, Flowerpower, Ms Jessup isn’t the only one taking steps to change their way of life.
Flowerpower says coronavirus has seen a significant spike in the numbers of people shopping for their gardens.
“We’ve experienced significant demand for vegies seedlings and seeds in particular, but all edibles have increased including herbs, citrus and berries,” a Flowerpower spokesperson told nine.com.au.
“People are interested in growing their own as a precautionary measure – so they have a ready supply of fresh vegies, herbs and fruit heading into winter. I think people want to minimise visits to supermarkets or shopping centres, and growing their own is one way they can achieve that.
“They also have more time to spend a home and it’s something families can do together. Besides having a supply of fresh produce, gardening has many physical and mental health benefits.”