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The Nourishing Homestead: One Back-to-the-Land Family's Plan for Cultivating Soil, Skills, and Spirit

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  185 ratings  ·  23 reviews
The Nourishing Homestead tells the story of how we can create truly satisfying, permanent, nourished relationships to the land, nature, and one another....Ben and Penny (and their two sons) maintain copious gardens, dozens of fruit and nut trees and other perennial plantings, as well as a pick-your-own blueberry patch. In addition to these cultivated food crops, they also ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published January 23rd 2015 by Chelsea Green Publishing
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May 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
With every book by Ben Hewitt I read I love him even more! In The Nourishing Homestead Hewitt goes into great detail about his family's 40 acre "practiculture" homestead - what they grow and raise, how and when the built the various structures, tips on raising livestock, how they involve their children, and much, much more. While some of the information is more obviously geared toward someone trying to build their own homestead, much of it could be applied to anyone who's interested in more ...more
Oct 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book, and it set me on fire for the homesteading lifestyle. Some parts were quite vague (although the author was quite diligent in saying so, and would in turn give reference for other more in-depth books on the subject), while other parts were too specific to his own homestead (although once again, I felt that that was the point of the book). I got quite a few pieces of sound advice for my homesteading journal. I also very much agreed with a lot of reasons on why a person ...more
Nick Neaton
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
To be fair, I skimmed about half of this, but it's all there. It's a wonderful book, full of inspiration for growing, building, raising children, spending money (or not). I love Ben Hewitt.
Katie Kenig
Oct 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
As most of ya'll know by now, it's one of our dreams, my husband and I, to move onto a little piece of land so I can have a big garden and he can grow grapes and make wine, and I can have a cow and some goats, and he can make cheese, and we can live like Green Acres every day.

Because we are getting closer to realizing that dream - we are hoping to move next summer - I've been reading up a bit on homesteading in general, as well as in specific areas we are interested in. This was one of those
Aug 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received this book as a gift for donating to Farm-To-Consumer-Legal-Defense-Fund, and won the lottery, so to speak. This book rates 10 stars. I'm a backyard gardener and an avid reader of Mother Earth News, WAPFs Wise Traditions Quarterly, Joel Salatin, etal, and find this book to be the best of the many good books on the subject of homesteading. And, as an added bonus, the author's writing style, his "voice", is a pleasure to read.

The author tells how he and his family have achieved success -
Eric Moote
May 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Teri Moote, people interested in homesteading, farming, etc.
Recommended to Eric by: Library
Overall: I kinda wanted something more practical, but the story-telling method of this family's homestead experience grows on you after a while.

I picked this book up because it looks like one of my nephews on the cover dipping his face into a bucket full of blueberries. That and my family's desire to move to a homestead. It was on a whim for sure.

I was looking for a straight forward Do This, Don't Do This kind of book, but that is not this book. Ben's story re-telling of the Hewitt's family
Aug 27, 2015 rated it liked it
This was..... meh. A decent overview, but not a particularly new or different way of presenting it. I finished it, but not with vim and vigor.
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: functional
A little too family specific to be an actual guide, even though it's written by one. I still picked up some knowledge and enjoyed hearing about their family's long term plans for living off the land.
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this book cover to cover! I only wish there were more pictures :)
April Rogers
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nature, gardening, farm
Incredibly informative! This is one I want to own so I can make notes in it and use some of his knowledge in my own back yard gardens.
Apr 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Another thoughtful, informative, well written book by Ben Hewitt. He explains much of his thought process and philosophy in choosing to live as a Homesteader and many how to begin doing it tips for those who want to follow his life choice.

An example of the philosophy is the following, which always arouses firm agreement in those I pass along his wisdom.

"The manner in which you spend your time is, in fact, the manner in which you spend your life. Time is not money; it is life.

The notion that
Shannon Hayes
Nov 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
From one of my favorite writers comes yet another stunning book. Ben Hewitt, this time in partnership with his wife, Penny, has put together a complete guide to homesteading in the 21st century, detailing their own journey from living in a tent to the first studs of their future walls, to detailed information about soil health and animal husbandry, and outlines of what their days are like, right down to what theyre eating for breakfast, lunch and supper. The photos in the book alone are worth ...more
Lauren Csaki
Aug 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Rome wasn't built in a day. And neither was Ben Hewitt's homestead. He is careful to point out many times that no one can expect to read this book and set up a similar operation overnight. It will take time. But that's the beauty of the book: it's both an inspiring memoir and example of how a successful homestead could be run, as well as a primer on how-to-homestead that can be referenced again and again as you expand to each new project. The how-to aspects of the book are more like jumping off ...more
Dec 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
p. 77
"The food and drug industries, aided and abetted by governmental agencies funded by our tax dollars, have entered into a symbiotic and highly profitable relationship. One industry feeds us the garbage that makes us sick, while the other stuffs us with the pills that keep us alive so we can keep eating the garbage that's making us sick, therefore necessitating the pills that allow us to live. Meanwhile, the governmental agencies that regulate these industries continually enact regulation
Nov 25, 2016 rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this book... On a whole, I enjoyed it very much. The passion of the author is palpable : from his lifestyle philosophies to his choice of chainsaws. But at the same time, I found a lot of his commentaries more depressing than inspiring. His facts about the state of commercial foods are backed by very few solutions besides doing like he does and choosing a life on the farm. I wish there would have been more about what he thinks people (like me) without acres of land ...more
Sylvia Walker
Feb 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Lovely book about homesteading as a lifestyle choice, part idea book, part memoir. The author describes their style of farming as "practiculture", taking the most useful and true aspects of permaculture, organic farming,, and combining them, with a huge emphasis on healthy, mineralized soil. A family's relationships to money, debt, status and stuff is explored; the freedom of choice that comes from a low- to- no debt family economy is emphasized. While I wouldn't make all of their ...more
Feb 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this. The pictures are beautiful. The book covers a lot, and in a really accessible way. I think textbook style homestead books have their place, but I'm the type who would rather find someone to show me how to do something, even if I have to pay, than read about it in a book. So this book is very candid, and covers a lot of detail, but it's not boring or hard to understand. I love the recipes dispersed throughout the book, I love the medicinal plants he talks about and ...more
Some of this book made me feel inadequate (soil conservation!) but other parts made me think I'm doing okay. Part of me would like to throw in the towel of this work life, but I also think I'm probably doing good in the

Well written and organized. I wish there were more captions. It's not a how-to book, but one that helped me think philosophically about our level of consumption and the life I'd like to lead, and the one which I'm trying to build the foundation for now.
Apr 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book for those of us who wish we were brave enough to homestead. I loved Be's book, "Home Grown" and this one is right up there with it. There are lots of practical ideas for living with the land. Ben also graces us with lots of peeks into his family's unconventional life.
Jun 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great Book, tons to absorb. Likely read it a few more times and see what I can put into practice in my urban yard from these rural homesteaders.
Alisa Kester
Yes. Just read this. He has a few things wrong (I disagree completely with his views on wheat, for instance) but the majority is so, so right.
Aug 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
What does it say about me that I read this book from cover to cover and I live in the city?
Feb 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Inspiring in many different ways.
Appreciated the authors voice in his writing.
Nadine Wahl
rated it it was amazing
Mar 28, 2017
Talitha McHatten
rated it it was amazing
Dec 01, 2016
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Jul 19, 2018
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Oct 04, 2015
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Dec 29, 2015
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Jun 03, 2015
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Ben Hewitt writes and farms in Northern Vermont. His work has appeared in numerous national periodicals, including the New York Times Magazine, Wired, Gourmet, Discover, Skiing, Eating Well, Powder, Men's Journal, National Geographic Adventure, Outside, Bicycling, and many others. He lives with his wife and two sons in a self-built home that is powered by a windmill and solar photovoltaic panels. ...more

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