Chelsea Green Publishing

The Nourishing Homestead

Pages:352 pages
Size: 7 x 10 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Paperback: 9781603585514
Pub. Date January 23, 2015

The Nourishing Homestead

One Back-to-the-Land Family’s Plan for Cultivating Soil, Skills, and Spirit

Availability: In Stock

Paperback

Available Date:
January 23, 2015

$29.95

A practiculture way to grow nutrient-dense food, produce healthy fats, and live the good life

The Nourishing Homestead tells the story of how we can create truly satisfying, permanent, nourished relationships to the land, nature, and one another.

The Hewitts offer practical ways to grow nutrient-dense food on a small plot of land, and think about your farm, homestead, or home as an ecosystem. Much of what the Hewitts have come to understand and embrace about their lives of deep nourishment is informed by their particular piece of land and local community in northern Vermont, but what they have gleaned is readily transferable to any place—whether you live on 4 acres, 40 acres, or in a 400-square-foot studio apartment.

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 forage for wild edibles, process their own meat, make their own butter, and ferment, dry, and can their own vegetables. Their focus is to produce nutrient-dense foods from vibrant, mineralized soils for themselves and their immediate community. They are also committed to sharing the traditional skills that support their family, helping them be self-sufficient and thrive in these uncertain times.

Much of what the Hewitts are attempting on their homestead is to close the gaps that economic separation has created in our health, spirit, and skills. Ben uses the term “practiculture” to describe his family’s work with the land—a term that encompasses the many practical life skills and philosophies they embody to create a thriving homestead, including raw-milk production, soil remediation, wildcrafting, Weston A. Price principles, bionutrient-dense farming, permaculture, agroforestry, traditional Vermont hill farming, and more. The Nourishing Homestead also includes information on deep nutrition, the importance of good fats, and integrating children into the work of a homestead.

The Hewitts’ story is reminiscent of The Good Life, by Helen and Scott Nearing, and is sure to inspire a new generation of homesteaders, or anyone seeking a simpler way of life and a deeper connection to the world.

REVIEWS AND PRAISE

Library Journal-

"Ben and Penny Hewitt have resided on a 40-acre farm in Cabot, VT, for more than 15 years and are motivated by a desire to live their lives aligned with nature and provide most of their own food, creating from the ground up a sustainable and traditional homestead. The Hewitts chronicle the development of their sanctuary in this informative title, from the initial design of their hand-built house and revitalizing the soil for crops to foraging for wild edibles, processing their own meat, and preserving produce. The belief in nourishment in all aspects—Ben calls it 'practiculture'—of their lives, including dealing with modern-day ‘stuff' and raising children (two sons), creates a running thread throughout the book. Photographs and recipes all support this personal reference to dwelling closer to the land. VERDICT While it is information-dense, a conversational tone and practical tips make this text a terrific resource for homesteaders at all levels.”

Publishers Weekly-

"This book is both the story of their bucolic life and an introductory guide to homesteading skills they’ve gleaned along the way. A comparison to Scott and Helen Nearing’s Living the Good Life is inevitable, and the books are strikingly similar in their combination of personal narrative, practical advice from house-building to soil-building, and sermon-y philosophizing on the ills of contemporary mainstream culture. Unlike the Nearings, the Hewitts benefit from 21st-century developments like permaculture, rotational grazing, and nutrient-dense farming, and they incorporate livestock as an essential and beloved element of their farmstead—almost a third of the book is devoted to animal husbandry. Best of all, adorable photos of the Hewitts’ two young sons lounging on cows, curing hides, and harvesting garlic leaven the earnest prose.”

"If Walden were a how-to book and updated for the twenty first century, The Nourishing Homestead would be it. Whether you have land or not, are a hardcore homesteader or a suburban gardener, you’ll find this book packed with countless how-to gems for personal and family liberty. The practical usefulness of this book is hard to overstate; the Hewitts have written a manual girded by direct experience alone, not ideology--a true rarity."--Ben Falk, author of The Resilient Farm and Homestead

"A wise, poetic, and eminently practical manifesto, The Nourishing Homestead provides all the ingredients for a nutrient-dense life. Ben and Penny Hewitt teach us how to farm, but more importantly, why to farm. In so doing, they have seeded nothing short of an agrarian revolution."--Rowan Jacobsen, author of American Terroir and Apples of Uncommon Character

"Inspiring and informative. A brilliant union of theory and practice."--Shannon Hayes, The Radical Homemaker

"Nesting deeply into a farmstead requires skill, patience, and the right mindset. Sharing his insights after nearly two decades of this life, Ben Hewitt's success beckons others to follow. Are you intimidated by a non-corporate farmstead life? The Nourishing Homestead empowers anyone aspiring to such a life: yes, you can.”--Joel Salatin, Farmer and Author

The Nourishing Homestead is just perfect for young families embarking on a homestead way of life. Ben Hewitt’s approach to (and philosophy of) homestead economics is alone worth reading the book. His views on what he defines as "real food" and "deep nutrition" might rattle the reader's brain occasionally, but all for the good. Beyond that, the rich detail of information on how to make small scale farming work successfully rings with genuine knowhow and conviction.”--Gene Logsdon, author of Gene Everlasting

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ben Hewitt

Ben Hewitt lives in Cabot, Vermont with his wife, Penny, and sons Fin and Rye. Over the past 17 years, the Hewitt family has transformed an over-grazed pasture and neglected woodlot into a thriving homestead, producing an abundance of nutrient dense food in biologically active soils.

Utilizing a combination of permaculture design, wildcrafting, and small-scale regenerative agriculture they call “practiculture,” the Hewitt family raises and forages better than 90% of their calories, with a focus on pastured meats, healthy fats, and fermented vegetables. They also produce all of their lumber and firewood, and practice traditional land skills such as hide tanning and basket making.

The Hewitts consult frequently on homestead-scale production and processing of nutrient dense foods, as well as homestead planning, design, and implementation. They also run Lazy Mill Living Arts (www.lazymilllivingarts.com), which offers workshops in a wide variety of traditional land skills.

Ben is the author of four other books, including The Town That Food Saved and Home Grown. He blogs at www.benhewitt.net.

AUTHOR VIDEOS

Ben Hewitt - Regionalizing Food Systems: A Call to Action

Ben Hewitt - Regionalizing Food Systems: A Call to Action

Author Ben Hewitt Interview on Outside Today

Author Ben Hewitt Interview on Outside Today

Ben Hewitt, AgriTunity, Fla. Realistic Food Costs

Ben Hewitt, AgriTunity, Fla. Realistic Food Costs

Sagan National Colloquium: Ben Hewitt

Sagan National Colloquium: Ben Hewitt

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Letter to a Young Farmer

Letter to a Young Farmer

By Gene Logsdon

For more than four decades, the self-described “contrary farmer” and writer Gene Logsdon has commented on the state of American agriculture. In Letter to a Young Farmer, his final book of essays, Logsdon addresses the next generation—young people who are moving back to the land to enjoy a better way of life as small-scale “garden farmers.” It’s a lifestyle that isn’t defined by accumulating wealth or by the “get big or get out” agribusiness mindset. Instead, it’s one that recognizes the beauty of nature, cherishes the land, respects our fellow creatures, and values rural traditions. It’s one that also looks forward and embraces “right technologies,” including new and innovative ways of working smarter, not harder, and avoiding premature burnout.

Completed only a few weeks before the author’s death, Letter to a Young Farmer is a remarkable testament to the life and wisdom of one of the greatest rural philosophers and writers of our time. Gene’s earthy wit and sometimes irreverent humor combines with his valuable perspectives on many wide-ranging subjects—everything from how to show a ram who’s boss to enjoying the almost churchlike calmness of a well-built livestock barn.

Reading this book is like sitting down on the porch with a neighbor who has learned the ways of farming through years of long observation and practice. Someone, in short, who has “seen it all” and has much to say, and much to teach us, if we only take the time to listen and learn. And Gene Logsdon was the best kind of teacher: equal parts storyteller, idealist, and rabble-rouser. His vision of a nation filled with garden farmers, based in cities, towns, and countrysides, will resonate with many people, both young and old, who long to create a more sustainable, meaningful life for themselves and a better world for all of us.

Available in: Hardcover, Paperback

Read More

Letter to a Young Farmer

Gene Logsdon, Wendell Berry

Hardcover $22.50

Sharing the Harvest

Sharing the Harvest

By Elizabeth Henderson and Robyn Van En

To an increasing number of American families the CSA (community supported agriculture) is the answer to the globalization of our food supply. The premise is simple: create a partnership between local farmers and nearby consumers, who become members or subscribers in support of the farm. In exchange for paying in advance--at the beginning of the growing season, when the farm needs financing--CSA members receive the freshest, healthiest produce throughout the season and keep money, jobs, and farms in their own community.

In this thoroughly revised and expanded edition of a Chelsea Green classic, authors Henderson and Van En provide new insight into making CSA not only a viable economic model, but the right choice for food lovers and farmers alike. Thinking and buying local is quickly moving from a novel idea to a mainstream activity. The groundbreaking first edition helped spark a movement and, with this revised edition, Sharing the Harvest is poised to lead the way toward a revitalized agriculture.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

Sharing the Harvest

Elizabeth Henderson, Robyn Van En, Joan Dye Gussow

Paperback $35.00

The Winter Harvest Handbook

The Winter Harvest Handbook

By Eliot Coleman

Choosing locally grown organic food is a sustainable living trend that’s taken hold throughout North America. Celebrated farming expert Eliot Coleman helped start this movement with The New Organic Grower published 20 years ago. He continues to lead the way, pushing the limits of the harvest season while working his world-renowned organic farm in Harborside, Maine.

Now, with his long-awaited new book, The Winter Harvest Handbook, anyone can have access to his hard-won experience. Gardeners and farmers can use the innovative, highly successful methods Coleman describes in this comprehensive handbook to raise crops throughout the coldest of winters.

Building on the techniques that hundreds of thousands of farmers and gardeners adopted from The New Organic Grower and Four-Season Harvest, this new book focuses on growing produce of unparalleled freshness and quality in customized unheated or, in some cases, minimally heated, movable plastic greenhouses.

Coleman offers clear, concise details on greenhouse construction and maintenance, planting schedules, crop management, harvesting practices, and even marketing methods in this complete, meticulous, and illustrated guide. Readers have access to all the techniques that have proven to produce higher-quality crops on Coleman’s own farm.

His painstaking research and experimentation with more than 30 different crops will be valuable to small farmers, homesteaders, and experienced home gardeners who seek to expand their production seasons.

A passionate advocate for the revival of small-scale sustainable farming, Coleman provides a practical model for supplying fresh, locally grown produce during the winter season, even in climates where conventional wisdom says it “just can’t be done.”

Available in: Paperback

Read More

The Winter Harvest Handbook

Eliot Coleman, Barbara Damrosch

Paperback $29.95

No Dig Organic Home & Garden

No Dig Organic Home & Garden

By Charles Dowding and Stephanie Hafferty

No dig organic gardening saves time and work. It requires an annual dressing of compost to help accelerate the improvement in soil structure and leads to higher fertility and less weeds. No dig experts Charles Dowding and Stephanie Hafferty, explain how to set up a no dig garden, including how to:

• Make compost and enrich soil

• Learn skills you need to sow and grow annual and perennial veg

• Harvest and prepare food year round

• Make natural cosmetics, cleaning products, and garden preparations

The no dig approach works as well in small spaces as in large gardens. The authors’ combined experience covers methods of growing, preparing and storing the plants you grow for many uses, and includes recipes and ideas for increasing self-reliance, saving money, living sustainably, and enjoying the pleasure of growing your own food, year round. An acknowledged expert in no dig and author of a half-dozen books on the subject, Charles’ advice is distilled from 35 years of growing vegetables intensively and efficiently. Stephanie, a kitchen gardener, grows in her small, productive home garden and allotment, and creates no dig gardens for restaurants and private estates. She creates delicious seasonal recipes made from the vegetables anyone can grow. She also explains how to use common plants you can grow and forage for to make handmade preparations for the home and garden.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

No Dig Organic Home & Garden

Charles Dowding, Stephanie Hafferty

Paperback $24.95