Cover Image: The First-Time Homesteader

The First-Time Homesteader

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Member Reviews

This is a great book for beginning homesteaders or those thinking about embarking on that journey. Jessica presents information in a way that's helpful and not overwhelming and just seems like a friend!
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his is a really great book for someone who is thinking or dreaming about becoming a homesteader. I also think it'd be a great resource for someone in the early stages of planning or even setting up a homestead.

Being a fan of Jessica's Youtube channel I was very excited to read her book and see how her style of explaining and encouraging translated to the page. I think she did a great job! She explains things clearly and in just the right amount of detail so that you understand but at no point do you feel overwhelmed. She doesn't shy away from talking about the challenges and difficult moments, but she does it in a way that encourages and shows that she really thinks this is something that's worth the time and effort.

The photographs in this book are great. You can really understand the visuals when she's explaining something and, overall, the photos are all very well done and very attractive.
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I have followed Roots and Refuge farm on YouTube for a while now, and I’ve even read her first book “The First Time Gardener.” So I was excited to get my hands on this book because my family is hoping to build a homestead in the next couple years.

This books covers topics, including: plans, chickens, gardening, dairy, beekeeping, kitchen skills and natural remedies. But prepare yourself…this isn’t just straight up information. This is poetry. Jessica has always had a flowery (no pun intended) way of writing and her enthusiasm for the garden has been addicting over the years. And the pictures in this book are incredible. She’s encouraging and honest about the hard work that is needed for a lifestyle like this.

If you’re going to learn gardening or homesteading, Jessica is a fantastic place to start. Her books are beginner level, so if you’ve read a lot of gardening books before, you might not get much new information. But they are beautiful to look at. Definitely a great resource for people looking to enrich their lives and grow their own food.

Thank you to NetGalley and Cool Springs Press for the advanced copy. This review is my honest opinion.
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Jessica Sowards gives up her tips and tricks for the First-Time Homesteader; something I'd happily pay for! 

As a wanna-be homesteader on a small lifestyle property in New Zealand I was particularly drawn to this book. I found all the layout to be easy to consume and the stunning images really do seal the deal. 

I was particularly interested in the Dairy section and it did not disappoint. I was firmly in team milking cow before I read this book but seeing Jessica's love for her goat's I'm now on the fence! 
I may have to buy the neighbours paddocks to expand. 

This is a wonderful introduction into homesteading that lays out all the tips and tricks in one convenient book. 
Jessica and her family appear to be thriving and I hope to one day follow in their footsteps. 

I was gifted a digital copy of "The First-Time Homesteader" in exchange for a fair and honest review. 
Thanks Quarto Publishing and Netgalley!
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Thank you to Netgalley, the author and the publisher for a chance to read and review this book in exchange for an honest review. This is an excellent beginner guide to homesteading for those who are brand new to the idea. The book isn't big enough to really go into details or long practical advice on how to but if you've never read a homesteader book this will do the trick.
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Jessica is an incredible resource for gardening and homesteading. She has such an approachable way of explaining things and I truly appreciate how simply, yet richly, she explains things. This book is truly a treasure of information and the photography throughout is so enriching. 

Very much enjoyed this one and am happy to have it on my shelf as a resource as I learn to grow my own homestead.
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The First-Time Homesteader by Jessica Sowards is a fantastic introduction to homesteading.  This book is the epitome of the extension of her Vlogs on Youtube, Roots and Refuge Farm.  She covers many different areas of a homestead, such as chickens and cows and also gardening.  I've been watching her Youtube for many years and have learned most of my gardening knowledge from her channel, so I was super excited to add her book to my collection.  The pictures in the book are absolutely stunning and show the love and joy that she gets from her homestead and her family.  

The First-Time Homesteader covers many topics with many important details.  This is not the book for all the information you could possibly need for a specific topic, but it is a fantastic overview of the important things to know about several homesteading topics.  I personally enjoyed the chapter about raising chickens, because my husband and I have been talking about raising chickens for many years and this helped to solidify our choice.  I highly recommend this book for anyone that wants to start homesteading or just likes to learn about new things.
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Honestly I’m never going to be a homesteader but I found this book fascinating. There’s so much helpful information. And all the pictures of the authors family and homestead included made it even more interesting.
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"Breadth, not depth" would be a good subtitle for this book. Sowards touches briefly on a broad range of topics, painting an eye-opening picture of what homesteading truly encompasses (hello up-before-dawn unskippable day-long chores; goodbye globetrotting vacations) - but her soul-deep love of it shines through on each page (especially when she talks about her dairy cow Hope). If you are looking for an in-depth manual on the details of each task, this isn't the book for you. But if you are thinking about dipping your toes into this lifestyle and want a realistic look at what it truly takes, Sowards' photo-filled tale of how she did it is a good peek behind the curtain.
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This is a really well written book about getting started as a homesteader. There is not enough space in the book to go into depth about different techniques, but it is an excellent overview for a beginner who is thinking about food security and wants to know what is involved.

Jessica Sowards gives her own account of her experiences and lessons she has learned during her journey. Her passion for her way of life comes through clearly but her writing is true to life and doesn’t romanticise how she lives. She readily points out how hard it can be and is truthful, down to earth yet encouraging.

This a good book to read if you are just getting set up as a homesteader, want to know what is involved and need to start planning. Highly recommended.

With thanks to Netgalley and Cool Springs Press for providing an advance review copy. All opinions are my own.
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This is an excellent beginner guide to homesteading for those who are brand new to the idea. I really appreciated the fact that Sowards filled the book with wonderful photos of her own homesteads and her journey instead of using unrealistic, generic stock photos. 

This book could not possibly cover even a fraction of what you need to know for any of the topics like keeping meat and dairy animals, finding land or gardening. Instead, it gives you a real been-there-done-that account of the good and the bad and what to expect. Sowards is an enthusiastic homesteader and that comes through, but so does the extraordinary amount of work and dedication involved. 

Note that this book will not teach you how to butcher a chicken, can tomato sauce, or even make butter. Look to specialty books and blogs and mentors for that. If you are new to the idea of homesteading and really want inspiration and encouragement, this will be great. 

I read a temporary digital arc of this book via NetGalley.
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This is the perfect introduction to homesteading. Is it ground breaking? No. It's mostly stuff I've read in other books but the title is perfect for what you get. The pictures are gorgeous!! This is basic beginner stuff. The book isn't big enough to really go into details or long practical advice on how to but if you've never read a homesteader book this will do the trick. I'm hoping for a longer version that goes into details. I didn't realize she's got a whole website and humongous Instagram following! If you're already a fan you're sure to love this book!
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This book was so easy to read and I think a huge part of that was the author's upbeat attitude and the passion she has for homesteading which really shines throughout this book. There was so much knowledgeable advice in this book on how to homestead and the many variations of what homesteading can be. The photos gorgeous photos throughout this book really bring it to life.
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This had great tips and great pictures. A someone who will be venturing into that lifestyle (because it is absolutely a lifestyle!) this was helpful and made it so I felt like I wasn't going in blind.
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NetGalley App was an incredibly poor choice for this book.  It did the book zero favors.

That being said, the book is excellent.  I read the first couple of chapters before setting it aside and placing my pre-order.  The book reads like you are having a conversation with Jess or watching one of her VLOG videos.  It is clear, honest, not sugar coated, and helpful.  Whether you are contemplating or living the life choice, this book will add value to your life.
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I have been a huge fan of Jess for quite some time and I am so thrilled to read this ARC!  This book is everything you could possibly dream of when starting your very first homestead.  It is also an inspiring book for those who are interested in starting a homestead and I'm sure it is a great resource for those who already have a homestead.  This book goes in depth with every aspect of homesteading, which seems to be a lot of research and planning.  This book makes it very easy to help narrow down that research process.

Jess goes in depth about how to plan out your homestead to fit your needs such as meat, dairy, vegetables/fruits/herbs garden, bees, natural home remedies, and even in the kitchen!

My favorite part of the book was reading about how Jess' interest in food security began with foraging berries.  I remember this was one of the first videos I watched of Roots & Refuge where Jess explained how it all started.
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This book is wonderful! I dream of living this way, self supporting, and this is so full of information and guidance on how to do it, plus full of beautiful photos! So inspirational!
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