Cover Image: The First-Time Homesteader

The First-Time Homesteader

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Member Reviews

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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