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The Nourishing Homestead: One Back-to-the-Land Family’s Plan for Cultivating Soil, Skills, and Spirit by [Hewitt, Ben, Hewitt, Penny]
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4.8 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Length: 355 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews


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 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 (, 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

Product details

  • File Size: 76186 KB
  • Print Length: 355 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1603585516
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing (January 23, 2015)
  • Publication Date: January 22, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00RN81K2Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,434 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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