I received a review copy of this book; all opinions expressed are mine.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about homesteading and growing your own healthy organic food, this is a great book to learn from! The Rooted Life: Cultivating Health & Wholeness Through Growing Your Own Food (hardcover, Worthy Publishing) is authored by permaculture expert Justin Rhodes, the popular You Tube Homesteader of The Justin Rhodes Show.
Justin Rhodes started his homesteading lifestyle out of a desire to provide healthy, wholesome food for his family. Purchasing organic food was really becoming a strain on their budget, so he bought some seed packets on one visit to the grocery store. “That’s really how it started,” he writes. “We bought those lettuce seeds, plus a few other packets. We got some advice from a neighbor who had a garden, and we planted. Then we harvested. And our lives have never been the same.” Neither Justin or his wife Rebekah knew anything about growing their own food. “We started from scratch, made mistakes, and learned by doing. And the results have been way beyond our wildest dreams!”
So that’s why Rhodes points out that if he can homestead, you can too. You don’t have to start out with a huge garden or lots of farm animals; you can start small and plant a garden or container garden right outside your door. And it’s important to have a plan: “The first step in making your plan is to write out all the hopes and dreams you have for your food-growing adventure.” In his second chapter, Starting Smart, Rhodes includes some planning forms with questions to consider as you begin to build your food-growing system.
Why grow your own food? Rhodes gives some answers early on in the book:
- Food Security (remember the food shortages during the early wave of the COVID-19 pandemic?)
- Connecting with your food source (you know what you’re eating!)
- Better health (you can grow some of the most nutrient-dense foods right in your own yard)
- Saving money (healthy foods are more economical to grow yourself)
- Earning money (sell the excess produce you grow)
- Having fun (growing your own food is a great hobby and great exercise!)
- Taste (homegrown foods taste way better that what you can buy in the store)
Other chapters in the book include Gardening Basics, The Winter Harvest Garden, Raising Chickens for Eggs, Raising Chickens for Meat, Sweet Synergy: Gardening with Chickens, The Joy of the Harvest (with some recipes at the end of the chapter), Rooted as a Family, and Just Plant! This book is full of helpful information and tips for anyone who wants to grow their own food, whether it’s on a small or larger scale. It’s enjoyable to read, too, because Rhodes includes lots of examples of his own successes and lessons learned on his homesteading journey. There are lots of great photos of the family, their homestead, gardens, farm animals, and the healthy food they harvest.
Rhodes also writes about the benefits of living a rooted life: “There are payoffs from this life we get to enjoy every single day. Big payoffs. The biggest for me is relationships. I spend the majority of my time with my family each day, which means I spend most of my time with the people I love most.” He adds, near the end of the book, “The rooted life is about cultivating abundance and wellness and joy,” and “Our home is sweet. Each day is filled with laughter, adventure, and purpose. Oh, and good healthy food!” If homesteading is your dream, this book will help you and inspire you as you begin or continue your journey. “Get out there and live it,” Rhodes says, “Just plant!”