The Ultimate Homesteading Basics Book is written by Chelsea Wells – Barrett, from Grow Where You Sow website.
Chelsea has been homesteading for four years on 1.5 acres in Florida. Her website has a wealth of information on most any topic homesteading related, including how to be a better mother and some delicious recipes.
When she first announced she had a new book coming out, I knew I wanted to be first in line for a copy. And I wasn’t disappointed!
(Clarification here: I did receive a copy of this book for free to review. I am not, however, receiving any other compensation. This review is as honest as I can get!)
Other than the standard copyright information, dedication and a short introduction, Chelsea dives straight into the meat of this book. It was a refreshing change not to have to wade through half of the book before I got to what I needed to read.
Her first chapter is on raising chickens. The information is broken down into categories, which makes it easy to follow. Step by step she takes you through baby chicks, to adult chickens and hen house requirements.
In between, she has included so much detail, that once you finish reading the chapter, you almost feel like you are an old pro, even if you have never had chickens before.
The following chapters follow the same format, and provide you with plenty of information to begin raising your own ducks and rabbits.
She also includes a great chapter on Predators, and the best way to deal with them. I actually learned something about how raccoons behave, which will help me with my own egg bandit problems I am having here!
Her gardening section begins exactly where it should – with soil testing. If you are just starting out with growing your own foods, getting a soil test can prevent you from having multiple problems down the road.
From there, she walks you through crop rotation, companion planting and even catch planting. She also addresses the different types of gardening methods, such as no-till, raised beds, vertical and container.
I really appreciated the trouble-shooting section, as I know all of us deal with issues from time to time. Since this could be a book all of its own, she also includes links to other professional gardening sites for even more information.
Composting gets its own chapter. Having healthy soil is the very crux of your garden, and if at all possible, should be used. I like that she addressed the difference between ‘cold’ composting and ‘hot’ composting, as it helped me to understand the concepts better.
Resources & Freebies
And then she brings you to the Resources page. This is chock-full of information, beginning with free printables (be sure you check out my favorites – the Seed Sowing Chart and the Egg Tally!).
There are great books suggestions for your home library, a list of all the links in the book, and a second list of links for more information on each topic.
And of course, there is always a “But, Wait! There’s More!” And Chelsea does offer more. She has lists that include visual inspiration, other helpful websites, and advice she has gotten from other homesteaders.
The Ultimate Basics for Homesteading Book is laced with inspirational quotes, but the true inspiration comes from Chelsea. She is someone who has made mistakes and lived through disasters. She is unapologetic about that, and instead finds her own inspiration and encouragement in the trials – as well as the successes.
No matter how large or small your homestead, this is definitely a book you want to keep at your fingertips. Day by day and step by step, it will almost feel as if Chelsea is walking beside you, helping you over the hurdles, answering the questions and shouting for joy at each successful step forward.
To help celebrate the launch of Chelsea’s new book, we are sharing a Giveaway with you. Sign up for a chance to win fun prizes from Chelsea (a copy of her book), 3 other bloggers with great offerings, and me (a choice of either one of my books).
Be sure to enter to win below. You won’t want to miss these great prizes!