Welcome to the Farm by Shaye Elliott How-to Wisdom from The Elliott Homestead. From the moment you flip open the book you are awe struck at the stunning full page pictures. Shaye invites you to her farm to immerse yourself as she shows you around her farm. It is a detailed guide to get you started off on the right foot to learn new homestead skills. This book covers all the topics of modern homesteading; from planting a garden and fruit trees to keeping bees and butchering a pig. There is so much valuable content and advice stored in this book.
What I Loved
Welcome to the Farm describes farming to be romantic, beautiful and fulfilling. Yet it is very down to earth and real about the intensive labor and hard work. It’s a delicate balance to maintain, and it is portrayed well through the writing.
The photographs in the book are beautiful (there are lots of them!), and there is a story to go along with every one. I appreciate that she covered a wide range of topics from the popular ones like raising chickens, but still the less popular ones like wine making.
Family gardening was completely covered. From planning, composting, seed starting, planting, care, harvest and preserving. Even seasonal produce and putting the garden to rest for the winter. The section about growing and using culinary herbs was amazing and so detailed.
Shaye described how to properly milk a cow so well that you almost felt like you were watching a video, not reading a book. She went into such detail with the instructions. There are also recipes and ideas on what to do with surplus milk, produce, and scraps so that nothing is wasted.
What I Didn’t Like
Sometimes the paragraphs are split up by full page pictures or tips. You have to skip a couple pages to continue the paragraph, and then flip back to read the tips. It’s not major, just an inconvenience.
Here is a silly picture that I had to share, my goat, River, was really interested in the part about planting apple trees.
Why I Recommend Welcome to the Farm
I will especially recommend this book to new homesteaders. Welcome to the Farm will give them a good idea about the work involved in homesteading, and plenty of ideas to get started. I bought a new copy for a friend who is looking to buy land. For established homesteaders the book was a joy to read. I still took away many tips (the worm set up for one!) that I will be implementing at our farm. There is always something new to learn!
About the Author
Shaye Elliott is the founder of the blog, The Elliott Homestead, which she began in 2010 when her farm was but a dream. She and her husband Stuart are now developing their own little farm in the Pacific Northwest with their quiver of children. Shaye spends her days writing, gardening, child and chicken wrangling, cow milking, pig wrestling, wine sipping, and dreaming. She is also the Author of two cookbooks, From Scratch and Family Table.
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