The “simple life” movement is really hot right now. More and more, people are wanting to get back to their roots. The thought of growing your own food, cooking from scratch, making your own necessities, healthier eating options, having healthy and well cared for animals, and just getting away from the rat-race is becoming ever-more appealing.
Some people find themselves getting stopped at two questions: Where do you start? and How do you start?
For me, I was blessed to marry into a family that lives on the original land homesteaded by their relatives during the original Homestead Act. Overnight, I was married and living away from the city life with a man who had done this his whole life and knew nothing else.
I went from one extreme to the other (read that story here). I was blessed to move right in with an expert. In fact, the whole community is a homesteaded community. While some have “city jobs” most are still working their land and taking care of their animals.
Yes–I was blessed to be surrounded by experts overnight. It was a blessing to know that when I didn’t know or understand something, I was surrounded by people that did and were all friendly and willing enough to help.
And although I knew how hard it would be, it took some time for it to take effect on me. You see, I didn’t just start with chickens or grow a small garden. When I decided to live this life, I took on all of it–all at once.
And those neighbors? It soon became apparent that although they were experts in what they were doing, the times I needed someone most were the times they were the busiest. Sure, every one of them was willing to help me at a moments notice–I have no doubt about it. But I couldn’t possibly take up their time to find out what was wrong with one of my crops when it meant taking their time away from their garden. I couldn’t ask someone to spend a week with me learning to use a pressure canner because that meant they didn’t have a week to do their own–which meant they weren’t getting food in their pantry for the next year.
I needed a friend that was going to be with me available for all of that at a moments notice–on a daily basis during busy times. And let’s be honest, I needed that friend for years–I still do.
Luckily I had that friend–my husband was well versed in most of these things. Yes most. He had never worked a pressure canner before–that was something I’d have to learn from the older generation, take a class on, and draw on my knowledge from my background in physics.
This “simple life” has been a huge learning curve for me, and no doubt, I would have failed miserably had I not had my special friend. He’s been the perfect cheerleader. But I’m not going to lie–I really wish I’d had a girlfriend who could have helped me along the way. One that I wasn’t taking time away from her busy season in the midst of my needs.
Are you just starting out? Do you have the privilege of moving right smack in the middle of a “simple life” community with an expert at your beck and call under your roof? No? Not many have this experience.
Most people dream about this life, study up on it, get themselves ready, and then do as much as they can at a time, adding more and more as they are ready until they are off-grid. It takes years to set things up. Blood. Sweat. Tears. All of it. And…mistakes…some of them costly.
If you’re just starting out, would you like a friend to guide you through the process? Be at your beck and call? Yeah?
Although I do what I can and answer the questions y’all send me as often as I can, the truth is, I can be your friend, but not whenever you might need me. Where can you find such a friend? Oh… I have an idea for you…
This last year I got to meet Melissa. I wish I’d met her years ago in the beginning of my living-off-the-land journey. You see, although Melissa isn’t off-grid, she’s a real Pioneer woman. She grew up in a small town raising her own produce and animals, cooking from scratch, lighting her own fires, and pretty much living a responsible self-sufficient life.
And…she found a way to be this friend to all of you. Through a lot of hard work, time, and dedication, Melissa has just released The Made from Scratch Life. Not even kidding–I wish I’d had this so many years ago. This book could have been another friend that was always there whenever I needed it.
In The Made from Scratch Life, Melissa covers growing, harvesting, preserving, cooking from scratch, cleaning, preparing, livestock practices, and the ever-important traditions. She tells you how to work all these things together, but also if you are in a place where you can’t do it all, how to do them individually as well. For example, if you don’t have a space to grow your own food, then she tells you how and when to shop for produce so that you can do the preserving.
If you want to know where to start, or you know where and you are just wondering how, this is your guide.
What I love about it is that it’s real. Melissa didn’t waste chapters talking about exotic food you can only grow in one zone. She doesn’t give recipes for foods too pretty to touch that you can’t pronounce. She keeps it real. She tells you how to grow the most common foods you are actually likely to grow. Then she tells you how to harvest and store those foods, and how to cook with those foods.
If you don’t know how to preserve your food, she walks you through like a friend–gently and honestly. She starts with the less intimidating and moves all the way up to pressure-canning. And also, like that ever-so-helpful friend, she keeps it real, and she keeps it manageable.
What she doesn’t do is go into specific detailed explanations. If your looking for 200 varieties of passion fruits, you won’t find them here. If you’re looking for specific advice on trimming the toenails of a llama, it won’t help you either. Zombie prepping? Sorry. Melissa has kept it to the “simple life” that everyone can manage if they really desire this life.
When she asked if I’d be willing to do a review, I hesitated. I don’t do many book reviews, and I really don’t intend to do many in the future–they take a lot of time, and there are a ton out there (just being honest here). I do occasionally make exceptions if it is something I feel would be a real benefit to my readers.
And then she told me, “freebies.” Freebies? “Yes, freebies. And really good ones.”
If you order your copy (affiliate link) of The Made from Scratch Life by February 8, you’re going to get an $38 dollars worth of freebies. You will get the following eBook, eCourse, sampler, eGuide and printable workbook:
- 30 Days to Preparedness: Old-Fashioned Skills to Increase Self-Sufficiency
- The Made-From-Scratch Life Companion Guide and Workbook
- 5 Day Made-From-Scratch Life Bonus Fast Track e-course
- The Amish Canning Cookbook Sampler by Georgia Varozza (not pictured above)
Here’s how to claim your bonuses:
- Order your copy of The Made-From-Scratch Life
- Enter your receipt # and name in this form
- Check your email for your access to your exclusive bonus download links. (Be sure to check “spam” and promotional tabs, especially if you’re using gmail)
It’s that easy.
So if you’re trying to figure out where to start, how to start, or how to start the next phase of your simple life, the least you can do is head over and check it out.
One word of caution: Melissa is deeply rooted in her faith, and it is exceedingly evident in her writing. All of her chapters are saturated with her faith. If you don’t want a guide that talks about it (not just in mention here and there but really talks about it), then this is not the guide for you. If you are bothered or offended by reading about other people sharing how their faith is intertwined with their journey of living simply, I want to make it clear that you will likely not enjoy this guide.
So what do you say? Are you ready to advance your own made from scratch journey? Do you need help from a friend?