Monthly Book Giveaway - February 2023

Resource Mentor: Roots & Refuge Farm

As we reach the last couple of days of our first Book Draw, I thought “better late than never, I should share my story about this author”.

It was last spring that I first discovered the YouTube channel of Roots and Refuge Farm and Jessica Sowards, author of the book. 

Gardening Content

I love learning and Jessica’s videos are filled with gardening information, helping the viewer understand the what and how of growing your own food. And, because I love a story of personal growth, while learning about the garden, I also got to watch her children learn right along with me. 

Jessica’s personal story began as a young girl with the dream of having a farm. As a young mom, she started with some container gardening, which were failures at first but she didn’t give up. 

From there, she did get her farm and build the vision. She and her family have now moved to a larger property and are putting the pieces together for the ultimate dream of self-sufficiency, community-sufficiently, and supporting and teaching others. She has learned lots and shares lots!


Perhaps most important for me, for my gardening journey, was the inspiration and the sense of community that I got from watching the videos.

In a typical gardening year, by July, I am running out of steam (or interest) and the weeds start winning the gardening battle. It is a slippery slope from there, as that sense of being defeated chips away at any element of the dream.

But, this year, I had a gardening buddy that I hung out with every morning, starting my day with renewed hope and vision and energy. Every morning, I began my day by watching a Roots & Refuge video.

The result of having a mentor at my side was that I had the best garden that I have ever had! It was green and lush and productive and, basically, weed free! I was a gardener now, and I have to give the credit to Jessica and her garden tours. 

Jessica’s Wisdom

There are two pieces of Jessica’s wisdom that really stand out for me, perhaps because she says them on many occasions: 
  1. Put the seed in the ground. You have a much better chance of getting something from a seed, if it is in some soil than if it stayed in the package. Just try. And learn. 
  2. Turn your waiting room into a classroom. Right now, whatever stage you are at in building your dream, you are living the dream! Use the time, as you wait for the next step to unfold, to learn about what is coming next, to practice the skills that you will need, to ready yourself. This is the dream! 

The Outcome

Fast forward one gardening season and, because I learned the value of having someone with whom to talk gardens, of having a fellow gardener to help stay focused on the dream, was created.

Now, I get to start my day with inspiration and ideas and tips from you, my fellow homesteaders / gardeners. I get to share my journey and challenges and tips and, maybe just maybe, inspire someone to .. well, whatever it is that they are wanting to do for their home, their homestead.

All of this, our online homesteading community, is because of Jessica and the feeling of community that I felt when watching her videos, hearing her stories.

I thank you, Jessica Sowards,
I bless you; until next time”,
- Debbie

P.S. to whomever wins the book draw this month and whoever buys their copy of the book, I hope you will give us a review and share with us how the book inspires you. 

a simpler life