Book Review The Homesteader's Herbal Companion

Published on 13 November 2023 at 14:43

The Ultimate Guide to Growing, Preserving, and Using Herbs Paperback – Illustrated

Amy K. Fewell

The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, 2018


Most of the time, herbal books seem a little complicated and intimidating.  The author does a good job of putting you at ease in beginning your herbal journey.  I like that herbs as well as essential oils are included and well explained.  As an Aromatherapist, I have often wondered why my fellow Aromatherapists seemed to distance theselves with herbalism.  I feel it is a strong connection.  There is a wide path to natural healing, and it all starts with the plants.  It is all connected, whether it is herbs, aromatherapy, flower essences, or homeopathy.


The best part of the book is when she walks you through a beginner's herb garden by suggesting just five medicinal herbs to get started with and the range of remedies you can get out of them.  She suggests choosing a few herbs that treat many issues!  I like the way she simplifies.  There are fifteen chapters with resources in the back with 320 pages in print.  She discusses herbs for our animal friends, as well as recipes for beauty, salves and poultices, recipes for cooking, seed saving, herbal teas and growing.  From front to back, this book is packed with helpful information.


Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains, Amy and her family love living a natural homesteading lifestyle. She describes herself as a wife, mother, author, blogger, photographer, and head dish washer and chicken wrangler of The Fewell Homestead. Amy is also the Founder of the organization, Homesteaders of America, an educational resource of homestead support, education, and events — Homepage - Homesteaders of America


This is a good reference book that will be referred to over and over, for ideas as well as recipes.  It is quite delightful, and the author has a light and sunny writing style.  Here's one of the recipes included in the book, and seems appropriate what with the holidays coming up:


Rustic Garlic and Chive Mashed Potatoes
Yes, I’m fully aware of how much butter is in this recipe. No, I don’t care. Yes, you should use farm fresh, homemade raw butter if at all possible. Otherwise, purchase grass-fed butter. Yes, this recipe is amazing and to be indulged in occasionally, not every single night. Get it? Got it? Good.

1. In a large pot, place roughly chopped potatoes (leave skins on for a more rustic feel) and cover with water. You’ll only need just enough water to cover them. Toss in five smashed garlic cloves as well. These will infuse the water and the potatoes. Boil for 20 minutes or until fork tender.

2. Drain potatoes and garlic. Mash potatoes and garlic together in a large bowl. If you don’t want too much of a garlicky taste, only smash in two of the garlic cloves.

3. Add butter and cream cheese, cover with hot potato mash, and allow to melt for 3–5 minutes. Then mash your mixture together again. At this point, you can also use a hand blender for creamier texture.

4. Add milk until desired consistency.

5. Add salt and pepper to taste.

6. Add 1 tablespoon chives; mix well. Garnish the top with remaining chives. Serve it up and watch it disappear.

5 lbs golden potatoes, rough chopped
5 cloves garlic
8 tbsp butter
1–2 cups milk
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp chives, fresh
4.5 oz cream cheese, softened.

Add comment


There are no comments yet.