Caran Jantzen is the author of the new book “Grow. Cook. Eat. Share. A Memoir.” She will read from and sign copies of the book on Saturday in Abbotsford.

Abbotsford author details homesteading experience

Caran Jantzen’s book is a collection of stories about small-scale farming

An Abbotsford writer will be reading from and signing copies of her new book on Saturday, Feb. 15.

Caran Jantzen, the author of the book “Grow. Cook. Eat. Share. A Memoir,” will be on hand from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Campbell’s Gold Honey Farm and Meadery at 2595 Lefeuvre Rd.

The book is a collection of stories about Jantzen’s family’s five-year homesteading journey.

She, her husband and four kids left suburban life for a five-acre homestead on the edge of town.

By fall, they had secured 40 chickens. By the following spring, they added a couple of pigs and a few miniature goats.

Their story continues as they welcomed the birth of their first goat kids; tasted fresh tomatoes, blueberries and carrots from their garden; purchased a peacock; and gathered blue, brown, white and green eggs from their pastured laying hens.

Jantzen said the experience has been idyllic, but not without its challenges.

“We’ve experienced the loss of chickens, cats, and even goats to coyotes. We’ve struggled to find the time to care for our small-scale farm while my husband works off-site full-time, and I care for our four young sprouts,” she says.

But she said, as difficult as these challenges have been, they are deeply connected to their homestead and the lifestyle they have created.

She said they have learned to value the land and animals in a more meaningful way and have learned lessons in patience, perseverance, and contentment as they have slowed their pace and stretched out their roots into the plot of land they call home.

“Homesteading is not for the faint of heart, although I have felt faint of heart often since homesteading. It is physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing,” Jantzen says.

“To do this daily requires more than an acreage and a yearning for the country life. It demands equal parts grit and romance, seeing through both the sweat of my brow and through rose-coloured glasses. I’m still trying to decide if I have what it takes.”

Jantzen’s book will be available on Amazon and can also be purchased from thehomesteadpress.com, or locally at Campbell’s Gold Honey Farm and Meadery, House of James, and The Happy Homesteader in Mission.

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