ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ben Hewitt is the author of Saved, The Town That Food Saved, Making Supper Safe, and articles for magazines such as Bicycling, Discover, Gourmet, Men's Journal, National Geographic Adventure, Outside, the New York Times Magazine, Yankee, Taproot, and many others. He and his family live in a self-built, solar-powered house in Cabot, Vermont, and operate a forty-acre livestock, vegetable, and berry farm.
ABOUT THE BOOK: When Ben Hewitt and his wife bought a sprawling acreage of field and
forest in northern Vermont, the landscape easily allowed them to
envision the self-sustaining family farm they were eager to start. But
over the years, the land became so much more than a building site; it
became the birthplace of their two sons, the main source of family
income and food, and ultimately, both classroom and home for their
Having opted out of formal education, Hewitt's sons learn through self-directed play, exploration, and experimentation on their farm, in the woods, and (reluctantly) indoors. This approach has allowed the boys to develop confidence, resourcefulness, and creativity. They learn, they play, they read, they test boundaries, they challenge themselves, they fail, they recover. And these freedoms allow their innate personalities to flourish, further fueling growth and exploration.
Living in tune with the natural world teaches us to reclaim our passion, curiosity, and connectivity. Hewitt shows us how small, mindful decisions about day-to-day life can lead to greater awareness of the world in your backyard and beyond. We are inspired to ask: What is the true meaning of "home" when the place a family lives is school, school system, and curriculum? When the parent is also the teacher, how do parenting decisions affect a child's learning? (And exactly how much trouble can a couple of curious boys gallivanting in the wild woods all day get into?) Home Grown reminds us that learning at any age is a lifelong process, and the best "education" is never confined to a classroom. These essays on nature, parenting, and education show us that big change can come from making small changes in how you live on the land, while building a life you love.
"In this fine and eloquent and moving book, Ben Hewitt takes a
principled stand for the unconventional childhood, for the intellectual
and emotional and soulful nurture of nature."
—Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle
“Ben Hewitt walks you along the lanes of his small family farm right into the heart of parenting. He does not judge the new normal of life’s fever-pitch pace but fills you with the courage to follow your hopes, which may well transform your family.”
—Kim John Payne, MEd, author of Simplicity Parenting, Beyond Winning, and The Soul of Discipline
“This fine book may make you wish you’d grown up in a very different way.”
—Bill McKibben, author of Wandering Home
DATE & TIME: Saturday, September 13th at 7pm
LOCATION: Phoenix Books Essex
EVENT FORMAT: Ben will talk a little about why he wrote Home Grown, read from the book, and then invite audience discussion. Copies of Home Grown will be available for attendees to purchase and have signed.ADMISSION: This event is FREE and open to all.