Nomad IV: Rambling Roots and the Permaculture Homestead

You’ve decided you want to get your family a little further off the grid, grow your own food, raise some chickens, and keep bees.  You are looking for a break from the ordinary suburban lifestyle and have a desire to live life more sustainably.  While you know you love the taste of homegrown tomatoes, you like the thought of having chickens and you love the sweetness of honey, you may not know where to start.  

But really, you’ve already started.  You have a clear vision of what you want out of your permaculture homestead.  The process that follows from the idea of starting your own vegetable garden or raising bees and chickens isn’t as elusive as it may seem.  Plants want to grow, chickens lay every day and making honey while pollinating your plants is what bees do best.  So, your job, is to help them along.  Permaculture, in essence, is creating a healthy space for these ecosystems to thrive together.

This is not to say the process doesn’t take work.  It takes vigilance and care, but it’s not impossible.  We started Ramble & Root  to bridge the idea of starting a sustainable homestead and harvesting your first homegrown tomatoes.  As avid gardeners we started experimenting and talking with  local farmers about techniques in order to get down to the basics of growing food.  As a way to share this with the beginner vegetable grower we wrote, Reviving Homegrown, a stripped down guide to vegetable gardening.   We also wanted to create a hands on learning system, so from there we created a Grow It Yourself Kit containing everything you need to get started growing your own food as local as your backyard.

We recommend starting small, three garden beds instead of eight, three or four chickens instead of ten and only one beehive.  This way, you don’t get overwhelmed during your first year of learning.  So, get started, experiment, get your hands dirty and have fun.   If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask!

Below Is a list of Some great Permaculture Starting Supplies:

Resource Manual
$15 – Reviving Homegrown:

homegrownReviving Homegrown is a stripped down guide to vegetable gardening that educates and equips readers with the knowledge needed to design a personal, healthy and high yielding organic vegetable garden. Along with the basics of setting up and taking care of your garden you will find construction plans for building a raised bed, a garden journal to track your garden through the season, design pages for planning your garden and a pest ID guide.  We want to help you in the pursuit of eating delicious fresh vegetables that are as local as your backyard!

GusyUp KitBeginner Vegetable Gardener Kit:

$75 – Grow It Yourself Kit: 

This “Grow-It-Yourself” kit includes everything that you need to start your own Spring, Summer, of Fall garden from seed. From soil to seeds, tools to fertilizers, layout plans and more, this kit will guide you through the entire process of vegetable gardening.

As avid growers now, we have assembled this kit, as something we wish we had when we first started. We have gone through lots of books, suppliers and seed companies to bring you the essential information and supplies to get you and your loved ones started in joining the Homegrown Revival.

William and Sonoma – Agrarian Line:

William and Sonoma have a great new line, Agraian.  Here you can find a beautifully curated product line that includes kits for canning or making your own cheese, as well as supplies for having bees or chickens, along other things that fit well with the new wave homesteader.  They have even added a menagerie of articles ranging from topics of composting to brewing your own beer.  All in all, the new line offers unique supplies and information on how to get started with your new agraian lifestyle.


Keeping Bees – W&S Agrarian Line:  

Basic Hive and Starter Kit: 499.95

Includes Beehive as well as basic supplies need for checking in and maintaining your beehive.



Buying Your Bee’s Online:


Boomer & George Chicken Coop 
$339 – Chicken Coop:

Featured on Hayneedle, this coop offers enough room for four chickens and includes a nesting box as well as a run for your girls.

FarmerDCompost Bin:
$399 – Compost Bin – Farmer D: 

This Cedar Composter from Farmer D Organics serves as a near rodent-proof container for composting your food scraps.


Good To Have on the Homestead:


Felco Hand Pruners:
$49.57 – Worlds Best Hand Pruners, Felco

It’s true what they say, most gardeners wouldn’t leave home without their Felco hand pruners.  These pruners truly are the best of their kind.

Loaded with everything that makes a Felco pruner so great. The strong, solid-forged aluminum-alloy handles have easy-to-grip covers and are nearly unbreakable. The Swiss precision-made, hardened, replaceable cutting blade is as sharp as a scalpel and holds an edge for a long, long time. The anvil blade with a sap groove never needs sharpening and should last a lifetime.

The hardened steel center bolt and nut with locking-segment assure exact adjustment of the closure of the blades. A rubber cushion and shock absorber provide smooth working and soft closing to spare your hands and wrists.

9k=Georgia Boots
$144.49 – Work Boots:  

I’ve had my Georgia work boots going on 6 years now and they are still serving me well.  

The Georgia Barracuda Gold Wedge Work Boot is made of high-performance leather that resists anything you may encounter at the barn, the ranch or the work site.

The SPR™ leather of this boot is superior to other leathers. Compared to traditional leather, it is roughly 3 times as strong and resists abrasions 2.5 times as well. This means you have better protection against barnyard and pasture chemicals.


Cera McGinn is co-owner of Ramble & Root which is a Western NC based company that designs, installs and maintains raised beds, edible landscapes and urban farms.  For more information about the services they provide you can contact them at

At Ramble & Root, our mission is to aid in the revival of homegrown locally sourced food, by simplifying the process from the roots up. We play in the dirt to watch things grow and encourage and enable others who desire the same, but maybe aren’t sure where to start.




Nomad I: Minimalist Survivor


Nomad II: Swell Surf Life


Nomad III: The Life Aquatic


Nomad IV: Rambling Roots and the Permaculture Homestead


Nomad V: Special Agent Escape Mission


Nomad VI: Hunger for the Food Truck Escape