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Book Review: The Witchy Homestead by Nikki Van De Car

Cover of the book: The witchy homestead by Nikki Van De Car shows bundles of herbs and crystals hanging from a horizontal birch branch over a couple of colored glass bottles with more plants and crystals.
The Witchy Homestead by Nikki Van De Car

This is going to be a weird review that’s going to come off mostly negative even though I don’t normally do that this is an exception but it isn’t on my Not Recommended list – it’s not a bad book necessarily though there are places where it’s very wrong, there are interesting things but it is not properly titled and that really irritates me to no end.

I see the word “Homestead” and I think sustainable living. I think livestock, canning, cheesemaking, and chickens. I think gardens and herbal and folk remedies. If this is you too, this book is not the book you’re looking for. I’ll be honest, The Healing Garden is still the closest to the book I’ve been looking for for years but that’s really only the gardens and herbal remedies.

There is a tiny bit of stuff about soil health and gardening, plants and recipes but between the font size and the illustrations, it really isn’t a lot and there are better, more thorough resources for that information.

It’s a relatively short book and the information is given in very digestible bits definitely geared for people who are at the beginning of their path, exploring information.

Most of the information is fine HOWEVER I take issue with the hair care section. This is normal for me. Some people can use soap on their hair and scalp without giving it a second thought. Most people can’t. The pH of soap is all wrong for your scalp and for your hair. If you have a hair care recipe that includes Castile soap – that is not the shampoo you’re looking for. I love the idea of a no waste shampoo bar and minimalist shampoos but please for the love of your hair, stop it. There are so many options out there that aren’t so drying for your poor hair. As someone with very fine, very brittle hair, shampoo bars (and any ‘shampoo’ with castile in it) is a breakage bonanza for me. Your scalp is not like the rest of your skin. I say this as someone who makes and loves real soap for the rest of herself. Your hair deserves better.

I also take issue with the part of the book where the author recommends tucking certain stones into your garden. Don’t do this. Don’t do this especially with something like selenite that literally dissolves and can deposit things in your soil that you don’t want there. Hematite is another that isn’t very water friendly and should also not be put near plants you intend to consume.

Also, while Calendula is commonly called pot marigold, Calendula is not the same thing as Marigold. I’m sure there are other little things that aren’t completely right but those are the ones that really jumped out at me as something a decent editor should have really caught.

For a beginner, this might be a nice overall sort of look and see tester book. This was decidedly NOT the book I wanted. I bought the book because of the title and the description that really led me to believe it might at least be close. Apparently, I should have read the first paragraph of the description a little closer – the line that said “a homestead is a way of being.”

You say homestead, I’m definitely thinking self-sufficiency, land, gardens, chickens, canning, things like that. I would love a book that combines homesteading and witchcraft as so many of the homesteading spaces are so deeply christian it can make a witch feel uncomfortable. If I ever get my homestead (wish me well), I think I might just have to write it myself.

I can’t say that I’d recommend it because of the wrong bits but there were good bits here and there for beginners.


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