Two U.S. Army parents from Oregon have taken their lessons from the military and applied them to resourceful living on their own 12-acre farm. As self-proclaimed “all-American homesteaders,” they grow their own food, homeschool their children, and are teaching the whole family to prepare for any eventuality.
Christina Root, 37, is from “all over” but has lived in Oregon the longest. She and her Oregon-born husband, 41-year-old Noah Root, both serve in the Army and are active National Guardsmen. Their children are Everett, 11, Braeden, 8, and Mattis, 4.
“We made the decision in early 2019 that we wanted to move onto land,” Christina told The Epoch Times. “We purchased our farm in summer of 2019. Our 12-acre farm is located just west of Salem, Oregon, in a small town called Independence.”
The family’s homestead comprises two small barns, a coop, and a small garden that provides enough food for their family. Moving just before COVID lockdowns, Christina and Noah were delighted that their kids had a safe place to roam, learn, and play during that long hiatus from normal life.
“We wanted our children to learn and appreciate where their food is coming from,” Christina explained. “We wanted to teach them hard work, and how to care for animals … we spend most of our day out with the animals, loving on them, ensuring everyone is happy and healthy.”
Besides twice-a-day feedings, the children also help keep the animals’ living quarters clean. Another of Christina and Noah’s concerns was animal welfare in the factory farming industry.
“We decided we wanted to stop giving them our money,” Christina explained. “We wanted to ensure that whatever we fed our family was nutritious and lived a happy life … learning how to feed your family from your backyard is very rewarding, it gives us a sense of security.”
Since both parents work full time, prioritizing their to-do list on the farm is their main concern. They mainly do farm work on the weekends, and during the week they homeschool.
Christina admits it was “the craziness in the world” that prompted her and Noah to consider homeschooling.
“Our children were becoming stressed with the distance-learning schedule,” she said. “Once school started back up, we didn’t want our kids in masks for 8-plus hours a day, that isn’t healthy for anyone. So we made the decision to keep them home.”
Everett, Braeden, and Mattis thrived at home; and by listening to their individual learning styles and letting them dictate the pace of their learning, Christina and Noah found a routine that worked.
In addition to bookwork, the children do sports, spend lots of time with friends and family, and soak up hands-on lessons through play and exploration on the family’s 12 acres of land.
“They also weren’t overwhelmed with the rushing around … children shouldn’t feel that kind of pressure,” said Christina, adding, “The public school system is a very new system; learning at home on the farm is how people have been learning for hundreds of years.
“This is how our grandparents and great-grandparents learned.”
Besides animal care, tending crops, and homeschooling, the Roots have converted a closet inside their home into a “prep pantry” for storing nonperishable foods such as flour, oats, pasta, and canned goods, plus candles and batteries. As such, they feel ready for anything.
“Food storage is pretty simple,” Christina explained. “You can either buy freeze-dried foods that are packaged and ready for storage, or you can prepare your own food for storage. We do a little of both.
“We also keep jugs of water on hand, we have life straws, we water-glass our eggs—which is a method to keep eggs fresh for a year—and we also buy canned goods and condiments every time we go to the grocery store, just to add to our prep pantry.”
Noah, who was deployed to the Middle East twice in his 25-year career, and Christina, who works in the human resources field and is approaching 20 years of military service, have both learned the value of preparation and adaptation.
“You have to be able to think on your feet and make sound decisions,” said Christina. “Noah is best at these things, since he was an infantryman. I am more ‘jump in and we’ll figure it out as we go!’”
Three years into their homesteading journey, the family of five love the life they’ve created. Christina shares snapshots of daily life and affirmations with the world through Instagram for other all-American homesteaders, patriots, and homeschoolers.
“We have learned so much and still have so much to learn. It has been so much fun,” she said