Two US Army parents from Oregon have applied their military training to homesteading on their 12-acre farm. As self-proclaimed “all-American homesteaders,” they grow food, homeschool children, and are teaching the family to be prepared for any situation.
Christina Root, 37, is a native of “all over” who has called Oregon home for the longest. Noah Root, 41, is also an active National Guardsman and serves in the Army with his wife Christina. The children in their family are Everett, 11, Braeden, 8, and Mattis 4 years old.
“We decided to transition to land in early 2019,” Christina revealed. “In the summer of 2019, we purchased a farm that measures 12 acres and is located just west of Salem, Oregon, in Independence.”
The family’s homestead is made up of two little barns, a coop, and a tiny garden that suffices to feed the entire family. Moving just before COVID lockdowns, Christina and Noah were relieved to discover that their children had a secure haven in which to explore and play during the lengthy absence from daily routine.
“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.”
In addition to twice-daily feedings, the children also help maintain the animals’ living quarters. Another issue that Christina and Noah care about is 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.”
Both parents work full-time on the farm, so they prioritize their to-do list. On weekends, they primarily do farm labor, while during the week they educate at home.
Christina and Noah were prompted to consider homeschooling due to the ‘craziness in the world’.
“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.”
At home, Everett, Braeden, and Mattis thrived; and by paying attention to their personal learning styles and allowing them to set the speed of their education, Christina and Noah were able to come up with a schedule that worked.
In addition to schoolwork, the children do sports, spend time with friends and family, and learn 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 education system is quite young; millions of people have been learning at home on the farm for hundreds of years.
“This is how our grandparents and great-grandparents learned.”
The Roots have prepared for anything by taking an unused closet in their home and turning it into a “prep pantry.” They store nonperishable items such as flour, oats, pasta, canned goods, candles and batteries.
“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.”
Both of them, Noah, who has served in the Middle East twice in his 25-year career, and Christina, who works in human resources and is approaching 20 years of military service, have learned the importance 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!’”
The family of five are in their third year homesteading and enjoy the lifestyle they have created. Christina communicates snapshots of day-to-day life and affirmations with the rest of the world through Instagram for 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