There is a wealth of information available to us on the internet these days. Even with all the amazing creators out there, books are still my go to resource. Here is a short list of my favourite homesteading books that I think you just might like to add to your library.
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It’s no secret, in this house we LOVE books. All kinds of books. Picture books, fiction, non fiction, storybooks, audiobooks. We love all them. Call it a hazard of my day job. If you came for a visit, your cup of coffee would be placed on a coffee table with at least 3 stacks of books on it. Books cover a lot of the free surface in our home.
We also live in an area that is prone to random, non weather related, power outages. No power = no internet.
With our massive love of books, we rely heavily on our local library to keep us in a good supply. The library is also an excellent way to test drive a book. There is nothing worse then spending your hard earned money on a book only to find out it doesn’t live up to your expectations. So while I truly enjoy these books and find them to be the ones I reach for most often, I would encourage your to borrow them from your local library before making any purchase.
Outdoor and Gardening Homesteading Books
There are so many amazing books out there. When I am considering a book purchase there are a few things I look for. First, it has to have beautiful photographs. I am a very visual person and even just looking at the photography in some of these books leaves me feeling inspired to tackle our latest project. Next, it has to have useful, easy to follow projects or information inside. Some books have so much useful information that I can overlook the lack of beautiful photograph (I’m looking at your Homesteading).
The Wild & Weedy Apothecary by Darren Shababy
This book is lovely. What it lacks in photography it more then makes up for with beautiful illustrations and type fonts. It contains an alphabetized encyclopedia of “Recipes & Remedies”. This books has it all. Everything from chicken soup under ‘C’ to a Mugwort Dream Pillow. It contains uses and remedies for everyday herbs and weeds that you might have growing in or around your house. Part 1 of the book goes over how to best use the book and details on setting up your kitchen apothecary. If you are at all interested in herbal remedies or foraging you should definitely check this book out.
Homesteading Edited By Abigail R. Gehring
This book has it all. If you have a project for your homestead and you aren’t sure where to start, try this book. It covers everything from starting a garden, raising animals, building simple structures, to basic first aid and well-being. It even has a whole section dedicated to crafting. Now that is my kind of book. While you might need to find additional resources to really dive into a topic, Homesteading is a great place to start.
The New Homesteader by Bella & Nick Ivins
This book is beautiful! From the textured cover to the stunning photography. I could look at this book every day. Beyond being beautiful, it is incredibly useful. It covers many topic that other books don’t. My favourite are the chapters on the wildflower meadow and the front porch. It has chapters on having a kitchen garden, an orchard, keeping animals and keeping a house. If you love beautiful books and homesteading, this one will keep you dreaming.
The Edible Landscape by Emily Tepe
The book was a bit of a gamble for me. I found it in the discount bin at a bookstore. Normally, I would get a book like this from the library before I committed to a purchase, but this time the price tag won. Am I ever glad that I bought this book! It has given me a completely new way to look at edible gardens. The book covers topic from how to approach your edible landscape, to how to design one. While a lot of the gardens featured in the book seems to be located in urban areas, there is lots you can learn from this book. Especially for designing the garden beds around your house. If food production is a consideration for you and your family, check this book out.
A Greener Life by Clarissa Dickson Wright and Johnny Scott
This book not only focus on growing your own food, but it also talks about eating it. Because isn’t that the best part? It covers topics like tools you need for a garden, sowing seeds, animal husbandry, all while having recipes thrown in the mix so that you know how to eat all the delicious things you are growing. The authors are based in the UK so some of the information might not be relevant to you or your area, but don’t let that discourage you from checking this book out.
Homesteading Books for the Harvest
While it is important to have some good books on hand to get help you get your homestead started, I also think that having a few good books on what to do with everything you grow is equally important. I grew up seeing jam and pickles being made, so I am very familiar with canning. What I (and I think most of us) aren’t so familiar with is what to do with the animals we raise.
The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz
If you have ever looked into making anything fermented you are probably familiar with this book or its author Sandor Katz. The book is more of a how to and why to then a recipe book. Yes, it does contain basic recipes for different ferments. But on the whole it’s going to give you a good understanding of why you make things a certain way so that you can use that knowledge to adapt your own recipes.
The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering and Cooking Wild Game by Steven Rinella
If you are at all interested in hunting or fishing these days you have most likely heard of Steven Rinella and his Meateater Crew. The book is a great introduction for anyone looking for more information on how to get started hunting. It covers everything from how to find/track an animal, to what to do once you catch it. It even has recipes for eating it. We use the Italian Sausage recipe every time we have a deer to process. You might notice the library tag on the spine, this book had an unfortunate incident with a cup of coffee. I would have bought this book anyway. In fact, I would buy any of Steven Rinella’s books.
Butchering by Adam Danforth
These books are THE guide for butchering farm animals. There are two books in the series. The first book covers poultry, rabbit, lamb, goat, and pork. The second is dedicated solely to beef. If you have a question about dispatching and butchering animals on your farm, this book probably has the answers. It has detailed step by step guides, including photos, for butchering your animals. It has cut sheet example for a butcher order, in case you would like to direct sell your animals. If you are looking to up your butchering game, these need a space on your shelf.
Homesteading books in your library
I hope that you have found a book here that has peaked your interest. These are books we reach for over and over again and have earned a well deserved spot in our library. What are some of your favourite homesteading books? Comment below or over on Pinterest.