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Do you find there are too many books about homesteading to choose from? With all the books available, how do you know which are best for homesteading?
Do you desire to have a self-sufficient life? Or you would love to grow a small part of your own food or cook from scratch? Well, I’ve got you covered! I’ve put together an intensive list of our favorite books on homesteading.
Nowadays modern homesteads can look very different. Some are urban or apartment dwellers. And then a few live off-grid and then those that just want to be more self-reliant.
Included, in this list, are a few of the best homesteading books available. If you are looking for books about homesteading for a beginner or beyond this list is a must-have in your library.
We have used these books as our top tools to grow and nourish our homestead. And I’m sure you will find them beneficial to your homestead plans as well.
And quick note so you know, these homesteading books would make a great homestead gift idea too.
I’ve broken the list into simplified categories to make it easy. And not to overwhelm, but these are our top favorites so I’ve kept each category to 2-3 each as far as a description.
- The Homestead
- Raising Farm Animals – Chickens, Goats, and The Family Cow
- Top Gardening Books – Grow Your Own
- Canning & Food Preservation
- The Farmhouse Kitchen
- Herbs and Herbalism
- Best Permaculture Books
Best Books About Homesteading
The Homestead Library
Books are knowledge! Nowadays, families are seeking a self-sufficient lifestyle that gives them a sense of security. So this list is to help you be better prepared. Unless you have a personal mentor, books are the key to a successful homestead.
Included are a few of the best homesteading books available. If you are looking for books about homesteading as a beginner or beyond, this list is a must-have.
I’ve broken the list into categories and tried to cover all aspects of the homestead.
1. Polyface Micro by Joel Salatin – This is a recently released book, 2021, and so well worth the wait. With only 26 chapters, it’s full of the information a homesteader will need. Each chapter focuses on one individual aspect of the homestead. From livestock stewardship to developing pastures, raising pigs, laying hens, and more.
2. The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery – This book covers a plethora of country living skills.
From raising chickens and farm animals to living off-grid. Tapping maple trees, making sausage, and more!
You’ll use it more as a reference guide. It was one of the first books we bought when we began our homesteading journey.
3. The Foxfire Collection – A collection of 12 books filled with the wisdom of the Southern Appalachian people. You’ll learn skills for creating self-sufficiency, crafting, and more.
Other books we have and I’d recommend:
- 40 Projects for Building Your Backyard Homestead, David Toht
- The Backyard Homestead, Caleen Madigan
- The Beginners Guide to Backyard Homesteading, Lisa Lombardo
- The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live it, John Seymour
- The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Country Living, Abigail R. Gehring
Raising Farm Animals
1. Pastured Poultry Profits by Joel Salatin – Have you ever heard about chickens being the gateway into homesteading?
This book walks the homesteader through several chicken breeds and egg production. As well as how to build income using poultry, and more.
2. Keeping the Family Cow by Joann S. Grohman – “Should you get a cow?” “How much space do you need?” Learn how to treat milk fever, as well as other diseases, and then how to make butter, yogurt, and cheese. You will use this book as a tool daily.
3. Storey’s Guide to Raising Goats, Jerry Belanger– This book is an in-depth guide on housing, feeding, and fencing goats. Also, selections that explain milking and breeding, and handling milk. A great book to have if you are planning to raise milk goats.
Other Animal Care Books –
- Fresh Eggs Daily: Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens – Lisa Steele
- The Homesteader’s Natural Chicken Keeping Handbook, Amy Fewell
- Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens
- Salad Bar Beef, Joel Salatin
Top Gardening Books
1. Family Garden Plan by Melissa K Norris – This book teaches a homesteader how to grow a year’s worth of sustainable food. Learn how the garden plays a large part in the homesteading lifestyle. It also has a workbook available. I’d recommend them as a set.
2. Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on a 1/4 Acre by Brett Markham – The first-ever homesteading book we added to our library. This is the book that set us on the path to homesteading. It’s the kind of book you stay up all night to read since you are unable to put it down.
Learn how to grow up to 85% of the food a homestead family will need on a 1/4 acre in the city, in an urban setting, or on the family farm.
Other Gardening Books –
- Gaia’s Garden, Toby Hemenway
- Organic Gardening For Beginners, Lisa Lombardo
- The Organic Gardener’s Handbook for Natural Pest & Disease Control
- Organic Gardening, The natural no-dig way, Charles Dowding
- Fruit Trees for Every Garden, Oran Martin
- The Market Gardener, Jean Martin Fortier
- Gardening When It Counts, Steve Solomon
Canning and Food Preservation
Food preservation is a great way to save on the budget and it’s more nutritionally complete. These suggestions are on our library shelf and used often. No matter how long someone has been doing home canning, it’s impossible to know it all without a great guide.
1. The Complete Beginners Guide to Home Canning by Me – Yours Truly! I wrote this introductory guide with the beginner canner in mind. I remember when I first began doing home canning.
The overwhelm of books that didn’t provide any information about the small and necessary details. This book leaves nothing out. It’s everything a homesteader needs to know to begin the home canning journey.
2. The Ultimate Guide to Preserving Vegetables by Angie Schneider – Learning how to do food preservation and make it shelf-stable is critical. Anyone would love to add this book to their library. It’s chocked full of delicious and safe recipes!
3. The Farm Girls Guide to Preserving the Harvest by Ann Ancetta-Scott – Another one I couldn’t put down. Written in such a simple way to read this book is for the beginner to advanced home canners alike.
The book covers in-depth, how to preserve, freeze, dehydrate, and ferment foods. Excellent addition to the homestead library.
Other Home Canning Books
- Balls Complete Book of Home Preserving
- Pressure Canning for Beginners and Beyond, Angie Schneider
- The Complete Book of Home Canning, U.S. Dept of Agriculture,
The Farmhouse Kitchen
One of the ultimate goals for a modern homesteader is to cook from scratch. Today’s mass-produced foods have lost the nutrition a family needs to be healthy. These books are my favorites for learning how to cook from scratch.
1. The Prairie Homestead Cookbook by Jill Winger – Learn how to cook old-fashioned comfort foods. Full of delicious easy recipes designed for the busy homesteader in mind. Even learn how to churn butter, make sauces, and rubs all on a budget.
2. The Made From Scratch Life by Melissa K Norris – Simple methods for cooking from scratch. This book helps the homesteader learn how to improve the family’s health with natural cooking from farm-raised foods.
- From Scratch: The Elliot Homestead, Shaye Elliott
- Down South Paleo, Jennifer Robins
- The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook, Mickey Trescott, NTP
- The Art of Natural Cheesemaking, David Asher
Herbs & Herbalism
This is an area we are beginning to dabble in. I’m no expert, but it only makes sense. If we, as homesteaders, are working hard to raise and grow our own food. Then we should learn how to make and use natural remedies. Not to even mention herbs are a necessity in the farmhouse kitchen.
1. The Homesteader’s Herbal Companion by Amy K. Fewell – Learn how to grow, preserve, and use herbs. This book teaches how to make everything from teas to tinctures. How to create an herbal medicine cabinet, use herbs to treat livestock, and more. A great guide for all things herbs.
2. The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies by Nicole Apelian, Ph.D. & Claude Davis – An intensive book that is easy to understand. 300 pages of useful and reliable information about using herbs for medicinal purposes.
From backyard plants to the forest, trees & shrubs, and even mushrooms and water plants. An all-inclusive reference guide to using herbs as natural medicines.
Other Recommended Books on Herbs
- Medicinal Herbs, Rosemary Gladstar
- Alchemy of Herbs, Transform Everday Ingredients into Foods & Remedies That Heal
Best Permaculture Books
These are a couple of all-around homestead development and management books. Permaculture is an easy and cheap way of taking care of the resources the homestead has to offer. It just takes some planning.
- Introduction to Permaculture, Bill Mollison
- The Resilient Farm and Homestead, Ben Falk
- Permaculture Design, Aranya
This list of best-homesteading books is only scratching the surface. I’d love to be able to share with you our whole library but we will save that for another day. Let me know if you have any questions.
More Homesteading Posts
- 28 Realistic Ways to Make Money Homesteading
- How to Create an Emergency Stockpile
- Raising Baby Chicks Beginners Guide
- 13 Best Backyard Chicken Breeds for Beginners and Why
- When Can Chicks Go Outside to the Coop? Best Guide for Beginners
- How to Plan and Set Goals For Homesteading
- Setting Up a Brooder Box For Chicks
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Dianne Hadorn is the owner of Hidden Springs Homestead nestled in the hills of East Tennessee. She is a Master Gardener and enjoys helping others learn how to grow and preserve their own food and sharing tips for living a more self-sufficient lifestyle.