Thursday, August 23, 2012

On The Homesteading Bookshelf

Some of my favorite Homesteading Books

Last night after my T-post adventure yesterday I went to look up something about fencing for animals and realized how many books on homesteading I had that I hadn't looked at in what seems like forever. I took a couple to read in bed last least thumb through before I drifted off.    I had forgotten about some of them and was pleasantly reminded of how much information I had at my fingertips.   

I've got tons of gardening books because of my career in horticulture but these are homesteading, animal and cheesemaking books.

Of the books above my favorite for inspiration is the Paul Heiney "Country Life".
Sheep, Goats, Cattle and Pigs by Carol Ekarius is great for learning breeds of farm animals.  
Homemade is a favorite for simple things to build around the homestead but if your already handy building it may be too simple.  It was perfect for me when I was starting out.  I have a How to raise Goats that isn't in that stack but it's great too.  It's like the How to Raise Poultry and How to Raise Pigs that are in the stack and by the same publisher.   It also had some good pictures of thing I wanted to build in it.  The Chicken Health Handbook was a help with sick or injured chickens on occasion.  How to Build Animal Housing and Chicken Coops were both fun to look at and maybe someday....

The Goats Produce Too! is one of my favorite beginner cheesemaking books.  I started out with the book by Rikki Carroll but found this to be more beginner friendly.

I pulled some of my old Mother Earth News, Hobby Farms and Hobby Farm Home magazines out too along with the random copies of Backyard Poultry, Dairy Goat Journals, Grit and Mary Janes Farm.
Magazines are always a source of inspiration to me.  Being a visual type the pictures give me so many idea's of things I want to do or could do around here.     The lot will stay in a pile by my chair to thumb through for the next few months whenever I have time.  I frequent our library regularly too and am able to check out many there as well.  

So what's on your homesteading library shelf.  I would love to hear about your favorite books so please share.



  1. Well I have a lot of critter books and don't see any that duplicate yours. But then in the Magazine Dept I subscribe to MJ Farm, Hobby Farm and Hobby Farm Home, Mother Earth News, Country Woman, Farm and Ranch and Countryside, and a slew of others.

  2. I have several of those books, and thanks for the guide to the cheese book, I like Rikki Carroll but I find that book very, very hard to use. I also used to refer back to "Five Acres and Independence" and I get all those magazines EXCEPT Mary Jane's Farm, I don't find it useful but rather "fluffy".

  3. I don't feel so bad about being indulgent with magazines. I guess I'm not the only one. I too find Mary Jane's Farm fluffy so only get it occasionally when a particular article fills a need or a photo is one I think I need to remember something.

    I had the Goats Produce Too recommended to me but thought I wanted Rikki's until I ran into some places that didn't make sense. I then went back and got the other one and it did fit me better as a newbie. And even still at times it's more user friendly.

    Five acres and Independence is one of the ones I can check out at my library luckily. So what ARE some of your favorite books?

  4. Elizabeth, you have all of the good basics - I have not read Country Life by Paul Heiney - I'll see if I can find it through my library. I would add the Blue Book of Canning and Jackie Clay's canning book. I have a lot of miscellaneous gardening books, but need a good organic one. Any recommendations? I'm trying to approach everything organically and it's a challenge.

  5. Hi Susan, The book Country life is much like the books by John Seymour, much not something we will do but all inspirational. In town yesterday a couple of books I thought interesting on organic farming were Organic Farming Manuel by Ann Hansen and Organic Farming, Everything you Need to Know by Peter Fossel. One I want to add, not necessarily organic is by Coleman on 4 season harvesting so I can utilize the greenhouse. There are always permaculture books out there as well but those tend to be more on design than the actual nuts and bolts of organic. Still anything permaculture is always good.


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