I love, love, love books. Honestly, I don’t think you can have enough books. 🙂 Here are some of my favorites.
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The Backyard Homestead
This book is subtitled “Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre!” Now, honestly, I think you need a bit more room than that to be 100% self-sufficient, but the info shared is a great start in understanding how to use space and build your homesteading skills. Interesting layout ideas for homestead areas. Sections on gardening, starting an orchard, preserving your produce, raising livestock, raising bees, and more.
The Backyard Homestead Seasonal Planner
I love this book for dreaming and planning. It breaks down chores by season (personalize to where you live) and by area of your homestead. It was helpful to see checklists for areas that I have (garden, orchard, and coop) and areas that I hope to have (beeyard, field, and wildlife habitat). Additional in-depth writing on key topics for each season. A great resource for keeping you on task by season.
Beyond the Pellet
When I saw how much my rabbits loved dandelions and other bits of green, I gave feed and nutrition some research. This book is not a technical treatise about rabbit nutrition. It is a story about the process of moving from pellets to foraged feed. Helpful sections on feeding your rabbits from your yard and garden. There is also an introduction to growing fodder and suggestions for developing your own custom feed plan. Very encouraging read.
All New Square Foot Gardening
This is a great resource especially if you are starting with a patio garden or just have your first raised bed up and running. I’m a firm believer in starting small and learning as you go. It’s amazing how much you can grow in small spaces. (Honestly, I don’t mark my garden with square foot lines anymore, I just carry the concept in my head and plant according.) This book will help you take what space you have and grow a productive garden.
The Fruit Gardener’s Bible
A Complete Guide to Growing Fruits and Nuts in the Home Garden – Everything from choosing the best plants for your neck of the woods to pruning and harvesting. Information on caring for your plants by season with specific instructions for growing strawberries, raspberries, grapes, pears, peaches, and more. Sections on dealing with plant diseases and critters that want to share your harvest.
Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
I’ve had an older copy of this for years and it’s my go-to book for anything canning. I just bought the newest edition and I love all the added information. There are hundreds of recipes and very thorough directions for canning and preserving methods (with lists of equipment and utensils you’ll need). It’s a good choice for newbies as well as a great reference for the more experienced canner.
The Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook
This book gives directions on how to dehydrate just about everything. It’s full of practical how-tos and helps with fun recipes for making things like your own teas, fruit leathers, and herb blends for cooking. I’m especially interested in the gift ideas and slow cooker recipes. I’ve done a fair amount of dehydrating over the years and I’m looking forward to doing more and creating some meals in a bag. And I can dehydrate dandelions! 🙂
The Complete Mushroom Hunter
Illustrated Guide to Foraging, Harvesting, and Enjoying Wild Mushrooms – I love this book for its broad scope. It covers all the bases and then some. Includes a guide to poisonous mushrooms, symptoms of poisoning, and treatment. A recent revision has added sections on growing your own mushrooms (something I hope to do in the near future), winter foraging, and mushroom arts and crafts.
Mushrooming Without Fear
The Beginner’s Guide to Collecting Safe and Delicious Mushrooms – This is one of the best books for newbies IMO. It walks you through identifying the various parts of a mushroom and how to identify gill-less mushrooms that are safe and yummy. Lots of pictures with help in identifying any possible look-alikes. Information on storing and cooking as well as some nice recipes.
Setting Sane Homesteading Goals
creating direction when you want to do everything!