Sunday, September 23, 2007

Book recommendations

I'm working on a list of reference books I may want to get. I'm looking for books on subjects that would apply to having a mostly self-sufficient homestead. I've got a good gardening book and a good book on herbal remedies. But I'm looking for recommendations for other good books. Here are some subjects I think I'd need books about, but other subjects that I missed would be great to know about.

Animal care
Home repair
Food preservation
Animal processing
Alternative energy
Cooking on a woodstove/open fire
Emergency medical care
Seed saving

I'm sure there are other subjects that would be good to have reference books about but my mind isn't working right now.


Darlene said...

Small world. I read your blog too!
Email me umstetter at gmail dot com and I'll tell you about my sourdough - it was from a post on my blog.
I used regular yeast.

Howling Hill said...

Here is what I recommend for books:

Stocking Up Carol Hupping
Well Preserved Joan Hassol
The Humanue Handook Joseph Jenkins
Herbs for Common Ailments Anne Macintyre
Natural Relief from Headaches, Insomnia, and Stress David Hoffman
Dr. Pitcairns New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats Richard H. Pitcairns

Here's the link to the books I own if you want to peruse my entire collection.

Anonymous said...

check out They have a lot of unique books on small scale farming, sustainable and natural practices and such.

SegoLily said...

I have an excellent all-inclusive book titled Country Wisdom & Know-How: Everything You Need to Know to Live Off the Land. It has 8,167 "useful skills and step-by-step instructions." Here's an excert from it's description, "...Back in the 1970's, during the 'back to land era' when hippies were homesteading and gas and energy prices were sky high, Storey began to publish a series of small booklets called Country Wisdom Bulletins, each one addressing a bite-sized piece of country know-how, a simple skill, some knitty-ritty information. The collection of bulletins grew into the hundreds and eventually over 15 million copies were sold to people eager to discover the fun and satisfaction of doing more for themselves. And now, collected between the covers of this volume, is a compendium of treasured knowledge from hundreds of Country Wisdom Bulletins..."

So check it out, it's excellent and mighty useful...and besides they used the word 'compendium,' that's got to sell you right there. :)

Christy said...

Howling Hill - Thanks for the recs. I'll see if the library has any of them so I can review them before I buy them.

Farm Mom - I have their catalog but there are so many choices I get overwhelmed! And it is hard to tell which ones are actually good. So I thought everyone could tell me their 1 or 2 favorite homesteading type books and that would help me narrow it all down. So, what is your most useful book?

Segolily - That sounds awesome! I've checked out a few of the Country Wisdom bulletins and they are very good. Having them all in one volume would be amazing.

Wendy said...

Stocking Up invaluable for information about preserving your harvest.
Keep Chickens!: Tending Small Flocks in cities, Suburbs and Other Small Spaces - great for getting basic information for taking care of just a couple of laying hens.
Back to Basics - has a little bit of everything you need to know including canning, baking, knitting, sewing, braiding rugs, making beer, skinning a rabbit, tanning a hide .... It's chock full of information that is incredibly useful to the homesteader. If you can only get one, this would be my recommendation.

Kate said...

The Seedsavers' Handbook by Michel and Jude Fanton

Anonymous said...

I don't have any one homesteading manual either, aothough I just got Carla Emery's Encyclopedia for Country Living and I've enjoyed what I've read so far and it seems very promising. I've also heard good things about it from others. When I first moved here I bought a Gardening in MI handbook, and other gardening books on starting seedlings and such. That spring, when we decided to get chicks I bought Living with Chickens and the Chicken Health Handbook and I found myself turning to both often in the beginning. Now that we're planning on getting turkeys, I've gotten a book called birds of a feather about heritage breeds and I'll probably purchase a book on natural care for both turkeys and ducks to have on hand if needed. The internet is an amazing resource, full of great information. All that research can be overwhelming though! :) I find that tackling this homestead thing one unknown subject at a time helps.

Christy said...

Farm Mom - It can be overwhelming! I'm just trying to collect reference books now so that when I need them I'll have them. I'm working now so we have extra money so I'm trying to get things I'll need when we finally move. Money will be much tighter then and I know we'll have a lot of expenses getting things going.

Stacey said...

It's a little old school seventies but the Nitty Gritty Food Book has a little bit of everything from bread making and egg pickling to deer butchering.

Danielle said...

We have both the Country Wisdom and Know How and the Encyclopedia and would say they're both worth having as broad, general reference guides, though if I had to choose one, I'd probably choose Country Wisdom.

One of my absolute favorite books is Firefox. I'd love to own the whole series one day, but they are really great practical kind of guides of old timey stuff done as an anthropological project. It's like being able to talk to a bunch of old neighbors about everything from sheep shearing and carding wool to butchering and preserving, though it's definitely not a step by step kinda thing.

I think Salatin's books are really useful farming guides. I have the Storey guides for animals and natural goat and sheep care books as well.

Christy said...

I just picked up a bunch of the recommended books from the library to peruse to see which I like the best and then add them to my wishlist. Unfortunately, our library system (12 libraries) doesn't carry any of the Saladin books.