When the sun sets at 5pm, and you don’t have electricity to light the house, there is not much else to do in the evenings but read. While I have always been a huge lover of books and reading, I don’t think have ever read as many books as I have this winter (well, perhaps when I had nursing newborns!)
Over the past few months, I’ve excitedly poured through Waldorf Education curricula, zipped through a few novels, listened to several children’s novels that Brian has read aloud to Ella, and mostly, read many, many homesteading books. While I have homesteaded over a decade, there is really no end to the learning that I will do. There is always a new skill to learn, always an interesting approach to a homestead problem, always new sources of inspiration.
And that is exactly what I’d like to share with you today – books for homestead inspiration.
I love Lisa’s blog of the same name, so I excitedly ordered her new book. Be forewarned – this is no ordinary chicken book! Rather, Lisa’s true love of chickens shines through as she discusses ways to naturally create optimum health for your flock (think herbs in their water, and homemade feed). I am really excited to treat my chickens to some of Lisa’s recipes this spring.
This may be my favorite homesteading book ever. Anna Hess is completely inspirational. The way she grows and preserves food for her family and creates a diverse cottage industry, makes me want to triple the size of my garden! This book is designed to be taken one weekend at a time, and she lays out a different homesteading project for each week. A must read for anyone wanting to homestead.
This book rocks my fruit-growing world. Technically, I read this book last year, but I spent so many months with it, that I have to share it today. If you want to grow fruit trees with organic methods, and inspired by Permaculture principles, this book is for you. It is pricey, so see if your local library will order it.
Angela England, a blogger, homesteader, and writer, manages to turn her small acreage into a thriving homestead, and shows you how to do it as well! While I have a fairly large piece of land on which to homestead, I appreciated that she shared numerous strategies for those living on small lots. The best feature of this book were the “floor plans” of how to incorporate poultry, gardens, fruit trees, and even livestock into a tiny amount of space!
Our family has raised bees in the past, using Langstroth hives. While these were very successful for us, they were also expensive to get started with. Since moving to Missouri, I’ve been considering moving to Top-Bar beehives, so I took this book out of the library to learn more. If you get overwhelmed with too much information as I do, do not read this book! That said, I LOVED this book, it’s just that it made top-bar beekeeping seem less approachable, rather than something I could easily tackle. If you are already an experienced beekeeper, then you will probably love this book, and will learn much from it!
For a more approachable approach to keeping bees, consider this book by Ashley English (who has also written about keeping chickens, home dairies, and more). While geared toward the Langstroth hives, this book is a great overview of the skills, techniques, and tools necessary to have your own hives. I especially liked how she created seasonal checklists for beekeepers.
Now I would love to hear from you: What are your favorite books for homestead inspiration?
Please share in the comments below, as I would love to create a new reading list!
(These books are all linked to IndieBound, a website that connects readers with independent book stores. I am an affiliate with IndieBound, which means that if you click through and purchase a book, I may receive a small commission, at no extra charge to you.)