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.
The Weekend Homesteader: A Twelve-Month Guide to Self-Sufficiency
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.
The Holistic Orchard: Tree Fruits and Berries the Biological Way
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.
Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less)
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!
Top-Bar Beekeeping: Organic Practices for Honeybee Health
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!
Keeping Bees with Ashley English: All You Need to Know to Tend Hives, Harvest Honey & More
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.)
Catherine hosley says
I have the weekend homestead book….but am eying the farming on a acre book based on your review. Or maybe a vertical gardening book. I have one that might be basic for you but inspired me to use cold frames…backyard winter gardening by Caleb warlock. He has a high opinion of himself but I learned some things—particularly about veggies with high cold tolerance. The frames I’m playing with have been pretty amazing given that we have had tons of nights way below the expected tolerance range for either the plastic frames or the hoops and cloth that I’m experimenting with. I started literally months later than advised (hey..it’s an experiment!) and have spinach, collards, and baby salad greens surviving the winter. Plus..my herb garden! I have rosemary, oregano, chives, thyme, sage, and lavender tolerating the winter which I’m pretty happy about!
Teri Page says
That is amazing! I have all but ignored my garden this winter. I think I just needed a break! I bet a vertical gardening book would be great for you. The backyard farming book has a lot of information, but because it covers so much ground, each topic is really only the basics.
lindsey @ NW Backyard Veggies says
Oh, I loved “The Dirty Life” by Kristin Kimball. Going from city slicker to country gal when she met and married her soul mate. They now own and operate a complete CSA farm – from grains to milk to veggies to meat and preserves. With draft horses. It’s an amazing auto-biography/ how-to manual/ inspiring love story.
One of my faves!
Teri Page says
That sounds like a fun read. I’ll have to see if my local library has it!
Angela England says
Thank you so much for including Backyard Farming on your list. 🙂
Teri Page says
You are most welcome! It’s a great book!
The holistic orchard and weekend homesteader is in my to-read list. Right now I am reading herb gardening for dummies. I learnt a great deal on chickens from raising chickens for dummies book so i expect the same level of information. After I finish I will start weekend homesteader, your review made me more curious.
Teri Page says
Let me know how you like those books, Nihal!
Thank you, thank you for these great resources! We are still searching for our dream land, but want to get started with homesteading right here where we are on 1/2 acre lot that is partially wooded. Thank you for creating my birthday wish list for me! 🙂 I love Fresh Eggs Daily and I’m really excited about all of these books really!
Teri Page says
Yes! Homestead right now! Love it. I hope you enjoy the books as much as I have.