Homesteading Bookshelf

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by mpillow, May 25, 2005.

  1. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    9,569
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2003
    Location:
    CHINA
    Whats on your bookshelf? Manuals and stories of those who have done it.

    A few of mine.....

    5 acres and Independence
    Storey's Basic Country Skills
    Backyard Livestock
    Raising Dairy Goats Successfully
    Farm Devices
    10,000 Gardening Questions
    Square Foot Gardening
    Gardening Shortcuts
    You can Farm

    Stories I've enjoyed recently...

    Arctic Homestead
    Black Bees and White Goats
    One Man's Wilderness
    The Good Life

    Many more stories and canning cook books....
    And I'm buying One Acre and Security by Bradford Angier (I've read other books by him) I'd also like Travel Trailer Homesteading Under $5000
     
  2. mzzlisa

    mzzlisa Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    429
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Location:
    Central Indiana
    I have more homesteading books than I care to admit to, but here are a few:

    Country Women: A Handbook for the New Farmer
    Farming for Self Sufficiency
    Five Acres and Independence
    Grow It
    How to Live in the Woods for Pennies A Day (old!!)
    Living on Less
    Square Food Gardening
    The Complete Homesteading Book
    Country Wisdom

    And as for stories:

    Stillmeadow Road
    We Took to the Woods
    Beanblossom Dreams
    First Person Rural
    A Place in the Woods

    My shelves are full!!
     

  3. sylvar

    sylvar Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    388
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    WOW...good topic.

    I have shelves full...here are some that I use the most:

    Back to Basics
    Build it Better yourself
    Crockett's Victory Garden
    Garden Primer
    The Encyclopedia of Country Living
    Guidebook to edible wild plants
    Boy Scout Fieldbook (not the handbook, but the Fieldbook)


    Shane
     
  4. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

    Messages:
    1,658
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Location:
    Central NY
    This is great!

    The best homesteading books I've found are:

    The self-sufficient life and how to live it : the complete back-to-basics guide
    Seymour, John,\\

    Country life : a handbook for realists and dreamers
    Heiney, Paul.

    Sustainable Farming:

    Anything by Gene Logsdon

    Especially "All Flesh is Grass"

    "Harvest - A year in the life of an organic farm" (no sugar coating here)

    Stories
    "Better Off"

    Most important!!
    A cookbook that deals with having to learn a completely new way of eating/cooking.
    This is an older book but I just discovered it and wish I had found it years ago:
    Mrs. Restino's Country Kitchen ( a woman who made the change from urban to homestead journaled her experiences and learning curve! Great book!
    I want to trade in Nourishing Traditions on this one!)
     
  5. americanbulldog

    americanbulldog American Hunter

    Messages:
    369
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Location:
    Quiet Corner of CT
    This is a great thread. I love hearing from people that have read books that have really helped them and that they are so glad to have in their collection.
    One of my favorites is The Peoples Home Library.
    I also really like reading books about fermentation and living culture foods. Two of my favorites are Wild Fermentation and Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers.
    Does anyone know of any good books for building your own home? I would very much like a book on vertical log homes and how to build them, but I havn't found any yet :waa: .
     
  6. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    833
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Vancouver, and Moberly Lake, BC, Canada
    Of the many mentioned already, we have most, and appreciated them dearly.

    However, the one which had the most astounding effect on our lives was and is, the book written by Vena and Bradford Angier, "At Home In The Woods, Living the Life of Thoreau Today", 1951, Sheridan House, NY. We got a paper back copy in 1971.

    “Leave the city and go to the wilderness,” the book said. “I found a ‘fun’ book in the Banff bookstore,” Nancy said. She started reading to us while driving on vacation from San Francisco to Canada.

    By strange course of events, that book lead us to our dream land on the Boucher Lake Road, near Moberly Lake, BC, which is near where the Angiers did there living.

    Amazing how such a book changed our lives -- or at least fit so perfectly well with what we were already dreaming about.

    Enjoy!

    Alex
     
  7. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,576
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    Well my library of outdoor and farmstead books were ruined by a recent house fire, so I will eventually have to replace some of them. I like it that this interesting topic has come up.

    My books included the Rodale organic gardening books including the Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening which was a good reference
    Harrowsmith books such as Northern Climate Gardening
    I had specialty books on poultry geese, pheasants, ducks, guinea fowl
    The Incubation Book
    Merck Veterinary Manual
    Living on a Few Acres
    Square Foot Gardening
    Market Gardening (can't remember the specific name of the book)
    Barns, sheds, and small buildings

    Oh, there are just so many more...
     
  8. sylvar

    sylvar Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    388
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    I totally forgot one of the best references I have!

    I have a full set of Popular Mechanics Do-it-You encyclopidias from the late 40's. Those things are great if you need to build your own tools (Arc welder, blast furnaces, methane generators) there are lots of good ieads in there as well as a full set of plans for an Airplane.

    Shane
     
  9. T.C.

    T.C. Active Member

    Messages:
    28
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Location:
    Southern Maryland
    Well... I don't really own any. I keep checking them out from the local library. Do you think if I check them out often enough, they will just give them to me? ;)

    My favorites are:
    The frugal gardener: how to have more garden for less money
    The self-sufficient life and how to live it: the complete back-to-basics guide
    The self-sufficient suburban garden
    Square Foot Gardening
    Yankee magazine's living well on a shoestring: 1,501 ingenious ways to spend less for what you need and have more for what you want
     
  10. #1 DogMom

    #1 DogMom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    121
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    We love every single one that we have and I can't imagine my library w/o one of them. Golly we have so many, so here's just a sample................

    Five Acres and Independence
    Ten Acres Enough
    Carla Emery's Encyclopedia of Country Living
    The Guide to Self-Sufficiency
    Produce Your Own Power
    Raising Small Livestock
    The Wild Food Trail Guide
    Rodale's Organic Gardening


    And Others...........

    I love to read through old cookbooks and new ones too, for that matter. One of the new ones I just got is called........Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon!!! 5 star book!

    Leanna
     
  11. shawnee

    shawnee Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    234
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Location:
    Ks.
    I believe we have all of the above mentioned books plus Survival Gardening, and Survival Gardening Cookbook by John A. Freeman; also Stocking Up! The latter book is a true wealth of info. Books I love to lose myself in are all the Little House books( especially Farmer Boy -somewhat of a surprise), As the Earth Turns by Gladys Hasty Carroll, and all of Janet Giles books about here saga in the hills after WW2 married to a "ridge man". Sure cures you of ever wanting to grow or smoke tobacco. 40 Acres and a Mule, Enduring Hills, Miss Willy and Healing of Tara are great. I also have Cresson Kerney's Nuclear War Survival Skills for general info on survival and lots of self-sufficient hints - a Christmas present "joke" from my sister that found her asking for the same book for her birthday. Good post idea...
     
  12. americanbulldog

    americanbulldog American Hunter

    Messages:
    369
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Location:
    Quiet Corner of CT
    I noticed several people listing Square Foot Gardening as one of their favorite books. I was just wondering why they thought it was so good.
    Thanks
     
  13. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    9,569
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2003
    Location:
    CHINA
    Why do I like Square Foot Gardening....??

    I like that it is a good use of space for one, and the book is set up such that you get the correct spacing, when to start transplants before last frost date, successive planting schedule, ideas such as vertical growing, where to plant the tall stuff....the method is highly adaptable to physically handicap....there are recipes....and its easy!
    I also had the priviledge of watching his shows when I was in my late teens early twenties and was impressed!

    Most definately the Little House Series....my 9yo read them all this school year and has started The Rose Years. Farmer Boy is chaulk full of old time farm practices!
     
  14. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,576
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    I also got a lot out of watching the series by Mel Bartholomew. The viewpoint for use of plants per square foot has applications for any sized garden because you'll know how many to plant per area and the water and nutrient requirements. If you just did the square foot method in small spaces, the book or series really did the trick in showing the best way to garden by that method.
     
  15. heather

    heather Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,780
    Joined:
    May 13, 2002
    Location:
    western PA
    Where there is no doctor

    A field guide to the birds

    A Sand County Almanac

    Recipes for a small planet

    A book of country things

    Edible wild plants

    How to know the wild flowers

    Handbook of homemade power

    the Foxfire books

    Secrets of plant propagation

    Rodale's organic gardening encyclopedia

    Simple food for the good life (& all other Nearing books)

    First time farmer's guide

    etc., etc........the list goes on & on!

    We are bldg a new house & central to the plans are huge bookshelves in the center of the house!
     
  16. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

    Messages:
    1,658
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Location:
    Central NY
    I forgot to put square foot gardening on my list but it is my all time favorite gardening book.

    It's older now and maybe it's not so apparent how revolutionary his ideas were, because so many folks have built off of his ideas, but Mel really challenged some entrenched "gardening rules" that made no sense!

    It reminds me of this old story:
    A woman is teaching her daughter how to make steak. She tells her to cut it "this way" first, and demonstrates a very special cutting technique.

    Her husband, overhearing, asked, "Honey, why do you have to cut it that way first?"

    She answered, "That's how my Mom taught me!"

    The next time she saw her Mother, she asked, "Mom, why do we cut the steak that way before we cook it?"

    Her mother replied, "So it will fit in my pan."

    Mel figured out which gardening ideas were like cutting the steak...
     
  17. shawnee

    shawnee Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    234
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Location:
    Ks.
    By the way, when I go to the library and find a book I'm interested in I log on to Barnes and Noble or Amazon and go to their used book section. It has never failed me, no matter how old the book may be. Wonderful and quick way to track down reading matter you're impressed with!
     
  18. ellebeaux

    ellebeaux Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,353
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia
    I just saw Mrs. Restino's Country Kitchen last night on the Lehmans website. It's on sale for $9.95 so I guess I'd better get it!

    thanks,

    Beaux
     
  19. ellebeaux

    ellebeaux Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,353
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia
    AND...I just found it on AMazon.com for $4.95. SO I bought it. THere's several more if anyone's interested...
     
  20. TrailDog

    TrailDog Member

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    May 5, 2005
    Location:
    Kentucky
    In addition to some of those already mentioned...

    * Garden Insects of North America by Whitney Cranshaw

    * The Contrary Farmer by Gene Logsdon

    * Newcomb's Wildflower Guide

    * How to Grow More Vegetables Than You Ever Thought Possible on Less Land Than You Can Imagine by John Jeavons

    * The Art of the Commonplace by Wendell Berry

    * Simple Living: One Couple's Search for a Better Life by Wanda Urbanska and Frank Levering

    And a piece of creative nonfiction that fits into the homesteading genre, I think, is What I Think I Did: A Season of Survival in Two Acts by Larry Woiwode. This is a memoir of his life on a North Dakota farm during a horrible winter after his return from a successful writing career in the big city. He's facing the weather with a brand new outdoor wood furnace while recollecting his experiences off the farm.

    I would also include a collection of free literature I picked up from my county Extension office on weed control, gardening, orchard management, etc., etc.