Recommendations for a would-be homesteader who doesn't have a clue.

Discussion in 'Book Reviews' started by Sarah H., Oct 13, 2017.

  1. Sarah H.

    Sarah H. Member

    Oct 11, 2017
    Hello Everyone! :)

    Just as the title says, I am a hopeful suburban homesteader who wants to start this fall to prep for things in the spring. So that being said...

    Where did you start when you began homesteading?
    What books did you find most helpful?

    I wouldn't mind a few inspirational fiction or nonfiction books as well to get me in the homesteading mood. :)

    longrider and MoBookworm1957 like this.
  2. Bellyman

    Bellyman Well-Known Member

    Jul 6, 2013
    Fulltime RVer looking for a Tennessee homestead
    Do you have a public library close to where you are? That might be a place to find some books to read. That's kinda how I started out many years ago.

    Somewhere online, I can't remember where, I got a hold of an electronic copy of "Ten Acres Enough" which I rather enjoy reading through every so often. It's old, and talks about stuff from the 1850's but still an enjoyable read.

    In a more modern age, there are tons and tons of YouTube videos on just about anything you can imagine and most any homesteading topic you can think of. If you have the bandwidth and the time, that will keep you occupied for quite a while.

    Good luck!
    tiffanysgallery likes this.

  3. MoBookworm1957

    MoBookworm1957 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Aug 24, 2015
    Make a list of wants,needs, start up costs.
    Prioritize your list according.
    Do you have your land already?
    House on land?
    Water on land? Well? Off Grid or on grid?
    Do you have your garden plans drawn out?
    Just a few things to think about.
  4. PlayingInDirt

    PlayingInDirt Well-Known Member

    Aug 2, 2017
    NorCal zone 9b
    The book that started it for us was Backyard Homestead.

    Before that though, we were making cheese, wine, gardening, putting up food, etc. Learning. All these skills have come into play. Helps that hubby and I are on the same page and that we complement each other's skills. Also helps that hubby has been a garage packrat for years. I tried to get him to get rid of so much stuff that has come in handy on our new homestead.

    Coolest book we found is called Yankee Arts. It's like 35765 years old. All kinds of useful knowledge in that one. Even tells how to slaughter. Very helpful!
    MoBookworm1957 likes this.
  5. dmm1976

    dmm1976 Well-Known Member

    Oct 28, 2013
    South Carolina, The Piedmont
    The book that was suggested to me was the Have more plan. And I downloaded for free so bonus!
    arnie and MoBookworm1957 like this.
  6. MELQ

    MELQ Well-Known Member

    Feb 27, 2011
    Carla Emerys Encyclopedia of Country Living, Storeys Back to Basics and John Seymour Self Sufficient Life are good books to read. Remember to start small so u don't get overwhelmed and want to give up. Be patient and stay positive. You will make mistakes and tthen there will be things that happen that are beyond your control . Just keep at it
  7. Oregon1986

    Oregon1986 Well-Known Member

    Apr 25, 2017
    I got thrown into it with no knowledge but this site and these people helped me a lot
    tiffanysgallery and ShannonR like this.
  8. Southern Forest

    Southern Forest Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2012
    For good knowledge, Foxfire books are great.
  9. longrider

    longrider Southern Gent

    Jun 16, 2005
    Opelika Alabama.
    The most useful for me was "The Have More Plan" which gave me the big picture and a plan to work on. It allows for a lot of variation in your homestead.
    Carla Emery's book "The Encyclopedia for Country Living" is incredibly useful too.
    "The Vegetable Gardeners Bible" by Smith is very important.
    "Living With Backyard Chickens" by Rossier is quite useful.
    Whatever you do, do something, right , wrong, or killing something and make some progress. Put two seeds in a pot. Plant a peach tree or three. Plant a plum tree. Buy a chicken and learn from the experience. Skills trump tools and toys. Start buying mason jars in pint and quart sizes, save for a canning pressure cooker. Do a little more today than yesterday. Carney
    Springwood likes this.
  10. Springwood

    Springwood Well-Known Member

    Mar 7, 2017
    Alpharetta, GA
    My hubby is the one constantly on me about saving things. Just yesterday we used old wire weld fencing pieces that were too big in my opinion to throw out, but in his opinion not big enough for a job. But they were perfect for the little job we did in the barn because the young goats started sticking their heads through the slats to steal their neighbors grain. Plus we used some wood I garbage picked, new shelving wood probably left over from a project & apparently the wealthy person who threw it out thought the garbage was the best place for it. Cost us nothing to do the repairs but the time it took to gather the tools, supplies and do it. I had to point out to him where these materials came from...he told me to shut up :D cause he hates it when I'm right.
  11. FoxInTheHenhouse

    FoxInTheHenhouse Member

    Mar 26, 2017
    I guess it also helps to know what kind of homesteading you want to do. Are you trying to go off grid or just lighten your footprint? Want to raise animals for food, material or friendship? Want to grow your own veggies? Are you handy, doing this in your own or with a partner?
    Depending on where you live, there might be some beginners classes you can take. Not necessarily for homesteading specifically, but for different skill sets. Like my husband and I started by taking canning and food preservation classes. Master Gardening and composting, etc. then we moved to classes about raising chickens or goats. And recently, we took a class on butchering.
    He watches all the YouTube videos on how to create heat from compost, or ways to use our rainwater. Right now he's trying to figure out the best way to heat water for showers using the woodstove.

    There's a lot of great books out there. Try the Backyard Homestead and any gardening books that are written by folks in your area. We're outside of Seattle, so we got a lot of great info from a book by folks who founded seattle urban farm co