Do you have a homesteader heart? Whether you’re already living the homesteading life or just homestead dreaming these must read homesteading books will guide your journey.
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Just One More Chapter
I have loved books since I was a little girl. My mom read to me every night before bed, which always left me begging for just one more chapter.. One of her childhood favorites was the Little Houses series, so she read it to me when I was very young. I fell in love with all things pioneer. Little House in the Big Woods was one of the first chapter books I remember reading by myself. I spent hours playing pioneers. We visited two of the homesites and I was even Laura for Halloween one year.
Sometimes I wonder how my love of Little House shaped my life. Like Laura, I became a teacher, but dream of staying home to raise a family. I’ve never been fond of wearing shoes and I often wear my hair in braids.. I learned to quilt, dip candles, and make sourdough bread. Just like Ma’s table, mine is covered in a red and white checked tablecloth. I think Laura and I could have been best friends if I had been born in the big woods of Wisconsin in the 1860’s.
Life on the Ingalls homestead and the Wilder farm seemed perfect! When I dream about someday, I imagine my own little homestead. I want a cow, some chickens, a Morgan horse, and a big garden. If somebody wanted to throw in a covered wagon or a log cabin, I’d be ok with that too! When I have a dream, I pursue it with everything I’ve got. The first step in achieving any dream is research, which means it’s time to hit the books.
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Must Read Homesteading Book 1: Nourishing Traditions
Nourishing Traditions the Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon is a cookbook and a nutrition textbook rolled into one. This book looks at traditional cultures and research done by Dr. Weston A. Price to discover what made traditional peoples so healthy. It covers not only the food we should eat, but also how it should be prepared. The first part of the book covers what foods we should eat and why. It goes against everything you ever learned in health class, so it’s important to read it with an open mind. The rest of the book is a cookbook that also teaches you how to properly prepare the foods.
This is a must read homesteading book because food is a central part of the homestead. You raise food, harvest food, preserve food, cook food, and most importantly eat food. Unlike most diets, this book does not exclude anything, well unless you count the processed, food-like substances we consider the standard American diet. For those wanting to learn how to cook and get the most nutrition out of their food, this book is a must.
Must Read 2 Homesteading Book: Back to Basics
Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills by Abigail Gehring gives an overview of homesteading skills. This book literally starts with the basics. It starts with buying land, building a house, and finding a water source. The book expands to cover food production, preservation, handicrafts, and entertainment. Though brief, each skill and topic is covered in enough detail to get started. The pictures and illustrations are very good as well. They are what initially drew me to this book.
Back to Basics is a must read homesteading book for those just starting their journey. If you are still a homestead dreamer, this book provides a list of skills you can start learning anywhere. Soapmaking, cooking, and gardening can be done on a small scale without acreage. For the beginning homesteader, this book gives you tips and projects that you can implement on your homestead. This book was my gateway into modern day homesteading.
Must Read Homesteading Book 3: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Country Living
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Country Living is also by Abigail Gehring. Like Back to Basics, this book gives an overview of lots of homesteading skills. This book has a lot more information though. The big ideas are animal husbandry, food preparation, preservation, woodworking, crafts, emergency preparedness, energy, gardening, and general well-being. This book, as promised, is full of pictures. There are far more skills in this book than any other that I’ve found. It’s kind of a one stop shop for homesteaders. It is an encyclopedia and as such each topic gives enough information to get you started, but is not comprehensive.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Country Living is a must read homesteading book because of the vast amount of information that it contains. There is something for everyone. Beginners can learn about herbal remedies, but the experienced homesteader can learn how to build a smokehouse. This book has a permanent place on my homesteading bookshelf.
Must Read Homesteading Book 4: Essential Oils Natural Remedies: The Complete A-Z Reference of Essential Oils for Health and Healing
Essential Oils Natural Remedies: The Complete A-Z Reference of Essential Oils for Health and Healing by Althea Press is my go to guide for essential oils. The book is divided into three main parts. The beginning of the book is about essential oils and the history of their use. The middle is common ailments and how to treat them with essential oils. The last section is a list of oils, their uses, and safety information. This book is great for those just starting out with essential oils or those wanting a good reference guide.
This book is a must read homesteading book because it provides information about using oils as a natural remedy. Let’s face it, nobody has the time or money to go to the doctor for every little thing. Oftentimes, homesteaders take their DIY attitude into all parts of their lives including healing. With this book as a guide, homesteaders of any level can create natural remedies for common problems. As a bonus you’ll smell great too.
Must Read Homesteading Book 5: Little House Series
These are the books that started it all for me. I know this is actually a series of nine books, but I couldn’t pick just one. The Little House series is by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The books start in Pepin, Wisconsin and follow Laura around the midwest as she matures into a young mother. Though her books are considered historical fiction, they are based on her real life experience as an American pioneer. These books are full of information if you pay attention, but they also make a great book to read just for fun.
The Little House series is a must read homesteading book for homesteaders of all ages. My mom read me the books when I was four. My grandparents still read the books. I read them about once a year because I’m that obsessed. They will ignite your homesteading spirit and with a little digging they can provide valuable information about homesteading. You just can’t go wrong with these books.
Must Read Homesteading Book 6: The Julia Rothman Collection: Farm Anatomy, Nature Anatomy, and Food Anatomy
The Julia Rothman Collection is another great homesteading series for homesteaders of all ages. Farm Anatomy provides great information about livestock, machinery, and crops. Nature Anatomy covers plants, wildlife, ecosystems, weather, rocks, and everything else outside. Food Anatomy is a collection of information about food, cooking, and a few recipes. The illustrations are beautiful and the information is good.
The Julia Rothman Collection is a must read homesteading book series because of the valuable information and outstanding illustrations. These books would be worth the money even without words. The illustrations are just that good. The information in some of the books does overlap. Obviously food comes from the farm so they have some things in common. Although adults can enjoy them, they are very popular in the homeschooling community. If you are looking for a basic, informational, homesteading book for the whole family then this is your series.
Must Read Homesteading Book 7: All New Square Foot Gardening
All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew is a complete guide to starting a square foot garden. This book takes you from creating the garden to harvesting the produce. It is a step by step guide perfect for the absolute beginner. The square foot garden method claims to reduce weeds, minimize watering, and maximize the space.
All New Square Foot Gardening is a must read homestead book for the beginner homesteader. If you want to start growing your own produce or herbs this book is the place to start. It breaks down the very overwhelming process of planting a garden into manageable pieces. I use the square foot garden method in my garden. Check out my FREE Garden Planner to get started with your own square foot garden.
Must Read Homesteading Book 8: Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook
Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook covers the kitchen basics every adult needs to know. It is packed with recipes for every occasion. There is also a section about preservation with updated canning safety. This book is perfect for beginner cooks because it also defines and explains cooking terminology.
Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook is a must read homesteading book because of the variety it provides. This cookbook is great for beginner cooks, but is a timeless classic. I remember my mom’s red and white cookbook out on the counter while she made applesauce. This cookbook has classic, comfort food and new favorites. I received this book as a bridal shower gift and it has been a staple in the kitchen. Often I will ask my mom for a recipe and she will say, “I use the one in the Better Homes & Garden cookbook, but modified it slightly.” I’ve learned that many of my childhood favorites come right from this book although often slightly modified.