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Favorite Homesteading Books — The Grow Network Community
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Favorite Homesteading Books

LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning ModeratorManitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,762 admin

Please list your favorite Homesteading themed books (and authors), below.




  • ThomasThomas Posts: 81 ✭✭✭

    Old or new? :)

    Ten Acres Enough by Edmund Morris

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,762 admin

    @Thomas Both! A person never knows when an old book may come back into print or can be found used...or might be found in a discount bin/site.

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,751 admin
    edited November 2020

    Carla Emery's Old Fashioned Recipe Book - An Encyclopedia of Country Living. Carla Emery.

    Not just a recipe book. Info on buying land, how to build a root cellar, gardening, livestock, tanning, wood stoves and much more. Its an older book but that makes it more valuable in my opinion. Its still in print. Amazon has it.

    Butchering, Processing and Preservation of Meat. Frank G. Ashbrook.

    Another older book but full of information. Very detailed instruction on building a smoke house and a hog butchering set-up, Good pics and instructions for most common livestock, poultry and fish. Recipes for curing and smoking. Essential skills for homesteads with livestock.

    Stocking Up. Rodale Press

    This book has gone through several revisions. The one I have is Stocking Up III. Harvesting and processing. Freezing, dehydrating, canning, root cellaring, cheese making, curing &,smoking, milling, pickling & fermenting, jamming & jelling, and juicing of fruits, veggies, meats, dairy, nuts, seeds and grains. Good recipes, too.

  • monica197monica197 Posts: 719 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2020

    Traditionally Fermented Foods by Shannon Stonger

    @torey Does the Butchering book detail rabbits by chance?

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,751 admin

    @monica197 Yes. It shows how to skin and cut-up a rabbit as well as canning instructions

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,751 admin

    Skills for Simple Living. Betty Tillotson

    How to make a birch bark basket. How to build a solar water heater. How to extract lye for soap making. How to build a slug fence and deter other pests & critters. How to card wool. How to build a gourd mandolin. How to corn beef. How to build a clay oven.

    Just some examples of the wide range this book offers.

  • SilkiemamuskaSilkiemamuska Posts: 99 ✭✭✭

    I consider this a good addition and has lots of information that can be overload for some.

    Making the best of Basics - family preparedness handbook. James Talmage Stevens. I purchased it as a discard library book many years ago. 1997 edition - oldish!

    Always nice to have backups in place after all the time and energy involved on the homestead.



    Although a cookbook, she talks about gardening, raising animals, and stocking your pantry, as well!

  • AngelAngel Posts: 61 ✭✭✭

    The Home Preserving Bible by Carole Cancler is useful for all types of food preservation techniques, plus recipes.

  • flowerpower *flowerpower * Posts: 205 ✭✭✭

    Does anyone know the title of a blue covered book listing all the skill sets for farming, running a business, entertaining etc in just one volume? My family had this when I was a child and we called it "the Blue Book". My mother does not know where it went. It had instructions for world war II bomb shelters, so maybe it was written in the 40s?

  • aprilbbrinkmanaprilbbrinkman Posts: 248 ✭✭✭

    @Thomas I looked up "Ten Acres Enough" and it looks fascinating, I want to buy it. At the same time, this book also popped up:

    I want to read both books and a relief to know the "modern" farmer doesn't need ten whole acres LOL. We are looking for a property in the five-acre range. Anyhow, I'm buying both books. Thank you!

  • ThomasThomas Posts: 81 ✭✭✭

    @aprilbbrinkman I have both books, and they are both very good!

    Ten Acres Enough is informational, but in more of a story form. It is from right before the Civil War til after time frame. It is probably more inspirational more than anything. A good read that can convince you to get out and do things. There are certainly things in there that were useful for me but I have fruit trees, cattle, etc.. Really, the author makes me feel like a slouch when I read about all he does. 😋 But, in his defense, that was a time that if you didn't work hard enough or smart enough you didn't eat.

    Five Acres and Independence is more modern informational - say 1930's?

    I really like them both, if I was going to go for just one, it would be Five Acres.

    Also, the paper copies that I have are from Dover Publications. They are glue bound, but have held up well for me.

    Good luck on this!

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 3,380 admin

    I'll put in a vote for Five Acres and Independence - that 's the one that got me started.

  • aprilbbrinkmanaprilbbrinkman Posts: 248 ✭✭✭

    @Thomas I am even more excited to read these books. They have updated intros, otherwise remain the classics they are. I ordered both from Amazon. Perfect winter reading. Thanks again for the suggestions!

  • Michelle DMichelle D Posts: 290 ✭✭✭

    I just ordered Five Acres and Independence I'm very excited to read it! Thank you all for the recommendations. After I finish reading it I'm sure I will try to find the other books listed here. I have a bad habit of buying more books than I will ever have time to read.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,762 admin

    This is the book that I recommend about milk cows. I believe that this is the best one out there & we have referred to it often. We also have asked very experienced cow keeper relatives when we need specifics that the book hasn't quite covered.

    One piece of information that sticks with me is that there is always something more to learn. Calving teaches you a lot. So many unique situations can happen in that time.

    Here are the pictures. Of course, it is a Storey book. Those are usually very reliable.

  • NarjissMomOf3NarjissMomOf3 Posts: 113 ✭✭✭

    Hi guys. I can see that a lot of people have gardens and knowledge about homesteading. I live in a small appartment at the moment but I am saving for a little homestead in the future. Now, I am trying to learn whatever I can with my little spare time.

    My question is which book or books would you recommend for an absolute beginner?

    Thanks in advance!!🌷

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,751 admin


    Stocking Up (mentioned above) has very good, clear instructions and diagrams on everything food related. Easy for a beginner to follow. Lots of recipes, too.

    There is another discussion on growing food in the winter, that might have some suggestions that you would be able to incorporate into your life now, even in a small space. Might be good projects for your kids, too. https://community.thegrownetwork.com/discussion/845387/how-do-you-grow-food-in-the-winter-%EF%B8%8F#latest

    Have you checked out TGN's Academy? If you do some (or all) of those courses you will have much more information to help you when the time comes for you to choose your homestead. They will help you decide if you want to have livestock and if so, what kinds, as well as helping you choose a property that is suited to your gardening/food forest needs. There are downloadable e-books with some of the courses.

  • NarjissMomOf3NarjissMomOf3 Posts: 113 ✭✭✭

    Thank you Torey. Really appreciate it. I am going to order the book.

  • WendyWendy Posts: 132 ✭✭✭

    Now I have a winter reading list, thanks to all of you.

  • vickeymvickeym Posts: 691 ✭✭✭✭

    Since the first book was an older one, I took a chance and looked it up on a free book site I know. Found it there as a free download. It does require that you use a program that can handle a .djvu file but there are several free programs that will open it. I chose to download it and a free program to read it. So far I LOVE this book.

    Have not checked out the other books there yet.

    Before I share the site, I would like to ask a moderator if this is ok? I would be happy to message the moderator with the link for them to check out first.

  • vickeymvickeym Posts: 691 ✭✭✭✭

    I have been looking into the rest and many of these books are available on the site I am waiting for approval to post.

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,751 admin

    @vickeym I don't see any reason not to post the link. Several others have posted links to download free books. Getting to see a digital copy often encourages people to buy the hard copy.

  • vickeymvickeym Posts: 691 ✭✭✭✭

    torey Thank you. Just wanted to be sure before I shared it.

    This is the search page, just type in or copy and paste the title of the book your looking for or even a subject such as herbal.


    This is the link to The Library of Country Living, just to give an example.


    This book is a .djvu file which means you will have to have or download a program that can read that type of file. There are many free ones available just search how to open .djvu file. I am using win dj view to open with.

    How to download...

    If you click on the book itself it will take you to another page, At the top it will say GET click on that and you will start the download. Sometimes you will see multiple options when you search with different book types and such. You may be able to choose from epub, mobi, pdf, etc.

  • AcequiamadreAcequiamadre Posts: 272 ✭✭✭

    Encyclopedia of Country Living.

    My first book on homesteading back in the day. Has everything from skinning chickens to planting gardens. Written by someone who really lived the life, had the skills, build the knowledge. I don't use it as often now, but it really has a woman's lifetime of knowledge.

  • AcequiamadreAcequiamadre Posts: 272 ✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning We borrowed a cow once. It was such an adventure--and hilarious because we had no idea what we were doing.

    This book would have been helpful!

  • NarjissMomOf3NarjissMomOf3 Posts: 113 ✭✭✭

    Up up up... Let the book recommendations come... Haha

  • JensJens Posts: 555 ✭✭✭✭

    Living on one Acre or less from Sally Morgan

    Sustainable Market Farming from Pam Dawling

    Veg in one Bed and Grow Food for free from Huw Richards

    Any book from Charles Dowding

    Any book from John Seymore, he has some on homesteading, gardening and storing the harvest.

    The Urban Farmer from Curtis Stone

    Aquaponic gardening from Sylvia Bernstein

    The Suburban Micro Farm from Amy Stross

    Eliot Coleman, especially the one about year round growing

    The Market Gardener from Jean Martin Fortier

  • flowerpower *flowerpower * Posts: 205 ✭✭✭

    Is the .rs link OK?

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