Home Chickens & Ducks 11 Homesteading Books for the Beginner Homesteader

11 Homesteading Books for the Beginner Homesteader

by radoo_ngnh2u

A well-stocked shelf of homesteading books is essential when starting your homestead. There is a lot of good information on the internet, but I always like to have some reliable books on hand. Plus the internet doesn’t have it all, my friends.

I am going to share with you some of my favorite homesteading books that have helped me along my journey so far. I may not have the homestead of my dreams yet, but I am working towards building it every day. Part of that includes reading books about many different things that go into homesteading. Like animal husbandry, solar energy, gardening, cookbooks, food preservation, and more.

Homesteading is a mindset

Before I get into the list I want to say that you don’t need to have a 10-acre farm with everything in between to be a homesteader. I believe that homesteading is a state of mind and you can start no matter where you live. If you live in a 1 bedroom apartment, start a container herb garden. Source some local produce and meat. Learn how to pressure can or sew.

I think that a big misconception when it comes to homesteading is that you can’t be a homesteader with no land. Maybe it’s true to a certain extent, animals are a big part of homesteading. But there is always something you can do to live the homesteading lifestyle. It is all about your mindset.

Until I get my 10 acres, here is what I’ve been reading to get me up to speed when the time comes.

Homesteading Books for the Beginner Homesteader

Below are my favorite homesteading books along with a brief overview of what you can expect from the contents of each book.

1. Foxfire Series

The Foxfire series is a homesteaders classic book series. There are a total of 12 books in the series. They each cover different homesteading topics in-depth. Whether you want to learn to build a house by hand, dig a well, birth babies, butcher animals, or preserve food – there isn’t much this series doesn’t cover.

homesteading books

I also love this book because it takes place in the Appalachia Mountains. These mountains are one of my favorite places for a few reasons — the scenery is incredible, it’s peaceful, and I have some strong family roots there. My ancestors were Appalachian Settlers. When I read these books, I am connected to my ancestors. Like I am learning how they survived in those mountains all year long.

The cover above is from book 2. There are other books in the series.

You can find them for purchase here.

2. The Encyclopedia of Country Living

This book will teach you a plethora of skills. It has a lot of helpful and interesting information, it certainly didn’t disappoint. If you would like to gain a general overview of the homesteading lifestyle, this is a great starting point.

homesteading books

Sure, you can find all of this info on the internet, but it’s nice to have it all in one place so you can easily reference back to it when needed. In this book you can learn how to:

  • Can and preserve food
  • Plan your garden
  • Grow a successful garden and harvest
  • Make cheese in 20 minutes
  • Bake bread from scratch
  • Keep bees
  • Cook on a wood stove
  • Make natural skin and body care products
  • Raise chickens, goats, and pigs
  • Make organic bug sprays
  • Homemade remedies
  • Forage for wild food
  • Spin wool into yarn
  • Tap a maple tree and gather maple syrup

And more! This book is a must have on my homesteading bookshelf.

Buy it here.

3. Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine

This one is another must have for a gardener. This book teaches you how to cultivate, harvest, and make your own treatments from medicinal plants.

homesteading books

If you’re a homesteader, you might already know how amazing plants are. One of my favorite things about plants is their symbiotic relationships and healing properties.

Whether you want to learn about lavender, dandelion or thyme, this book has it all. It details information on over 550 herbs and plants. It’s a great resource to have in your natural medicine cabinet.

Buy the book here.

4. The First-Time Gardener: Growing Vegetables

This is a dream book for a beginner gardener. It has helped me so much on my gardening journey so far. There is a lot of valuable information and problem-solving tips.

homesteading books

You can expect to figure out where to put your garden, how to prepare the soil, figure out what vegetables to plant. How to water, feed, and prune your plants. How to get rid of bugs, and more.

This is a book that I will recommend to new gardeners time and time again.

You can buy it here.

5. The Homesteader’s Natural Chicken Keeping Handbook

Most homesteaders would agree that chickens are a good place to start with farm animals. They are typically easy animals to care for and don’t require a ton of maintenance. The key is to set your chickens up with the best possible home, and set them up for success.

This book will go over all the basic needs for chicken keeping. A few takeaways from the book are why chickens do what they do, how to prevent illness, hatching chicks, feeding, coop set up, and more.

For every stage of the chicken’s life, you will know what to do with this book in hand.

Buy it here.

6. Keeping a Family Cow

If you are interested in having a family milk cow on your homestead, this book is a great resource. I don’t have my own cow yet, but I do work at a dairy milking cows. I can say that this book is full of great information. It does talk about Jersey’s the most, if that is the breed you are looking into this is a great source. Even if you’re looking into another breed, I still recommend it. 

This book was originally published in the 1970’s and it has been updated and checked for accuracy consistently. 

When keeping a milk cow, there are a lot of things you need to know and keep track of to keep her happy and healthy. This book will discuss:

  • The health benefits of raw milk
  • How to milk a cow efficiently
  • How to choose the breed
  • How to dry off your cow
  • Information about breeding and calving
  • Hay quality and nutrition requirements
  • Fencing and pasture management
  • Water supply, housing, other supplies
  • Treating illness
  • And how to use all of that glorious milk!

When it is time for us to bring our girl home, I’ll be glad I read this book.

Buy it here.

7. The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals

If part of your homestead adventure is to raise your own meat, dairy, poultry, or bees, this book is a must-have. There is so much valuable information in this book can that can make it all seem a little less overwhelming. You can find a lot of photos and infographics to explain things as easy as possible.

It’s a hard thing to raise your own animals for food. Whether you are beginning your farm animal journey or you’re deep in, this is a book that should be on your shelf.

Buy it here.

8. Nourishing Broth

If you are in the homesteading world, you have probably heard about bone broth. Bone broth, when done right, is extremely nourishing for the body.

homesteading books

Cartilage compounds, amino acids, and minerals play a big part in that. In this book, the author discusses the benefits of bone broth with support from a Doctor who presents scientific evidence of the benefits. Of course, there are recipes and techniques shared to help you on your journey. Learn how to make chicken broth, clear consommé, shrimp shell stock and more.

People who drink bone broth often claim to have recovered from an array of illnesses — such as crohn’s disease, eating disorders, digestive disorders, inflammation, and acne are among those.

Buy the book here.

9. Nourishing Traditions

This is a really interesting one. If you’re conscious about nutrition, this is a great place to start. It discusses the building blocks of traditional nutrition and how to achieve it.

After reading this you will understand the role of animal fats in your diet. You will learn about the problems with modern soy food and veganism for the body, the pros and cons of dairy consumption, and more.

Buy the book here.

10. Raising Goats for Beginners

This one is for my goat lovers. No one cleans up the twigs and branches like these little guys. Sure, they can be escape artists and cause some trouble sometimes, but I think they are very worthy animals.

I (obviously) have a soft spot for goats, they’re my favorite, right next to cows. If you need to bring some goats to the farm, this book is a great place to start. You will learn all about their care requirements, health, and more.

Buy it here.

11. The Prairie Homestead Cookbook

I love this cookbook by Jill Winger. You know how you buy a cookbook and sometimes only end up cooking a couple recipes? I’m not kidding when I say my very picky husband would eat pretty much everything in this book. The recipes are simple, don’t have a lot of ingredients, and are made with traditional home foods.

You need this cookbook when you’re creating your traditional foods kitchen.

Buy it here.

Final Thoughts on Homesteading Books

There are tons of great books out there pertaining to homesteading – it’s hard to choose! I hope this list has helped you decide what books to get for your homestead journey. These books have helped me gain the knowledge, confidence, and ability to do all of the things that I want to do. And if I haven’t done it yet, I’m definitely studying these books until the time comes.

Happy Homesteading!

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