Homesteading books and preparedness guides are such a help to learning how to homestead and be more self-reliant.
Today I’m sharing some of our favorite homesteading books (and some other guides that we find useful).
This list includes books on starting a homestead, chicken keeping books, natural health, foraging, growing and using herbs, and other practical skills.
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Homesteading Books and Dreams
Ever since we married in 1998, we’ve been interested in “living off the land” and being more self-sufficient.
I believe it was exposure to a book called The Plain Reader: Essays on Making a Simple Life that really inspired us. After reading that book, we couldn’t wait to buy some land and start a homestead.
For the first few years of our marriage, we bought every book we could find on homesteading, gardening, and natural living.
Since we lived in the suburbs, we couldn’t do very much, but we did as much as we could. We planted a garden, enjoyed our first harvest, and read books.
Pretty much everything we know how to do came from books, especially in those early years.
Eventually, we moved near an Amish community and lived on 10 acres surrounded by horses and cows, and planted a huge garden.
We learned so much during those years!
Now we have one acre, 16 chickens, and an ever-expanding garden.
RELATED POST: Gardening Books to Learn How to Garden
Best Homesteading Books
There are so many homesteading books out there, but these are the ones we’ve referred to through the years.
Also, I’m including books about every area of self-sufficiency on this list.
We try to do as many things as possible ourselves, so I’ve included books about all aspects of self-sufficiency.
I haven’t included many animal-specific books (other than books about chicken keeping) because we currently only have chickens. There are so many other books that could be added to this list!
Our homestead is still growing and expanding, and we hope to add goats and bees to our small homestead someday.
Books About Homesteading and Country Living
There are so many good homesteading and country living books out there, but here are a few of our favorites.
The Encyclopedia of Country Living
I remember flipping through this book for hours as a child. Definitely a classic.
Storey’s Basic Country Skills
Storey’s Basic Country Skills has also been on our shelf for years. It’s another great classic on how to do many different things on a homestead.
Doable Off-Grid Homestead
The Doable Off-Grid Homestead is a new book to me, but it’s a great guide for setting up an off-grid homestead.
Not all of the projects are ones we would tackle immediately, but we have learned a lot just by studying the ideas this book contains.
Growing your own food is an essential part of every homestead. I’ve already shared an extensive list of our favorite gardening books here, but here are a few of my must-haves.
Joy of Gardening
GardenWay’s Joy of Gardening is my favorite gardening book, loaded with photos and information!
The Family Garden Plan
The Family Garden Plan is a great beginner’s guide to gardening.
Great Garden Companions
Great Garden Companions is a beautiful book with a great companion-planting system.
Once you’ve got your garden growing, you also need to know how to preserve your harvest so you can have food to eat through the winter.
There are so many food preservation books to choose from, but these are tried-and-true classics.
Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving book is the classic guide on preserving food.
Fermented Vegetables will teach you the art of fermenting. Learning how to ferment vegetables is another great food preservation method.
Before getting chickens we read everything we could find about how to keep chickens successfully. These books were the most helpful to us as new chicken keepers.
The Small-Scale Poultry Flock
The Small-Scale Poultry Flock is a helpful reference book to learn about keeping chickens.
The Chicken Health Handbook
The Chicken Health Handbook is another must-have chicken care book, especially when something isn’t right with your chickens.
Fresh Eggs Daily
Fresh Eggs Daily was one of the first chicken keeping books I read, and it’s lovely! Highly recommend this quick read.
The Homesteader’s Natural Chicken Keeping Handbook
The Homesteader’s Natural Chicken Keeping Handbook is another favorite chicken book. I love the beautiful photos, natural approach, and helpful recipes.
Knowing how to forage for wild edibles is a great skill to have! Here are a couple of our favorite foraging books.
Edible Wild Plants
Learn the art of foraging with Edible Wild Plants.
Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide
Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide is another great foraging resource.
Books About Natural Living
Being able to take care of basic healthcare needs saves so much money and may be a necessity if medical help were not available for some reason.
These are our most-used reference books.
Prescription for Nutritional Healing
Prescription for Nutritional Healing has been on our shelves for many years.
First Aid Manual
It’s always good to have a basic First Aid Manual on hand for emergencies.
The Survival Medicine Handbook
The Survival Medicine Handbook covers so many topics that would be useful in an emergency situation.
Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes
Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes contains so many simple recipes using herbs.
Homegrown Herbs is a complete guide to growing, using, and enjoying herbs. This is my favorite herb book.
The Healing Power of Essential Oils
The Healing Power of Essential Oils is a great reference book for using essential oils.
Be Your Own “Doctor”
Be Your Own Doctor has been on my shelves for years, and it’s one of the main books we’ve referred to whenever a health situation has arisen. Written by a Master Herbalist, midwife, and homeschool mom, I love so much about this book.
Be Your Own Doctor II
Be Your Own Doctor II is the second book of the Be Your Own Doctor series.
Back Yard Pharmacy
Back Yard Pharmacy is another book by Rachel Weaver that will teach you how to grow your own herbs and make herbal preparations.
The Big Book of Backyard Medicine
The Big Book of Backyard Medicine is “The Ultimate Guide to Home-Grown Herbal Remedies.” This lovely book is filled with photos and information.
More Homesteading and Simple Living Posts
- How to Grow Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide
- Mobile Chicken Coop Tractor Build
- 12 Tips for Growing Tomatoes
- How to Make Soy Candles
- How to Make Beeswax Candles
- Gardening for Beginners: The Ultimate Resource Guide
- How to Make Mint Tea with Fresh Mint Leaves
- How to Make Your Own Comfrey Salve
- Our Favorite Gardening Books
We have more books related to homesteading and preparedness on our shelves, but these are the ones I’ve found to be the most helpful in general.
We’ve also collected books about raising dairy goats, heating with wood, and a variety of homestead-related crafts.
Which books would you add to this list?