A homestead library full of good books is an excellent resource to have. This post will share some of the books I’ve found to be invaluable in our homesteading journey!
Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate this means that I will earn a small commission if you choose to purchase through my links. This is at no extra cost to you.
I love the reliability of a good book – but finding one that is actually worth my time and money can prove to be challenging.
In a digital age where so much information is available online a home reference library is often overlooked. But if you have a backyard homestead or even a small farm, you need a physical reference library.
While the internet is great place to find so much information, we can’t underestimate the value of having a physical reference guide in our own home when it comes to handling important matters.
Since homesteading has so many different aspects, one book probably won’t cover everything you need to know in detail. For this reason, I’ve broken the books down by small categories.
We will cover my favorite homesteading books for:
- Homestead Animals
- General Homesteaded Development/Reference Guides
- Cooking and Preserving
- Organic Gardening
If you’re looking for books that are more inspirational and not a “how-to” guide, check out this list of Inspirational Homestead Books You Need to Read.
Books About Homestead Animals
Animal husbandry is a huge part of homesteading. These books offer an in depth look at the most frequently raised homestead animals.
This book by Harvey Ussery was re-released in November 2022 with various updates.
You will find information on all-natural approaches to breeding and raising chickens, including working with mother hens.
There are also resources on growing feed on a small scale and how to put your chickens to work tilling and making compost for your garden.
If you are looking for an all-natural, complete guide on how to utilize chickens most efficiently on your homestead, this is a great resource to have!
This book is a little unique. It was written over 100 years ago, so some of the building materials may be dated. However, the information for how to set up safe and healthy chicken coops still remains true.
This is another excellent resource for the backyard chicken keeper who wants to take the holistic approach. You’ll finding information on setting up your coop, hatching chicks, as well as how to treat ailments with herbal remedies.
(Joel Salatin gives the foreword in this book. In my opinion, that speaks to it being a fantastic resource in the backyard farming world.)
This book is an excellent resource for anyone interested in adding meat rabbits to their homestead. You’ll learn about pasture-based rabbit husbandry, as well as how you can turn this aspect of your homestead into a profitable business.
Storey’s Guide to Raising Pigs – Kelly Kobler
This book is incredibly useful for anyone looking for an introduction to raising pastured pigs. Although this book includes information on raising pigs commercially, the knowledge is useful for anyone with pigs. The information on helping newborn piglets, handling pigs with care, and housing are helpful across the board.
(Interested in raising quail? Check out this Beginners Guide to Quail Raising that I put together.)
If you’re on the fence about getting a family milk cow, this is a great book packed with details not only about the milk, but also about how to raise a healthy cow in accordance with their true nature.
And if you already have a milk cow, but want a book you can reference for things like calving, breeding, and illness – this is still an excellent resource to have.
If you have any intentions of raising your own meat, this is one of the best books for teaching you the process. This takes you from the very beginning, assuming you will be the one to skin or pluck the animal,
You’ll find recommendations of what tools you need as well as best practice on how to butcher each animal and use each part. Included are step-by-step instructions for cows, chickens, goats, hogs, deer, turkeys, and rabbits.
General Homesteading Books
These books give perspective in to how to develop your homestead, or general insights into various aspects of a homestead. These books are a great way to get a feel for things you want to implement or a new skill you want to learn.
This book is an excellent resource for those interested in growing their own food in a sustainable way with the help of grass-fed animals. The books authors took a piece of land deemed “not suitable for agriculture” by the state,and have revived it through this very process. This same land now provides their family with over 90% of their food!
This book focuses on selecting ruminant animals that can renew your soil fertility. You’ll find information on how to apply fencing strategies and pasture management, as well as details on processing the food received from those animals.
Books like this are the best. Not only are they a great read for inspiration, but they are also informative. If you’ve thought about setting up some off-grid components on your home (or maybe you want to be completely off grid) this is one of my favorite books.
The authors of this one left their home in the city and moved to the country. From there, they share their wisdom of building an off-grid, debt free homestead. It is full of practical advice, as well as information on how you can implement it on your own homestead.
You will learn how to build infrastructure for less, use the sun’s energy, grow and preserve harvests despite tough conditions. There are also details on managing an off-grid home, as well as beginners’ information on raising livestock. You’ll develop traditional skills that are invaluable in the homesteading lifestyle.
This is a big reference book that covers a wide range of skills associated with self sufficiency.
You’ll find everything from basic skills associated with modern homesteaders – such as raising chickens, planning your garden, and creating natural skincare products. To more advanced skills, such as building a barn, beekeeping, and tapping a maple tree.
This book has a wealth of information all in one spot. It excellent for anyone just stepping in to homesteading. If you find a topic in here that you need more information on, you can always move a comprehensive guide on that particular topic.
This is a book that covers a huge range of self-sufficient living topics. It contains enough information to get you started in things like harnessing solar power and scything. It also covers topics such as keeping chickens or making bread and has tons of helpful illustrations throughout the book.
Since this is a guide that covers so many topics, it is very useful for those wanting to take the first step in to homesteading. It will give you a base line of information that you can build on for years to come!
Best Homesteading Books for Cooking & Preserving
There are tons of homestead cookbooks out there, which makes it really hard to choose favorites. But I think these books listed below will make an excellent cookbook library for the natural, homemade, cook.
Cooking real food from scratch has become something many individuals no longer learn. We are constantly marketed meals that are quick and easy.
In this book, you will learn how to make simple meals using real high quality ingredients. This isn’t the same as an easy meal that involves only opening packages.
Alice will help you to master basic principles in cooking from scratch meals. You’ll find recipes that enhance and showcase the ingredients in each meal you cook.
Learning how to cook like a homesteader by using whole ingredients is one of the most important skills to have as a homesteader.
This cookbook has more than 109 recipes that use whole food ingredients. Even if you aren’t currently growing all your own ingredients for a meal, you will still be developing the skills necessary for if/when that time comes.
This cookbook includes the history and health benefits of fermented foods, as well as 100 delicious recipes. You’ll find recipes for fermented vegetables, hot sauces, kombucha, and so much more.
This book has been invaluable in teaching me step-by-step instructions for food preservation. It was the first book I picked up for canning, and I was able to learn so much from it as a brand-new canner.
There are tons and tons of tried-and-true recipes in this book, paired with details on the actual canning process. You’ll find details on the equipment you need and information on the art of science of home food preservation.
If you want to dabble in canning and fermenting on a small scale, this is the book for you!
I’ll never forget the first year I grew tomatoes in my garden. I was so excited to make tomato sauce to preserve, only to pull out my canning guide to see that I needed about 10X MORE for the recipe listed.
This guide has recipes for smaller batches, which is perfect for those working in a small space but still want to preserve their own fruits and vegetables. There aren’t quiet as many recipes on fermentation, but I still find this book valuable simply because of the small batch options.
Homesteading Books about Gardening
These books will help you plan your garden using organic practices for max production – including a medicinal herb garden.
If you’ve been interested in no-dig gardening, Charles Dowding (the guru of no dig gardening) has put together this great reference book full of detailed information.
You will learn how to grow healthy crops while maintaining healthy soil – a win-win in the organic gardening world.
(Speaking of no-dig gardening – check out these affordable and incredibly easy raised beds that I’ve been using in my garden area!)
When it comes to food production on your homestead, you need a plan. This practical book walks you through deciding how much you need to plant in order for your garden to feed your family for a whole year.
Not only that, but there are helpful charts on organic pest control, composting, seed starting, fertilizing, etc. This one is full of great information!
This is fantastic book for the modern homesteader interested in incorporating herbal remedies on their homestead. There are other herbal books out there, but I love that this one was written from a homesteading perspective.
You’ll learn how to grow herb garden, how to use herbal medicine for livestock and yourself, as well as how to use them in making tinctures, salves, and infused oils.