Friday, January 01, 2016

Books to Improve your Homestead

The Wanderer and I get asked often for book recommendations. What would we recommend for those just starting their journey in homesteading and self sufficiency. We are voracious readers. Our free moments are spent with books, or the tablet in our hands. We love relaxing in our hammock and reading. At the end of the day when we are curled up in bed we read to each other before falling asleep. Books are an important part of our lives. We have taken the time to make a list comprised of our favorite books that will aid others in the homesteading lifestyle. 

The first book on list is actually a series of books. You can buy the complete 14 volume set with special anniversary editions for the low price of $234.50 on Amazon. With some hunting you can piece together the
set for about $13-14 dollars a book. I first stumbled across the Foxfire books while in college. Many of the topics in the books wouldn't become important to me until many years later when the Wanderer and I settled down and began collecting animals. The books started out as a simple English class project. Now in addition to the magazine, and books The Firefox Fund also operates a museum dedicated to Southern Appalachian history and heritage. Topics covered in the Foxfire books include: Spring Wild Plant Foods, Spinning and Weaving, Midwifing, Burial Customs, Corn Shuckin's, Wagon Making,  Hide Tanning, Summer and Fall Wild Plant Foods, Butter Churns, Ironmaking, Blacksmithing, Quilting, etc.

The Quest of the Simple Life

This is not a how-to book, this is a insightful look into one man's () quest to find
himself and simplicity in early 1900's England. I think this book is the perfect read for cold winter nights. We as modern homesteaders tend to look at the past as the "good ol' days" our quest to go back and live as simply as our ancestors. This is a look at how that same quest for simplicity looks to our ancestors. 

The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It

John Seymour is often called Father of Self-Sufficiency, and in this book he gives practical tips and advice on how nearly anyone can follow in his footsteps and live a simpler, more self sufficient lifestyle. He covers a wide variety of topics in this book, from harvesting and preserving food, animal husbandry, basket weaving and beer making. 

Wildcrafting may not be on your horizon yet, it wasn't on ours either when we first started this journey. Our
grandparents and great grandparents knew the natural bounty that lay in the woods and fields all around us. Grandma could go outside and make a feast from things that grew wild. Samuel Thayer's book covers every aspect of edible wild plants, he will teach you how to safely identify plants, harvest and prepare them. This is the book you need to live more comfortably and fully enjoy natures bountiful harvest.