Our Top 10 Recommended Homestead Books

Sometimes, nothing is more enjoyable then getting away from the computer screen and curiling up with tea and a good book. These are pretty great homestead books to keep on the bookshelf for those moments!Though we’ve learned that living off grid is a journey that is better understood through personal experience than any outside explanation, we’ve found a wealth of information from homestead books that has been invaluable to us on our journey to self-sufficiency so far. Below are some of our top books for self-sufficient living.

Though we haven’t yet read every title on this list, we hope to someday collect them all for the ‘homesteading library’ portion of our homestead tool kit that we are slowly growing. Some are targeted at people that want to live off grid like us, and others are more suited to people that have an acre (or less) to play around with.

If you have any other suggestions of other books that we need to look into, feel free to mention them in the comments! We are always ready to read more about ways to achieve self sufficiency, and if we like your recommendation we’ll be sure to keep this page updated.

Most Recommended Books on Homesteading

The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery

homestead book encyclopedia of country livingIf you want a comprehensive book that covers every angle of living a back-to-nature lifestyle, this encyclopedia is absolutely the way to go. This book is HUGE! Each page is the size of an open newspaper, the font is tiny and the pages are as thin as tissue paper, meaning that this book is absolutely jammed with important information. In its pages you can learn about butchering livestock, making soap, building furniture and so much more. Best of all, most of the content was written in the 1970s during the back to the land movement, so you know the tips inside have withstood the test of time. We used it as a reference for recipes during our canning adventures this summer, and there’s so much more we hope to use it for in the coming months.

Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig

[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”0967089735″ cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61VpgYoVD2L._SL160_.jpg” tag=”plfl-anna-20” width=”120″]Nourishing Traditions[/easyazon_image]Most of us know that the modern American diet is bad news, but with all the contradictory health claims out there it can be hard to understand what we should be eating instead. This cookbook makes the quest for good food easy by filling its pages with delicious and healthy recipes and plenty of explanations about why you are better off eating closer to nature. This cookbook takes a ‘fat-positive’ perspective and celebrates animal fats like butter and lard, and shows you what kind of diet is ideal for people of all ages, especially children. We may not have kids but this is still our favorite cookbook and we fully recommend it!

The Suburban Micro-Farm by Amy Stross

[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”0997520809″ cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/513RQfV-lTL._SL160_.jpg” tag=”purlivforlif-20″ width=”160″/]We recently got this book in the mail and we are IN-LOVE! This book has so much great information for the beginning gardener, and even for seasoned gardeners looking for new ideas. This focuses on both organic and sustainable gardening which I enjoy, and if Amy can have a productive garden in a small area, it makes me feel confident that we can too. This book is well-written and easy to understand, and as a bonus she’s willing to provide a monthly gardening schedule (what to do month-by-month) which we plan on downloading for accountability.

Creating Your Off-Grid Homestead: Radical Inspiration and Practical Advice by Teri Page

[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”B01E4W5VX0″ cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61CJjV6ZgPL._SL160_.jpg” tag=”plfl-anna-20” width=”118″]Creating Your Off-Grid Homestead: Radical Inspiration and Practical Advice[/easyazon_image]Though we believe that starting to live off grid is an adventure that is best understood through personal experience, reading about another person’s journey can be extremely helpful. Teri Page and her family went off grid in 2012 and started to build a homestead from the raw land beneath them (hey, that sounds familiar!). Her book about their experience is full of practical information, encouragement, and inspiration for taking the first steps towards your own off grid home. You’ll get to learn from the mistakes of Teri so that you can save time by making brand new ones on your own property. Sorry, that’s inevitable, but also a big part of the fun. Even if your future homestead is still in the dream stage, this book is a great read.

Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) by Angela England

top books for homesteadingIt’s a common misconception to think that you need massive tracts of land to be able to farm and have a homestead. That’s simply not true. Look at us, we just have five acres! You’d be amazed how much you can do with even one acre, and this book by Angela England shows you just how much food that land can produce for you. Tapping into her personal experience as a ½ acre gardener, Angela shows you the ways that you can raise your own fruits, vegetables and even livestock on a small patch of land. It’s completely possible to start farming right where you are, and this book will show you the way.

How to Make Money Homesteading: So You Can Enjoy a Secure, Self-Sufficient Life by Tim Young

[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”1502786052″ cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51KZ5MNQBKL._SL160_.jpg” tag=”plfl-anna-20” width=”105″]How to Make Money Homesteading: So You Can Enjoy a Secure, Self-Sufficient Life[/easyazon_image]How we make money is one of the questions we are most frequently asked on our homestead. The truth is that rely on multiple income streams, and that’s the advice that Tim Young gives you in this super informative homestead guide. Finding sources of self sufficient or passive income is crucial to your success if you want to move out into the country, and this book will get you on the path towards success. Throughout it, Tim interviews 18 different homesteaders to showcase the various earning styles that people can use to get out of debt and live the homesteading life of their dreams. If you want to homestead but can’t figure out how to make the numbers work, this book is a perfect place to start.

Soil Sisters: A Toolkit for Women Farmers by Lisa Kivirist

soil sisters book on homesteadingToday in America, women are taking over the agricultural scene with gusto. However, they face unique challenges in this field that sometimes make owning and operating a farm difficult. Lisa pulls back the veil on these struggles by looking at them openly, while also celebrating the amazing perspective that women can bring to farming. If you are a female that dreams of having your own farm, this book is a must-read. It’s full of helpful tips and savvy advice that can help you get started and be successful. Even if you plan to have a man along with you the whole way, this book is still essential reading for every female that dreams of getting more in touch with her own plot of land.

Natural Healing Wisdom & Know How: Useful Practices, Recipes, and Formulas for a Lifetime of Health by Amy Rost

books about homesteadingFor many people, the appeal of living off grid or homesteading is the freedom that they have to live closer to the earth. In many cases, this means turning down the options of modern medicine and instead becoming more self reliant in treating your own problems. If this sounds like you but you don’t know how to begin, this book about natural living is a great place to start. You’ll get an introduction into homeopathy, energy healing, Eastern medicine and lots more. Consider it a comprehensive summary of the natural living material that’s out there and the perfect place to start your natural living journey so that you have a launching point for learning more in the future.

The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre! by Carlen Madigan

the backayrd homestead - a modern homesteading bookWe’ve talked earlier about how you only need an acre to start homesteading, but did you know that you really only need a quarter acre?! This comprehensive book by Carlen Madigan will teach you how. She’ll show you how she feeds her family of four year-round on her quarter acre with vegetables, meat, eggs and dairy products. Her strategy relies on careful management to ensure that each bit of land that she has is utilized to its maximum potential. Her easy to follow instructions will make it simple for you to start your own self sufficiency journey. This book is one more way to get rid of the mental barriers about what you can accomplish in your own life right now.

DIY Projects for the Self-Sufficient Homeowner: 25 Ways to Build a Self-Reliant Lifestyle by Betsy Matheson

Self Sufficient Homestaed - A Modern Homesteading BookMost of our time on our off grid property has been spent completing projects: from winter barns to chopping firewood and even building our own DIY cedar hot tub. We’ve often relied on inspiration from books like this that show you the exact steps you need to take to complete projects that make your own life more self sufficient. Within these pages you’ll find instructions for building projects that utilize solar and hydro power, and even learn how to build a functional greenhouse. It’s an added bonus that most of the projects in this book can be completed with materials that you already have right at home!

The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals by Gale Damerow

books on homesteading - farm animalsIt’s relatively easy to understand how you can start a quarter acre garden in your backyard, but learning the steps to take for getting your own farm animals is an entirely different matter! Though we don’t have any livestock of our own yet, we know that this informative homestead book by Gale Damerow would definitely help us get started. If you need help selecting the right breed for your situation or simply learning what to do with all the animal waste, this book will teach you what you need to know about becoming more self sufficient with your own homestead livestock.

Your Custom Homestead: Awakening a Fresh Vision of Homesteading by Jill Winger

[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”B007B6TH9G” cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41O9WOmnAoL._SL160_.jpg” tag=”plfl-anna-20” width=”120″]Your Custom Homestead: Awakening a Fresh Vision of Homesteading[/easyazon_image]The challenging and even overwhelming part of the idea of homesteading is feeling like you don’t have the perfect location to do this. I felt this way when I lived in the city, even with a pretty large backyard, so it deterred me from even trying. Jill is a seasoned homesteader and well-known for her blog The Prairie Homestead, and in this book she tries to make homesteading digestible and attainable by anyone, regardless of where you live, by conveying that homesteading is a mindset rather than a goal. In this book, she’ll take you through a 21-day process of moving closer to your homesteading dream, regardless of where you live.

The Weekend Homesteader: A Twelve-Month Guide to Self-Sufficiency

[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”1616088826″ cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51sVCbvzodL._SL160_.jpg” tag=”plfl-anna-20” width=”112″]The Weekend Homesteader: A Twelve-Month Guide to Self-Sufficiency[/easyazon_image]I love this homesteading book because again, homesteading can be overwhelming for a newbie like myeslf, and this book makes it look easy by breaking down homesteading into monthly tasks, including how long each task takes! There really is a season for everything, and the season’s aren’t that long, so this book totally breaks it down into things you can do today that works with the current season.


  1. Nell says

    Thanks for the book information. I watched the video today about breaking loose from your old home and driving with the car and RV to your purchased homestead. For whatever reason I can not imagine… I cried thru the video. I think it is a wonderful video clip. Thank you. Hopefully I will one day build my own homestead. Be good, be safe, have fun. Love Nell.

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