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Everyone wants the book. Everyone wants the ultimate compendium that will tell them how to do all the things. But unfortunately, one single compendium does not exist.
Instead, a few do.
One of the most frequently asked questions I see about homesteading is which book is the BEST book. There isn’t one. And there are so many topics and themes within homesteading that you’ll never have a single book that does it all.
You may be more into regenerative farming, or more into prepping. Both entirely plausible homesteading themes, but with different applications.
So, I’ve compiled a list of the best homesteading books to help you along – these are my personal selections and books I actually own. Each is fantastic in different ways and can help you in a multitude of areas on your journey.
Table of Contents
20 of the best books for homesteading
Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast by Ken Forkish is a must-read for anyone interested in baking bread at home. The book is comprehensive and covers everything from the science behind bread-making to detailed recipes for a variety of bread types.
Forkish’s approach to bread-making is both practical and passionate. He emphasizes the importance of using high-quality ingredients, including flour, water, salt, and yeast, and provides detailed instructions for how to mix, shape, and bake bread. The result is bread that is both delicious and visually stunning.
One of the standout features of this book is the extensive use of photographs, which help to illustrate the various steps involved in the bread-making process. The book also includes useful tips and troubleshooting advice, making it a valuable resource for both novice and experienced bakers.
Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast is an excellent book that is both informative and inspiring. Forkish’s passion for bread-making is evident on every page, and his practical tips and detailed recipes make it easy for anyone to get started with this rewarding hobby.
My fave recipe is the crusty white poolish which I make in my weekly bake. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves baking bread or wants to learn more about the art of bread-making.
“Tartine Bread” by Chad Robertson is a comprehensive guide to artisan bread baking. The book is beautifully designed with stunning photographs and illustrations that make the bread-making process look like an art form. Robertson shares his passion for bread-making with readers and provides detailed instructions on how to make the perfect loaf of bread. He covers everything from the science behind bread-making to the tools and techniques needed for success.
What sets Tartine apart from other bread-making books is the emphasis on using natural ingredients and traditional methods. Robertson encourages readers to use locally sourced, organic ingredients and to take their time with the bread-making process. He provides detailed instructions on how to create and maintain a sourdough starter, which is the key ingredient for many of the bread recipes in the book.
One of the highlights of Tartine is the step-by-step instructions for making the famous Tartine country loaf. Robertson breaks down the process into easy-to-follow steps and provides tips and tricks for achieving the perfect crust and crumb. The recipes are written with both the novice and experienced baker in mind, making this book accessible to anyone interested in bread-making.
This book is a must-have for anyone interested in artisan bread baking. It is beautifully designed, with clear and detailed instructions that make the bread-making process accessible to all. Robertson’s passion for bread-making is contagious, and readers are sure to be inspired to try their hand at baking their own bread after reading this book.
The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery is a comprehensive guidebook to sustainable living in the countryside. This book is a treasure trove of information that covers everything from raising livestock to growing a garden, preserving food, and making your own household and personal care products.
What sets this book apart from other homesteading guides is its emphasis on practicality and accessibility. Emery writes in a clear, straightforward style that is easy to understand for readers without any prior knowledge of farming or rural living. The book is organized in a user-friendly manner, with chapters covering different topics and subtopics that are easy to navigate.
One of the strengths of this book is its attention to detail. Emery covers every aspect of rural living, from the nitty-gritty details of animal husbandry to the big picture of creating a sustainable lifestyle. She also provides a wealth of resources, including recipes, checklists, and step-by-step instructions, making it easy for readers to put her advice into practice.
The Encyclopedia of Country Living is a must-read for anyone interested in sustainable living and homesteading. It’s a comprehensive guidebook that is sure to become a go-to reference for anyone looking to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle.
Polyface Micro by Joel Salatin is a must-read for anyone interested in sustainable farming and regenerative agriculture. Salatin’s passion for the environment and his deep understanding of the intricate connections between soil, plants, animals, and humans shines through in this book.
The author provides a comprehensive guide to creating a micro-scale, low-tech, high-yield farm that mimics the natural systems found in a forest. Salatin’s approach to farming is holistic, emphasizing the importance of biodiversity, soil health, and animal welfare.
Salatin’s writing style is engaging, and his stories of life on the farm are both informative and entertaining. He shares his successes and failures with honesty and humor, making this book not only informative but also a pleasure to read.
Polyface Micro is an inspiring and practical guide to sustainable farming. It challenges readers to rethink their relationship with the environment and provides a roadmap for creating a more resilient and regenerative food system. I highly recommend this book to farmers, gardeners, and anyone interested in sustainable agriculture.
Polyface Designs by Joel Salatin is an inspiring and thought-provoking book that challenges readers to rethink the way we approach agriculture and food production. Salatin describes in detail his regenerative farming practices, which prioritize the health and well-being of the animals, the land, and the people who consume the food produced.
The book is well-written and engaging, with Salatin’s passion and enthusiasm for his work shining through on every page. He presents a compelling case for why regenerative farming practices are not only better for the environment, but also more sustainable and profitable for farmers in the long run.
One of the key strengths of Polyface Designs is Salatin’s ability to explain complex farming concepts in a way that is accessible to readers of all backgrounds. Whether you are a seasoned farmer or just starting to learn about sustainable agriculture, this book is a valuable resource that will leave you feeling inspired and empowered to make positive changes in your own life.
Polyface Designs is a must-read for anyone interested in sustainable agriculture, regenerative farming practices, and the future of food production. Salatin’s insights and experiences are invaluable, and his passion for his work is infectious. Highly recommended.
“Earth Restorer’s Guide to Permaculture” by Rosemary Marrow is a comprehensive and accessible guide to permaculture, a sustainable and regenerative approach to agriculture and land management. The author presents a holistic approach to farming, gardening, and community building that focuses on working with nature, rather than against it.
Marrow provides clear explanations and practical tips on permaculture design principles, including soil health, water conservation, food production, and waste management. The book also includes inspiring case studies of successful permaculture projects from around the world.
Earth Restorer’s Guide to Permaculture is an essential resource for anyone interested in creating a more sustainable and resilient future for our planet. It is highly recommended for beginners and experienced practitioners alike.
“Gardening through the year in Australia” by Ian Spence is an excellent book for both novice and experienced gardeners. The author provides a comprehensive guide on how to keep a garden flourishing throughout the year.
The book is divided into seasons, and each section is filled with practical tips on planting, pruning, fertilizing, and pest control. The language used in the book is easy to understand, and the author provides clear instructions on how to apply the advice provided.
One of the strengths of this book is the author’s focus on the Australian climate and its impact on gardening. Ian Spence’s experience as a horticulturist and landscaper is evident throughout the book, and he provides valuable insights into the unique challenges and opportunities of gardening in Australia.
The book is also beautifully illustrated, with full-color photographs and diagrams that help to illustrate the author’s advice. The illustrations are not only aesthetically pleasing but also provide practical guidance on how to execute different gardening techniques.
Gardening through the year in Australia is a valuable resource for anyone interested in maintaining a beautiful and healthy garden in Australia. It is a well-written and beautifully illustrated book that is sure to be a go-to guide for gardeners of all levels of expertise.
“Permaculture Design: A Step by Step Guide” by Aranya is an excellent resource for anyone interested in the principles of permaculture and how to apply them in practical ways. The book offers a thorough and accessible introduction to the concepts of permaculture, including its ethics and design principles, and provides a step-by-step guide to designing sustainable and regenerative systems.
One of the strengths of this book is its clear and concise writing style, which makes it easy for readers at all levels of experience to understand and apply the concepts presented. Aranya’s explanations of complex topics are straightforward and engaging, and the book is full of helpful diagrams and illustrations that help to clarify key concepts.
Another notable feature of Permaculture Design is its emphasis on practical application. Aranya provides readers with a wealth of tools and techniques for designing and implementing permaculture systems, including advice on site analysis, plant selection, water management, and soil improvement.
Permaculture Design: A Step by Step Guide is an essential resource for anyone looking to learn more about permaculture and how to apply its principles to create more sustainable and regenerative systems. Highly recommended for gardeners, farmers, and anyone interested in creating a more resilient and sustainable future.
The Weed Forager’s Handbook: A Guide to Edible and Medicinal Weeds in Australia by Adam Grubb is a must-read for anyone interested in foraging or herbal medicine. Grubb’s passion for weeds shines throughout the book, as he shares his extensive knowledge of the subject in an accessible and engaging way.
The book is full of useful information on how to identify, harvest, and use a variety of common weeds found in Australia. The author covers more than 70 different species, providing detailed descriptions of each, along with photographs and illustrations to aid in identification.
What sets this book apart is its focus on the many uses of these weeds, both in terms of culinary and medicinal applications. Grubb shares his own recipes for using the weeds in delicious and creative ways, as well as providing information on traditional uses of the plants for healing and wellness.
The Weed Forager’s Handbook is a well-written and informative guide that will appeal to anyone interested in the natural world and its many wonders. It is a valuable resource for foragers, herbalists, and anyone looking to expand their knowledge of the many uses of Australia’s abundant and often-overlooked weeds.
The Permaculture Earthworks Handbook by Douglas Barnes is an excellent guide for anyone interested in creating sustainable landscapes. This book covers a range of topics, including designing and constructing earthworks, water management, and soil conservation. The author provides detailed instructions and illustrations that make it easy to understand the concepts and put them into practice.
What sets this book apart is its focus on permaculture principles and how to incorporate them into earthworks design. The author emphasizes the importance of working with nature rather than against it, and provides examples of how to create earthworks that enhance biodiversity and promote ecological health.
The Permaculture Earthworks Handbook is a valuable resource for anyone interested in creating sustainable and resilient landscapes.
If you’re an Aussie, then you know Costa. I remember watching him on SBS with my grandfather who loved his gardening show. It is without a doubt that this book became part of my homesteading collection when it came out.
Costa’s World is an inspiring read for anyone interested in gardening, sustainability, and the environment. Written by Costa Georgiadis, the host of the popular Australian television show Gardening Australia, the book takes readers on a journey through his life and explores the importance of connecting with nature.
The book is divided into chapters that cover different aspects of Costa’s life, including his childhood, his travels, and his work as a landscape architect. Throughout the book, Costa shares his personal experiences and insights, and provides practical tips and advice for readers who want to start their own gardening projects.
One of the strengths of Costa’s World is its emphasis on sustainability and environmentalism. Costa encourages readers to think about how their gardening practices can have a positive impact on the environment, and provides practical advice on how to reduce waste, conserve water, and create habitats for wildlife.
Another highlight of the book is Costa’s infectious enthusiasm and passion for gardening. His love for plants and the natural world is evident on every page, and readers will find themselves inspired to get their hands dirty and start their own gardening projects.
Costa’s World is a must-read for anyone who loves gardening and cares about the environment. It is a beautifully written and inspiring book that will leave readers feeling optimistic about the future of our planet.
Milkwood: Real skills for down-to-earth living is an empowering book that encourages readers to take control of their own lives by embracing a more sustainable and self-sufficient way of living. The authors, Kirsten Bradley and Nick Ritar, share their wealth of knowledge and experience in an accessible and engaging way, making it easy for readers to apply the skills to their own lives.
The book covers a wide range of topics, from gardening and permaculture to cheese-making and beekeeping. Each chapter is well-researched and practical, providing step-by-step instructions and helpful tips to ensure success. The authors also share personal anecdotes and stories, making the book feel like a conversation with a knowledgeable friend.
One of the standout features of the book is the beautiful photography, which showcases the authors’ own farm and the abundance of produce they have been able to cultivate using the methods they describe. It is a visual reminder of what is possible when we take control of our own food production and embrace a more sustainable way of living.
Milkwood is an inspiring and informative book that is a must-read for anyone interested in living a more sustainable, self-sufficient life. It is a valuable resource that will continue to be useful for years to come, and its message is more important now than ever before.
Fire Cider by Rosemary Gladstar is an excellent book for anyone interested in herbalism, natural remedies, or just looking for a way to boost their immune system. The book provides detailed instructions on how to make fire cider, a traditional folk remedy used to ward off colds and flu.
Gladstar’s writing is clear and concise, and her passion for herbalism is evident throughout the book. She not only provides a recipe for fire cider but also discusses the various health benefits of the individual ingredients, such as garlic, ginger, and horseradish.
In addition to the fire cider recipe, the book includes other remedies that can be made with the same ingredients, such as herbal vinegars and oxymels. Gladstar also shares her personal experiences with fire cider and how it has helped her and her family maintain good health.
Fire Cider is a fantastic resource for anyone interested in natural remedies and improving their overall well-being. The book is well-written, informative, and provides readers with the knowledge and tools to make their own fire cider and other herbal remedies. Highly recommended!
Medicinal Herbs by Rosemary Gladstar is an excellent resource for anyone interested in herbal medicine. The book provides a comprehensive overview of the most common medicinal herbs, their uses, benefits, and potential side effects. Gladstar’s writing style is clear and concise, making it easy for readers of all levels to understand and apply the information.
One of the standout features of the book is the detailed instructions for preparing and using herbs in a variety of forms, including teas, tinctures, salves, and capsules. Gladstar’s instructions are easy to follow, and the recipes are flexible enough to allow for experimentation and customization.
Another strength of the book is Gladstar’s emphasis on sustainable and ethical harvesting practices. She provides guidance on how to grow and harvest herbs in a way that is both environmentally responsible and respectful of indigenous cultural traditions.
Medicinal Herbs is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in natural remedies and herbal medicine. Whether you are a seasoned herbalist or just starting out, this book is an essential addition to your library.
The River Cottage Meat Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a comprehensive guide to meat, from sourcing to cooking and everything in between. The book is well-written and informative, covering a wide range of topics such as the ethics of meat consumption, the anatomy of different animals, and techniques for preparing various cuts.
Fearnley-Whittingstall’s passion for sustainable and responsible meat production shines through in his writing. The recipes are also fantastic, with a mix of classic and unique dishes that will appeal to both meat-lovers and those looking to expand their culinary horizons.
The River Cottage Meat Book is an excellent resource for anyone interested in meat, whether you’re a seasoned chef or a beginner cook.
The Sustainable Meat Cookbook by Pipers Farm is a must-read for anyone who cares about where their food comes from and how it is produced. The book provides a wealth of knowledge and practical advice for those who want to eat meat in a sustainable and ethical way. The recipes are not only delicious but also showcase the wide variety of cuts available from an animal and how to use them to their fullest potential.
The authors, Peter and Henri Greig, are passionate about their farm and their animals, and this shines through in every page of the book. The photography is stunning, capturing the beauty of the farm and the animals that live there.
The Sustainable Meat Cookbook is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to eat meat in a way that is better for the environment, the animals, and their own health.
MEAT: Everything You Need to Know
“MEAT: Everything You Need to Know” by Pat LaFrieda is a comprehensive guide to all things meat. Whether you’re a seasoned carnivore or a curious foodie, this book offers something for everyone. LaFrieda, a third-generation butcher and meat purveyor to some of the most renowned restaurants in the country, shares his expertise and passion for meat in a way that is accessible and engaging.
The book covers a wide range of topics, including the history of meat, different cuts of meat and their uses, cooking techniques, and even how to source and select the best meat. Throughout the book, LaFrieda offers tips and tricks that are sure to elevate any meat-based dish, from basic burgers to more complex cuts like prime rib.
What sets MEAT apart from other meat-centric cookbooks is LaFrieda’s emphasis on sustainability and ethical meat consumption. He stresses the importance of knowing where your meat comes from and supporting local, small-scale farmers and ranchers who prioritize animal welfare and sustainable practices.
MEAT is a must-read for anyone who loves meat and wants to deepen their knowledge and appreciation for this beloved food group. LaFrieda’s passion and expertise shine through on every page, making this book both informative and entertaining.
“Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking and Curing” is a must-read for any food enthusiast, especially those interested in the art of charcuterie. This cookbook, written by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn, provides a detailed guide to the craft of curing meats, from selecting the right cuts of meat to the final presentation. The authors’ passion for the subject is evident on every page, and their easy-to-follow instructions make the process accessible to even the most novice home cook.
The book covers a wide variety of techniques and recipes, including bacon, pancetta, and prosciutto, as well as terrines, pates, and sausages. The photographs are beautiful and inspiring, and the authors’ emphasis on using quality ingredients and taking the time to do things right is refreshing in a world where convenience often trumps quality.
Charcuterie is an excellent resource for anyone interested in the art of curing meats and a valuable addition to any cookbook collection.
The Meateater Fish and Game Cookbook by Steven Rinella is a must-read for anyone who loves hunting, fishing, and cooking. This cookbook offers over 100 delicious and easy-to-follow recipes for preparing wild game, fish, and fowl. Rinella, who is a renowned outdoorsman, TV host, and author, shares his vast knowledge and passion for the outdoors and cooking in this book.
The recipes in the book are organized by animal and include creative and innovative ways to prepare everything from elk and venison to trout and salmon. Each recipe includes a detailed list of ingredients and step-by-step instructions, making it easy for even novice cooks to follow along.
What sets this cookbook apart from others is Rinella’s approach to cooking. He emphasizes the importance of using high-quality ingredients and simple techniques to bring out the natural flavors of the meat. His recipes are not only delicious but also highlight the importance of sustainability and ethical hunting practices.
In addition to the mouth-watering recipes, the book also includes stunning photography of the dishes and the great outdoors. Rinella’s writing style is engaging and informative, making this cookbook not only a practical kitchen companion but also an enjoyable read.
The Meateater Fish and Game Cookbook is a must-have for any outdoor enthusiast who loves to cook. Rinella’s passion for the outdoors and cooking is evident on every page, and his recipes are sure to impress even the most discerning palate.
The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving by Judi Kingry is a comprehensive guide to preserving food at home. Its 400 pages are packed with information on everything from canning and freezing to pickling and dehydrating. The book includes over 400 recipes for preserving a wide variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, meats, and even some desserts.
What sets this book apart from other home preserving guides is the level of detail and the clear instructions. The authors provide step-by-step guidance on each method of preservation, along with tips and tricks to ensure success. The recipes are easy to follow and include both traditional and modern takes on classic recipes.
One of the strengths of this book is its focus on safety. The authors provide information on how to ensure that your preserved foods are safe to eat, including guidance on proper sterilization techniques and advice on avoiding common mistakes that can lead to spoiled food.
The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving is an excellent resource for anyone interested in preserving food at home. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, this book has something to offer. With its wealth of information, clear instructions, and delicious recipes, it’s sure to become a go-to guide in any home kitchen.