Books We Have

These are books that at least one of us have read. If you know us, we would be happy to loan it to you. All the pictures below are links to the book at We get absolutely nothing from Amazon!  They just happen to have the best prices on these books and if you are prime member, then shipping is free.

Drop by once in a while, as we will be reviewing more books as we read them…


We  have had this book for a while…this is Paul’s territory.  It looks very interesting, however  I only skimmed through it.  We will definitely be using this to set up an aquaponic system when the time comes.



A great book about fiber farming 🙂 From sheep to shawl is how Amazon had it and it’s true!  The author does an excellent job documenting her journey from baby lambs to her crafts.  Five star review on Amazon is very accurate!


This is another gem of a book about chicken keeping.  Unlike Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens (which is more like a textbook), this author speaks from previous experiences and brings in other chicken experts to chime in.  Great book to own for references.  Lots of coop design ideas, chicken breed information, feeding and coop maintenance…all of the above from his many years of experience.


My new favorite book.  Everything about cows, down to how to wash and sanitize the tits (much more rigorous process than I imagined).  This lady includes cool cheese making recipes that I have been trying to recreate.  I am done with soft cheeses.  Got my renet in the fridge, waiting to make some hard cheeses.  My ultimate goal is brie!  Excellent book! Well written and lots of good illustrations.


Just started reading this book, so a full review is on it’s way.  One thing to note, I was pleasantly surprised that the authors of this book are middle class people and bought their homestead just a few years ago.  I find that most of the books by homesteaders have one thing in common–wealth.  A lot of them start out by saying…we got tired of our high pressure/power jobs, sold our fancy home and with our hefty savings bought 200 acres of land.  Now I am paraphrasing a bit, but for the most part, that is what they are saying.  I can actually relate to these people more since like them, we ain’t got no money 🙂


Awesome book! I highly recommend it.  Ben Falk is an incredible writer–reads easy and very informational!  My kimchi recipe is from this book 🙂


Very neat land plot diagrams and lots of cool information but kind of a dry read.


This one had good ratings and a lot of good information about building a business but it is a bit of dry read.  A few times the author herself apologized for the chapters being dry but how else can you explain the IRS an the tax laws and regulation.  The content of this book is excellent an written well.


Mushrooms Demystified is one of the greatest mushroom identifying books. There are lots of colorful photos and very detailed descriptions, making identifying mushrooms just a bit less scary,  This is a great reference to have if you are an avid mushroom hunter.  However, this book has ALL the mushrooms out there, making it very big, bulky and heavy to carry around. The next book, Mushrooms Northwest narrows down mushrooms that grow in Washington.  It is just as colorful and detailed but significantly lighter to carry, making it a great companion to  bring along with you.  Please do remember that looks can be deceiving, even if the picture in the book and the mushroom you found look identical–take all precautions and reread the description ten times before taking a bite!!  It seems like for every edible mushroom out there…two or three false (poisonous) look-a-likes are lurking out there.

Both of these books can be purchased on Amazon but do check used book stores for better deals.  We bought both of ours at Half Price books for a small fraction of the cost and both in outstanding condition.


This is a month by month guide to increasing self reliance. It has a lot of great tips that are easy to do, and you may not have ever thought of before. It was a good read, and gets our recommendation.

Paul got this book while researching for the PDC he took. It is a wealth of knowledge for native plants and their traditional uses.

This book is awesome! It has detailed plans for building all kinds of cool projects, forgotten skills and other gems of knowledge for a homesteader.

This is an autobiography of Jenna Woginrich and her journey to becoming a self reliant farmer. It’s an easy read about a very interesting person.

These are all published by Storey Country Wisdom. There are a whole series of instructional booklets. They are great resources if you are going to try any of these projects.

If there is a book a chicken owner must have it is this one. It covers all aspects of keeping chickens, and is presented in a straightforward manner. Between this and you to can become a successful chicken owner! This has been the single handiest book we own for raising chickens.

This was a great resource for learning about beekeeping. However, it does paint a rather optimistic view of the practice. Paul was seriously considering starting the hobby after reading it, but after taking a beekeeping class realized how much trouble bees can be. A good book, but do more research before ordering your hive.

This is a fun book that compares items that can be homemade with their store bought equivalents. There are lots of great recipes and advice. The only downside to the comparisons are that the store bought items are all for bargain store brands, and are not organic, local, sustainable, etc. It is easy enough to substitute organic ingredients for the recipes, and the “make or buy” observations are most likely still valid if comparing against organic equivalents.

Written from the same voice of “The Backyard Homestead”, this book is a good overview of raising common farm animals, many of which are backyard sized. Not a comprehensive guide, it is a good book to get you excited about raising farm animals. Caution: this book may lead to you becoming the “crazy chicken lady” next door.

Another book full of ideas for projects. These are detailed plans for ways to make your life on the homestead more self reliant. Examples would include; rain barrels, garden beds, and a solar food dehydrator.

This book was written by the man who taught Paul’s permaculture design course. It is a condensed version of Bill Mollison’s work. It’s main focus is on implementing permaculture principles on small, more urban areas. It is also a good introduction to permaculture, before diving in to more of the large scale agricultural works. Toby does a good job of presenting the principles and making them relevant to the space you already have to work with.

This is an amazing book about how to store your crops. It discusses everything from the most storable crops to grow, to the ways to prepare the endive you’ve been holding over for months. It goes in to great detail on different designs of cellars, and how to choose the best one for you. This is truly a great book.

This was focused towards the person with very limited land, and how to best use spaces that otherwise could not support plants. This book’s main strength are the lengthy descriptions of a diverse selection of plants. Not much for reading as a story, it is a good reference book.

Another thorough guide, this one is all about raising, collecting and saving seeds. This is a great reference, but again, a pretty dry read.

This was a really fun book, but unfortunately, it was centered around the plants of the East coast. We ended up selling this back to Amazon to buy another book. If you live East of the Rockies, this might be a good choice.

If you are a homebrewer or are interested in culturing yeast (I’m not sure why you would, if you weren’t a homebrewer, but hey, whatever floats your boat) you NEED THIS BOOK. This is the most concise, well written, and overall informative book on raising yeast for brewing ever written. There are others with more citations of scientific papers, and others that may be easier for the layman, but no other book captures all the science while teaching all the skills needed to be successful at the art of brewing. I can not recommend it enough, seriously.

This was an interesting book about different plants that one can raise at home to use in brewing. While many of the suggestions seem whimsical, they may end up making a great brew. This also contains quite a large list of plants and their properties, making it a good reference, but kind of hard to read from cover to cover. There are some recipes in the back too.


This is an excellent visual to the point guide to all the ouchies of plants!  My leaves are turning yellow and have dots on them..,find the plant type and match the pic…viola, identify your plant boo-boo.


There is a a chapter of this book called…the nitty gritty of the shitty…hilarious in my opinion and yes, the whole book talks about poop and how some consider it liquid gold.  We here on the homestead agree and use the kaka out of rabbit  and chicken manure.  Funny and easy read.







Books On Our Wishlist

If anybody has any of these books, please feel free to comment!



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