So…..Do you like my SEO-friendly, click-tastic title there?
Nah. Me neither.
Personally, I don’t have much use for hyping up a blog or webpage, and that may very well end up being my undoing. The truth of the matter is, my goal is to give readers the kind of information that they can use to improve their lives and empower themselves. All that other stuff is what I consider”marketing”. That’s all fine and good, but do you as a homesteader care too much about all of that hype? I’m betting you don’t.
It’s been a few days since my last post. In the vein of previous posts regarding my own story and how to get started on things like herbalism, I decided to assemble a list of books, websites, schools, and other resources that I have found to be invaluable when it comes time to homesteading. I’ve tried to organize them in a fashion that will make them easy to locate and to take advantage of. Please keep in mind that this is going to be continually updated with more resources and categories over time. Expect it to expand to epic proportions! If I have missed any of your favorites, or if you are a blogger or business owner and would like me to add, just give a comment in the comments section of this blog post or seek me out on social media. I love meeting new folks, especially those who are homesteaders or have the dream of becoming one!
Great Websites, Television Shows and Other Media Resources with Homesteading Information – If you do a simple websearch on either Google, Bing, or on Pinterest you will
find a neverending list of resources that are all about homesteading. Because of ecological and economic factors and an increased consciousness toward sustainability, there are lots of cable and public television programs that also emphasize the ideas of reduce, reuse, recycle, and repurpose.
- Mother Earth News – It’s the original. While I was growing up, my parents had all of the back issues to this landmark publication that has been THE homesteading resource. A lot of that same information has been digitized and is available on their website . Be careful: You could very well end up spending the entire day there!
- The Owner Builder Network – This site has a huge following on social media mainly because they assemble a huge number of ideas for homeowners, homesteaders or people who simply have a flare for DIY. They have links to products and plans to help you in your homesteading journey.
- Growing a Greener World – A website that is a companion to PBS’ Create TV show by the same name.
- The Prairie Homestead – Wyoming homesteader Jill Winger has one of the most highly touted homesteading blogs on the web. Check out what she’s doing for inspiration.
- The Self-Sufficient Home Acre – Lisa Lynn demonstrates that you don’t need multiple acres to call yourself a successful homesteader.
Books on Homesteading
Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills, Third Edition – Some of the information from t his overview produced by Reader’s Digest Books may seem a bit dated. The authors and editors, however have done their homework. If ever there was a great first book to have on the shelf when it come to homesteading, this book is definitely one the ones to have. It’s filled with inspiring pictures and lots of how-to information as well as lists of other resources where to find the products, publications and information that you will need for your homestading journey.
The Ultimate Self-Sufficiency Handbook: A Complete Guide to Baking, Crafts, Gardening, Preserving Your Harvest, Raising Animals, and More (The Self-Sufficiency Series)– This particular book is very similar to the Reader’s Digest Back to Basics book. There is more focus in this overview, mostly on livestock, gardening and all of the many things that homesteaders wantto get their hands in and try in regard to honing their craft.
The Weekend Homesteader: A Twelve-Month Guide to Self-Sufficiency – This book is organized month to month to give you a good idea of what to do and when to do it for ultimate success. The projects are simple enough that you don’t end up feeling overwhelmed while getting started in homesteading.
The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre! – This is a really good beginning book for homesteading, especially for complete novices. This is the first in a series of books.
The Encyclopedia of Country Living, 40th Anniversary Edition: The Original Manual for Living off the Land & Doing It Yourself – There is so much in this book, you are probably never going to sit down and read it from cover to cover. It’s one of those books that is a great reference for almost any given homesteading situation.
The Joy of Hobby Farming: Grow Food, Raise Animals, and Enjoy a Sustainable Life (The Joy of Series) –
The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It – John Seymour and DK books have put the kind of book together that you’d expect. There’s tons of good, old-fashioned common sense in this book that you are going to want to use for your own homesteading operation. It definitely has earned the five-star ratings that it’s gotten on Amazon, Good Reads, and a number of other homesteading websites.
Stocking Up: The Third Edition of America’s Classic Preserving Guide – Rodale Press is famous for releasing books that are of great use to homesteaders. I originally found an earlier edition of this book through my local used bookstore and was constantly referring to it. The new edition is well worth the money in what you will save by learning the techniques within it.
Putting Food By: Fifth Edition – This book has been around for as long as I can remember and is one of the definite go-to books in learning the art of canning.
Catalogs for Homesteaders
- Lehman’s Hardware – Based in Kidron, Ohio, the Lehman family has been selling their products to the Amish and to homesteading enthusiasts around the world. Of particualr interest is their non-electric catalog which features spectactular hand tools straight out of the past to non-electric refrigerators, cast iron cookstoves, and even toys that resemble some of what your parents or grandparents might have had back when they were young. I have bought a number of tools from them as well as a heavy duty mailbox made of cast iron to replace the one that our local snow plow driver left in a mangled heap. To receive the catalog via U.S. Mail, you will probably have to pay for the subscription. I subscribed a number of years ago, and I am still getting a new catalog from them just about every quarter.
- Homesteader Supply – This small business based in Tennessee has great prices and a wide range of products sure to excite beginning and seasoned homesteaders alike. They have everything from equipment for livestock care, heirloom gardening, food dehydrators, supplies for milking, cheese making, shelling, pasturizers and more.
- Homestead General Store – Open from 10 -6 Monday through Saturday, Homestead General Store has a wide array of homesteading products. They feature a downloadable catalog and free email list.
Sewing & Fiber Arts –
Folkwear Patterns – For more than 40 years, Folkwear has put out the best vintage and ethnic patterns in the world. If you are looking to find a pattern for an Australian Drover’s Coat , a Japanese Kimono, or to simply stitch some comfortable clothes with real style, this is the place to go. Some of the designs have graced shows like Downton Abbey. No other pattern company puts out such detailed and clear instructions. A personal true story, btw: About 30 years ago, this company was up for sale. I was offered an opportunity to purchase it from the founder for a stupidly small investment. (Believe me when I say that I wanted to do so more than anything!) Unfortunately, however, in the late 80’s no one that I talked to saw the value in spite of my business plan etc. Thankfully for everyone, the company passed to other loving hands and it’s still in business. I promise that you will LOVE the patterns that are reusable and fall in love with the styles that are absolutely timeless!
Amazon Dry Goods – This company is in no way related to the Internet giant that has a similar name. Amazon Dry Goods was originally located in my home state of Iowa and later moved to Indiana in 2011. While this store doesn’t have a storefront, it does sell ome of the most amazing vintage and historically accurate patterns for a number of eras.