25 Best Homesteading Books for Beginners - Kaits Garden (2024)

Contents hide

1 Best Homesteading Books for Beginners

2 Homesteading Books

2.1 The Encyclopedia of Country Living

2.2 The Backyard Homestead

2.3 Back to Basics

2.4 The Self Sufficient Life and How to Live it

3 Homestead Gardening Books

3.1 The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self Reliance in Uncertain Times

3.2 The Seed Garden

3.3 Gardening When it Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times

3.5 Joy of Gardening

3.6 The Ruth Stout No Work Garden Book

3.7 Seed to Seed

3.8 Making Vegetables

4 Health and Herbal Medicine Books

4.1 Be Your Own Doctor

4.2 Be Your Child’s Pediatrician

4.3 Backyard Pharmacy

4.4 Survival Medicine

4.5 Dr. Prepper

5 Making Money on the Homestead

5.1 The Market Gardener

6 Food Preservation Books for the Homestead Kitchen

6.1 Nourishing Traditions

6.2 Pickling Everything

6.3 Can it And Ferment It

6.4 Preserving Food without Refrigeration or Canning

7 Chicken Books

7.1 Storeys Guide to Raising Chickens

8 Books About Raising Livestock

8.1 Storey’s Guide to Raising Sheep

8.2 Share this:

I have read a lot of books, mostly about gardening and homesteading. Originally I had narrowed it down to my top 10 absolute favorite homesteading books to share with you, but every year I find more favorites, so this list of best homesteading books has grown!

In this list, you’ll find everything from general homesteading books, to gardening, seed saving and food preservation. These are my top picks from the 15-20 books I read every year!

disclaimer: this page may contain affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Best Homesteading Books for Beginners

25 Best Homesteading Books for Beginners - Kaits Garden (1)

Homesteading Books

The Encyclopedia of Country Living

Definitely one of the best homesteading books for beginners, and the most complete! This enormous 600 page homesteading reference book has sections on growing, preserving and using every kind of vegetable, fruit, grain and nut, sections on raising each type of livestock, butchering and preserving the meat, managing dairy animals and making dairy products, beekeeping, soap, candles and much more! The Encyclopedia of Country Living is packed with so much good information, we have a page just talking about this book. You can read more about it here.

The Backyard Homestead

While Back to Basics and The Encyclopedia are my top two, The Backyard Homestead is probably the next best homesteading book on my list! Carleen Madigan shows you how to produce a variety of food for your family on as little as a quarter of an acre. She gives plans and detailed information on just how much space you need for different animals and garden crops. I learned so much from this inspiring book! An absolute must read for every backyard homesteader!

Back to Basics

I loved every minute of my time reading this large homesteading book. It had so many illustrated tutorials for skills that are mostly lost. If I had to pick just two, Back to Basics and The Encyclopedia would probably tie as my two best homesteading books.

Back to Basics don’t go into as much detail as the Encyclopedia, but includes sections on many more topics, such as basket weaving, carpentry and blacksmithing.

Find our full review on this one here!

The Self Sufficient Life and How to Live it

I really enjoyed this homesteading book by John Seymour and would definitely rank it among the best homesteading books out there. He covers a very broad variety of homesteading topics. I appreciate how he includes many older techniques that no one knows how to do today, such as building fences from stone, using hedges for fencing or making a gate from scratch. I borrowed this one from my public library and plan to add a copy to my own library soon!

Homestead Gardening Books

The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self Reliance in Uncertain Times

This book has so much information. I’ve actually borrowed it from my local library three times! Carol has dedicated her life to growing food, keeping detailed records of food crops and specific varieties that are most dependable for homesteaders who depend on the food from their land. She focuses on potatoes, beans, corn, squash and ducks in her book, five crops that give dependable, high calorie yields.

Our family has been able to become more self sufficient from the information we learned in this book. If you want to really live off your land, this is a great read!

The Seed Garden

Saving seeds is an important skill for self sufficiency on the homestead. This is probably the best homesteading book I’ve found on saving seeds from your garden. It has a lot of pictures, unlike Seed to Seed (which is more concise and an excellent reference book!). It is a large book, filled with a lot more information than many other seed saving books I’ve read. Whether you are new to seed saving or have been doing it for a while, this is really a great reference book to have on your shelf!

Gardening When it Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times

Another excellent read for those who want to depend on their land for survival. Steve Solomon, founder of Territorial Seed Company in Oregon, has spent much of his life gardening with little or no irrigation. In Gardening When it Counts, he gives detailed information on crop spacing, based on how much irrigation you have access to. He also has helpful advice for amending your soil on a tight budget. This one did take me a while to get through, but it’s one of the best homesteading books if you don’t want to depend on irrigation!

Lasagna Gardening

Patricia Lanza shares her incredibly easy and productive system of layering different kinds of organic materials and unfinished compost. This was one of the first gardening books I read as a teenager, and I have had some great gardens using her techniques!

Joy of Gardening

In this old gem, Dick Raymond shares his tips for simplifying gardening, making it less work and more fun! One thing I learned from the Joy of Gardening was the value of wide rows, rather than the traditional single row garden.

The Ruth Stout No Work Garden Book

Ruth teaches how to cover your garden in a thick layer of unsprayed hay to keep the moisture in and the weeds out. I’ve used this method for years with great success! You can read more about how to use hay in your garden here:Should You Use Hay as Mulch in Your Garden

Seed to Seed

My favorite reference book for saving seeds from garden vegetables. Seed to Seed doesn’t have all the entertaining photography that The Seed Garden has, but is really a concise, accurate and well organized seed saving book. It is the first place I go when I want to remember what a certain plant will cross with or the longevity of a specific type of seed.

Making Vegetables

THE book for beginning gardeners! This book starts at the beginning to teach you how to garden in a fun, inspiring way. It is packed full of colorful pictures and solid information. Definitely a favorite of ours and one of the best homesteading books for families!

You can find more Reviews of Garden Books on this page!

Health and Herbal Medicine Books

Be Your Own Doctor

Whether you just want some practical first aid knowledge, or want to save on doctors trips, this book has an incredible amount of information that we use every day. My absolute favorite book about herbs! The author does a wonderful job at combining her knowledge of healing herbs with real, practical and detailed instructions and examples.

Be Your Own Doctor is one of my most valued homesteading books and one I would never, ever want to be without!

Be Your Child’s Pediatrician

With detailed information and photos of childhood illnesses, this book tells you what to do and how to recognize an emergency. A must have for anyone with small children!

Backyard Pharmacy

Learn practical uses for all the weeds growing in your backyard! This is a great companion book to Be Your Own Doctor and gives detailed and precise directions of how to use and dose each herb.

Survival Medicine

A great book for anyone who camps or hikes in the wilderness, as well as for preppers who want to be more prepared to handle emergencies when help is not readily available. This book gives a little more information than your typical “first aid” handbook.

Dr. Prepper

Similar to Survival Medicine, Dr. Prepper goes beyond most first aid books, providing vital information on what to do when a doctor isn’t available. I borrowed this one from my library and hope to add it to my own bookshelf soon!

Making Money on the Homestead

The Market Gardener

This is a fantastic resource for anyone wanting to make money with a market garden. I’ve read it twice!

The Urban Farmer

In The Urban Farmer, Curtis shares exactly how he makes six figures just with small garden plots in his neighbor’s backyards. I’ve learned a ton from Curtis, both about gardening more efficiently and about growing for a profit. He also has a website and a YouTube channel that are well worth checking out!

Food Preservation Books for the Homestead Kitchen

Nourishing Traditions

Healthy recipes and food preservation techniques from all over the world. Learn all about nutrition in this informative and fun book!

Pickling Everything

This pickling book has so many fun recipes! Some include vinegar, while others are lactofermented and loaded with health benefits. Really a great book to have in your homestead kitchen!

Can it And Ferment It

I found lots of fun small-batch recipes in this food preservation book. I really like how it includes a combination of fermenting and actual canning, since I do both in my homestead kitchen!

Preserving Food without Refrigeration or Canning

Preserving Food is a collection of historic food preservation techniques from hundreds of contributors. It includes recipes for preserving food with salt, sugar, vinegar, lacto-fermentation and more! Food preservation is a vital part of any library of homesteading books!

Chicken Books

Storeys Guide to Raising Chickens

This book has everything you need to know about keeping chickens, a must have reference book for every chicken mama. I’ve had chickens for many still years, and still reference Storey’s Guide on a regular basis! If you have chickens, this is one of the best homesteading books you can buy!

Books About Raising Livestock

Storey’s Guide to Raising Sheep

A great reference book for every sheep keeper. This was the first book I read when I started raising sheep and it really set me up for success! I’d highly recommend purchasing this one to keep on your shelf!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this growing roundup of homesteading books and maybe found one to check out from your local library or purchase for your own shelf!

25 Best Homesteading Books for Beginners - Kaits Garden (2024)


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