Our 6 Favorite Backyard Homesteading Books

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Do you have a bookshelf dedicated to books about growing your own food and living a more sustainable life? If you do, we'd love to hear what's on it. We're compiling a complete list of the best, most used books on backyard homesteading, and we want to make sure we've got them all. Tell us your favorites and we'll take the books with the most submissions and create a master list to share with everyone. 


Need more encouragement? Everyone who submits a book will be automatically entered to win all 6 of the books we've listed below (a few of our favorites).  Enter now through 5/14 and we'll announce the lucky winner on 5/15.  We'll compile our "Readers' Choice" book list and have it available for download the following week.

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 We'll get the ball rolling by mentioning a few that we've come to rely on.

  • The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals. Edited by Gail best homesteading bookDamerow.  This book helps you learn how to choose the best breeds for small-space farming, produce your own grass-fed meat, collect fresh eggs and milk, and even make your own cheese. It covers lots of species including chickens, turkeys, ducks, rabbits, goats, sheep, pigs, cattle, and bees.
  • Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills, Third Edition. ByBack to Basics Book Cover resized 600 Abigail R. Gehring. A great book for those interested in learning basic living skills like wool dying, tree grafting, making basic furniture with hand tools and making your own food.  The book includes hundreds of projects with step-by-step sequences, photos, charts, and illustrations. A great aid for those looking to escape to a simpler era and create a more self-sufficient lifestyle.
  • The Chicken Whisperer's Guide to Keeping Chickens. By Andy Schneiderbest book on backyard homesteading and Brigid McCrea PhD.  This new book (2011) written by poultry personality Andy Schneider (a/k/a The Chicken Whisperer) teaches you everything you need to know about raising a backyard flock in an easy-to-read, common sense guide. Includes chapters on the benefits of raising a backyard flock, incubation, brooding, coops and runs, nutrition and chicken health.  A must-have manual for every backyard chicken owner.
  • Farm Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of Country Life. By Julia Farm Anatomy Book Cover resized 600Rothman. This charmingly illustrated guide dissects everything from tractors and pigs to fences, hay bales, crop rotation patterns, and farm tools, all in a highly entertaining style. Great for anyone interested in gardening, homesteading, or country living in general.
  • Chicken and Egg Cookbook: A Memoir of Suburban Homesteadbest books for homesteadinging. By Janice Cole.  If you've got backyard chickens, you've got eggs, and probably lots of them.  This cookbook includes 125 recipes for delicious chicken and egg dishes organized in 8 seasons from Early Spring to Late Winter, along with Janice's insights into the trials, triumphs, and bonds formed from her new hobby.  Unbelievably beautiful and mouth-watering food photography makes this book a pleasure to read.
  • Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre. By Brett L. Markham. ThisMini Farming Book Cover resized 600 book explores how you can provide 85% of the food a family of four needs and earn an income from a mini farm on a quarter of an acre (or less!). Markham takes a holistic approach covers everything you need to know to get started from buying and saving seeds to establishing raised beds, composting, crop rotation, and more. He also covers backyard chickens andhome canning, with a focus on keeping production high and costs low.  Lots of detailed photos, tables, diagrams, and illustrations.

Don't forget to submit your top titles by 5/14...you could win all 6 of the books listed above!


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