Wednesday, January 25, 2012

All Good Books

Over the few years that I have lived on my little homestead here, I have collected a few books that have really come in handy and I thought some of ya'll might find them interesting if you don't already know about them.  Especially if you are geared towards the gardening, homesteading kinda movement.  I think a couple of them are pretty standard to most people who garden seriously but there was one or two that might not be that popular.  I can't really say that I use anyone more than the others; they all get referenced regularly.  And I have several more good ones on the same subjects.  I just thought these 4 were kinda the best overall.
I think everybody is familiar with Rodale's organic gardening books and for good reason.  I use this book a lot!  Great info on all kinds of stuff, even if you've been gardening for a while.  It has good illustrations and diagrams too. 
I think there are several variations of John Seymour's book on self-sufficiency but I like this one a lot.  My only complaint would be that it contains so much information on so many subjects that it sometimes leaves a bit to be desired in depth of information.  For instance, the section on making pottery just kinda glosses over the process.  Not really enough info for someone new to the craft.  I do really like his gardening strategies for each season and that is outlined well and how to best use the land you have, whether it's 1 or 20 acres.  I consult the gardening sections a lot.  It also gives you a lot of ideas for truly being self-sufficient; producing energy, reducing wastes, raising food etc.
Story's Guide to Raising Chickens is great too.  It gives really good overall info on everything from hatching chicks to cooking the chickens.  Good diagrams and illustrations too.  I also supplement this book with The Chicken Health Handbook, which is a bit more technical but full of good info.  I've never had any problem with my chooks that I couldn't figure out using one of these books.  Not that we have much problems with them but anyway..
Last, but not least by any means, is the Reader's Digest book, Homemade.  This is not a book I've seen espoused much but I love it.  There are recipes for everything in this book!  food, cosmetics, animal treats, cleaning supplies, art supplies and on and on and all of them designed to save you money and go easy on the planet.  It also has a huge section on home health remedies and gardening tips and products.  I have used and/ or made much of the stuff in the book and it's always worked, been luscious, effective or what have you.  I highly recommend this one whether you live on 200 acres or in a ultra urban apartment.  Even if you are not into "green" that much, the recipes etc. are not so out there that you don't want to fool with making them.  They might require having some dried herbs etc. on hand but everything is really easy to make and usually pretty quick.  And relatively cheap!  It has a to-die-for rice pudding recipe in it that I am going to post soon.  I really, really like this book.  And no, they didn't pay me to say that!

Do any of you have a similar book that you would recommend?


Kathy said...

Carla Emery's "encyclopedia of Country Living" an oldie, but a goodie. And a new favorite on gardening is "Mini Farming - self sufficiency on 1/4 acre" by Brett Markham.

edifice rex said...

Hey Kathy! thanks! I will certainly look into those. I believe I have seen the book by Emery but am totally unfamiliar with Markham's; sounds very interesting.

Tom Stewart said...

As A Want-a-be homesteader, back when I was in the Navy ( for 24 years), I would take books about Homesteading on all cruse's. Ant "Carla Emery" book was the one I took all the time! I have read it cover-to-cover more time then I can count!
Sense I have moved to the "PLACE" 4 years ago, It is still the go-to book for me!

edifice rex said...

Hey Tom! well, ya'll got me really curious now; I'll have to find this book! lol!

Rich said...

I've always liked Dick Raymond's 'Joy of Gardening'. My parents bought a Troy-Bilt tiller back in the '80's and the book came with the tiller.

It is a basic gardening book with useful info about planting green manure crops (everybody calls them cover crops now for some reason), wide row planting, and garden layouts.

It isn't a strictly organic book (he does use fertilizer at times, etc.), but he does write a little about composting, and has a insect and disease section that talks about both chemical treatments and 'home remedies'.

Aunty Belle said...

Well, iffin' anaay of these books could tell me how to rid us of squirrels I'd be much obliged.

Fer some reason we's overrun wif' the blasted varrmits. They dig in the pots of herbs and vegetables to bury their acorns, but it tears up the roots of my seedlings!

Uncle said too bad we din't have a taste fer squirrel perloo. At the moment we's tryin' dustin' ever'thang down wif' cayenne pepper which is reported to cause a squirrel to skedaddle.

Granny had a slew of Rodale books.

How ya' been Annie?

edifice rex said...

Hey Rich! Ah! now I could use a book with some info on garden layout; I never feel that I do that part exactly right. Thanks for commenting!

Hey Aunty! I been doing right well, thanky! things are coming along good here in a lot of ways. I'se so glad to see Uncle came through his surgery okay and is doing well too.
I did check through the books and they did mention squirrel remedies but unfortunately, it's what you are trying now. Nets or cayenne pepper was all they gave. Have you tried a fake owl or hawk posted somewhere in your garden? Sometimes that works.