I don’t know about you by my best learning method is reading. Jon and I relied on a lot of books when we were getting started into Hobby Farming. Whether it was for our first flock of chickens or getting our garden set up, we relied on books.
So here is a list of the five books we’ve used and recommend for starting up your hobby farm:
1. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Country Living
This is my all time favourite book! It has everything! This is the ideal book for the new homesteader that isn’t quite sure what the focus will be for their farm or it inspires projects that you didn’t even think to try.
This is our go-to book when we get an idea and we don’t know how to get started. Every idea we’ve had this book offers a starting point, from keeping animals, preserving, recipes, gardening, going off-grid, everything. Most of the projects in this book are quite detailed and are a great starting point. Some of the information is a little limited and its just the starting point for finding further research on the project you are interested in pursuing.
2. Backyard homesteading
This is my second go-to book. This book is very similar to the Encyclopedia, however it’s a little cheaper and does not have the extensive projects that the Encyclopedia has. It is a starting point for homesteading projects, it’s the start of your research and what direction you should pursue for your projects. Topics include raising animals, gardening, preserving etc. It gives you a basic understanding of Homesteading.
3. Creating your backyard farm
This is a great gardening book. It has a little information about keeping animals as well but I use it mostly for gardening as I use my other Homesteading books for animal keeping references. I love the detail this book goes into for vegetable and herb gardens. I particularly like the chart and tips about companion planting, which is something I want to learn more about as I expand my garden.
4. Illistrated Guide to Gardening in Canada
Jon and I always knew we wanted to have a big garden with lots of variety, so we needed a detailed gardening book. This book is great and it brought my understanding of gardening to a whole new level. The book goes into detail about the different Canadian zones and what can and cannot grow in your designated zones. This book details a variety of plants including vegetables, fruits, herbs, flower and trees. The detail level includes information about each plant as well as what can go wrong with each plant, what to avoid, soil details its great! We learned a lot about pruning fruit trees from this book.
5. The Weekend Homesteader
The Weekend Homesteader is a great book for the full-time worker. I certainly enjoyed it as someone that works a full-time job but dreams of coming home to a homestead each night. The projects in this book are simple enough to complete in one weekend and a great way to get started in the homesteading world. It is potentially the book to use when you want to transition from working out of the home and eventually working on your homestead.
These books are great resources for anyone in the early stages of homesteading or gardening.
Other resources I use include, the internet and pintrest of course but one of my other favourite resources is Hobby Farm Magazine. I look forward to each and every issue, especially now that I get it in the mail thanks to Jon and the kids. The articles are easy to read and follow and very inspiring. Until the most recent issue I never would have thought of having a flock of geese for eggs. Now its something I am really looking into!