Top 10 Homestead Must Reads.

Welcome! Come on in! We were just about to sit down for a homestead reading break. You know we older folks have to keep our brains as active as our bodies. And even though we’re more experienced in life, we all have more to learn. Can I share with you the top 10 books we find useful for our homestead?

Truth Be Told.

Fern and I are new to this Homesteading stuff. What we do have is Life experience and a love of learning to go along with our determination to live this lifestyle. Reading is a must as part of the homestead. In our Urban life, Fern has been an IT manager of a large business, and Buttercup has been a retail employee with 30 years in food-related industries, and most recently an outdoors outfitters big box store. Just to say it again, Reading is a must as part of the modern homestead life. It doesn’t matter if it is novels for entertainment, or if it is a reference book for a quick flip to the topic you need and then back out the door to deal with a task. Or maybe even a cookbook, or herbal remedy journal. The habit is a great way to pass time while enjoying the quiet, or while waiting for the hydro to come back on, because you know, sometimes living at the end of an old road, your section of services may be prone to flickering out.

So How Did We Get Here?

You ask how we got to this homestead lifestyle. It was a very concentrated decision we both had a passion for. The two of us both wanted more fresh air in our lives. We both wanted to look out the window and see trees, and rocks, not the neighbours. Besides, who doesn’t want to lose the alarm clock and end the commute to the city? When two people come together and have mutual dreams, homestead dreams, it is easier to make it happen. So, here we are. Fern and I are both intelligent enough to know it would not be a cakewalk, these gardens and animals won’t just take care of themselves. But because you stopped by here today to see what we suggest you read, we can tell, you are too!

Myself, I grew up at the elbow of a widow who was expecting me when her husband passed. She was a bit older when she had me, and she ended up raising my 8 siblings and I alone. She dated for a while, but she never did remarry, she’s been on her own for 52 years. I am providing elder care to her now as she approaches her 90th birthday, although it can be challenging, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Because of her wisdom, and her age, I learned a lot right beside her elbow.

A Little Bit of History

I grew up watching Little House on The Prairie in the 1970’s. I wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder. A funny thing, my mothers maiden name is Wilder, but as far as we know it’s not the same family. Our family was in Ontario in 1900, while Laura was in the U.S.

That leads us to our first books. The series were full of memoirs written by the real Laura Ingalls Wilder. Here, I will show you the revisited 2 book set that doesn’t feel like it’s a children’s story. These are affiliate links, and I may receive a few pennies if you purchase through my links, but the cost to you is exactly the same.

While Laura Ingalls Wilder may not appeal to everyone, there is value in reading some historically based material. If you can start by getting your mind inside the original homesteaders thinking then you may be a little further ahead, by going back. In our modern times, many of us may be buying existing previously farmed land. Outbuildings may be already standing, some property fencing, and pastures or field areas may already be determined. However, if you are purchasing previously unaltered land, then you need to think like the homesteaders of old, at least for a little while. At the very least it should give you an appreciation for the amount of physical labour that went into the creation of things without as much machinery as we have available to us today.

Start where you are!

Since Buttercup and Fern are beginning in an urban setting with a very tiny space, with the purchase of the homestead still at least 2 years out, we are making efforts to start where we are. What can we do from our tiny postage stamp yard, and our small kitchen now? I hope that where ever you are this applies, and you can also begin by growing some transferable skills. The simplest way to start that is in your kitchen.

Over the years, I’ve found most people are either good cooks or good bakers. It takes some very concentrated practice to be amazing at both. This is where Buttercup & Fern has a problem. Both are very good cooks, but neither has finessed the baking skills. And truth be told far to much food goes to waste in our home at this point. Having been a single mom for many years, I know how to stretch food and use leftovers with some skill, but this is a new phase of my life and I have to get back into those good old habits. Waste not, want not is a notion I heard about as a child and at the time I never completely understood it. Now, as I am ever diligent to live within my means, I get it. What an appropriate title for a book on reducing waste from the kitchen.

Several years ago, when I was a young wife and mother, I had a copy of this book in my kitchen. I have a ratty, pages missing well-loved book now. Several times over the years I have wanted to replace my copy, and gift copies to my now adult kids. It is out of print, but used copies can still be found.

Expanding Your Skills

Since now is a time of waiting, it is a perfect time to expand your skills. For us that will include growing the very basic baking, canning, freezing and fermenting skills we already have. Fern is interested in the fermenting. Let him have it. I may help him out with a good read on the subject to inspire his creativity. What do you think of this one? By the way, I’m not suggesting he is an idiot, far from it. I adore this man, his intelligence and sense of humour. I’ve also included some canning and freezing titles here.

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