10 Books to Gift the Homesteader in Your Life

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10 Books to Gift the Homesteader in Your Life

These days, there are a record number of people growing their own food and other crops at home. Whether the homesteader in your life is new to the homesteading lifestyle or a seasoned pro, we’ve got your go-to gifts for anyone who grows everything themselves.

In the first edition of The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer, authors Jeff and Melanie Carpenter presented a comprehensive seed-to-bottle guide for aspiring and experienced growers alike, from basic business considerations to planting and propagation to creating value-added products.

Now they’re back with a revised and updated edition, sharing the lessons they’ve learned throughout their twenty-five years of operating a medicinal herb farm that prizes quality over quantity.

Featured Excerpts:

Growing Medicinal Herbs: An Agricultural Revolution

About Thyme: Growing, Harvesting, and Drying Thyme

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The easy-to-use resource for growing healthy, resilient, low-maintenance trees, shrubs, vines, and other fruiting plants from around the world—perfect for farmers, gardeners, and landscapers at every scale.

Cold-Hardy Fruits and Nuts is a one-stop compendium of the most productive, edible fruit-and nut-bearing crops that push the boundaries of what can survive winters in cold-temperate growing regions. While most nurseries and guidebooks feature plants that are riddled with pest problems, veteran growers and founders of the Hortus Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, Allyson Levy and Scott Serrano, focus on both common and unfamiliar fruits that have few, if any, pest or disease problems and an overall higher level of resilience.

Featured Excerpts:

Growing Cold Hardy Black Raspberries

How to Protect Plants from Winter Elements

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In No-Till Intensive Vegetable Culture, O’Hara describes the methods he has developed, which are completely free of herbicides or other pesticides and require only a few acres of land and minimal capital investment. He asserts that this flexible, ecological methodology is as important for soil fertility as it is for his economic success.

Whether you’re a high-yield producer, a homesteader, or a market gardener, No-Till Intensive Vegetable Culture is the go-to vegetable grower’s manual for the twenty-first century. O’Hara’s advanced yet accessible methodology will both help you respond to natural systems and adapt to meet future challenges.

Featured Excerpts:

Profitability of Year Round Growing

Nature’s Cure: Reestablishing Balance

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Principles and farm-tested practices for no-till market gardening–for healthier, more productive soil! From the host of the popular The No-Till Market Garden Podcast—heard around the world with nearly one million downloads!

Discovering how to meet the soil’s needs is the key task for every market gardener. In this comprehensive guide, Farmer Jesse Frost shares all he has learned through experience and experimentation with no-till practices on his home farm in Kentucky and from interviews and visits with highly successful market gardeners in his role as host of The No-Till Market Garden Podcast.

Featured Excerpts:

Garlic Growing 101: From Seed to Harvest

Designing an Efficient Garden: Permanent Beds

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Inspired by the European intensive growers, The New Organic Grower, 30th Anniversary Edition, offers a very approachable and productive form of farming that has proven to work well for the earth and its stewards for centuries. Gardeners working on 2.5 acres or less will find this book especially useful, as it offers proof that small-scale market growers and serious home gardeners can live good lives close to the land and make a profit at the same time. The New Organic Grower is ideal for young farmers just getting started, or gardeners seeking to expand into a more productive enterprise.

Featured Excerpts:

How to Extend the Growing Season

The Winter Harvest Project

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The breakthrough resource for fruit and vegetable growers at every scale who want to go ‘beyond organic’ and build higher soil quality and fertility using fewer inputs through a unique ecosystem-balancing approach

The Ecological Farm is the go-to guide for ecological growing, with a unique focus on reduced tillage, minimizing farm and garden inputs, and pest control.

Featured Excerpts:

Weed Suppression: Choosing The Right Cover Crops & Living Mulches

How to Grow and Maintain Fruit Trees: General Fruit Tree Management

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The Resilient Farm and Homestead is more than just a book of tricks and techniques for regenerative site development, but offers actual working results in living within complex farm-ecosystems based on research from the “great thinkers” in permaculture, and presents a viable home-scale model for an intentional food-producing ecosystem in cold climates, and beyond. Inspiring to would-be homesteaders everywhere, but especially for those who find themselves with “unlikely” farming land, Falk is an inspiration in what can be done by imitating natural systems, and making the most of what we have by re-imagining what’s possible. A gorgeous case study for the homestead of the future.

Featured Excerpts:

Becoming Resilient in an Ever-Changing World

Perennial Power: Why You Need Them in Your Garden

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Gabe Brown didn’t set out to change the world when he first started working alongside his father-in-law on the family farm in North Dakota. But as a series of weather-related crop disasters put Brown and his wife, Shelly, in desperate financial straits, they started making bold changes to their farm. As they to keep the farm viable, they found themselves on an amazing journey into a new type of farming: regenerative agriculture.

In Dirt to Soil Gabe Brown tells the story of that amazing journey and offers a wealth of innovative solutions to restoring the soil by laying out and explaining his “five principles of soil health.”

Featured Excerpts:

5 Principles of Soil Health

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Today only a few dozen large-scale producers dominate the greenhouse produce market. Why? Because they know and employ best practices for the most profitable crops: tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, peppers, leafy greens, lettuce, herbs, and microgreens. The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook levels the playing field by revealing these practices so that all growers—large and small—can maximize the potential of their protected growing space. Whether growing in a heated greenhouse or unheated hoophouse, this book offers a decision-making framework for how to best manage crops that goes beyond a list of simple do’s and don’ts.

Featured Excerpts:

Is Your Greenhouse Winter-Ready?

Choosing the Best Heat Source for Your Greenhouse

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The first edition of The Small-Scale Poultry Flock helped thousands of small-scale farmers and homesteaders successfully adopt a practical and integrative model for working with chickens and other domestic fowl based on natural systems. In this expanded and thoroughly revised edition, readers will find plenty of all-new material. Author Harvey Ussery introduces readers to his new favorite breed of chicken, Icelandics; describes how he manages his breeding flock using a clan mating system; presents detailed information on the use of trapnests and record-keeping spreadsheets for evaluating breeding hen performance; and provides step-by-step instructions for construction of an ingeniously designed mobile poultry shelter.

Featured Excerpts:

Un-Coop Your Poop: Everything You Need to Know About Chicken Tractors

How to Choose the Right Breed for Your Poultry Flock

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Gift Ideas: 10 Books for the Foodie in Your Life

 

✿ Read More: Gardening Tips and Advice.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.