As time goes on, I hope to give you all the tools you need to create a complete self-sufficiency handbook for yourself. However, I always encourage everyone to be proactive about their own education. Toward that end, this is a list of foundational books to get you started on your Off-Grid Organic Sustainable Homestead (O-GOSH!)
When I saw “foundational” I do mean just that–these books are general broad outlines of information (and sometimes inspiration,) however; you’ll want to read more extensively for comprehensive skills.
1.) Storey’s Basic Country Skills
2.) The Encyclopedia of Country Living
Either one of these first two books is a good general guide to just about anything you’d need to know. Because of their very breadth, they do tend to be very general, but the two books act as great indexes to the kinds of things you will want to know about. From here you can dive in-depth into any area you find you want to learn more about.
3) Back to Eden
This book is just so much fun to read. It’s packed with fascinating information and personal accounts from this hippy dude from the seventies (seriously, if you can, try to dig up an older edition of this book.) While you should definitely do your research and take all advice with a grain of salt, reading this book absolutely inspired me to want to get further and further off the grid.
4) Joy of Cooking
You have no idea how long I debated over which foundational cookbook to give you. It was almost the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, In A Five-Ring Binder and really the only reason it wasn’t was that I read too many reviews that said that the new version has too many “out of the box” recipes. By which the commenter meant that the recipe used boxed or canned ingredients. Regardless of which cookbook you choose, what you are looking for is a comprehensive “from scratch” book. This will be your go-to guide when you need to know how to cook just about anything. Bonus if it tells you how to pluck a chicken and churn your own butter. Though the Better Homes and Gardens book is the book which I learned to cook from, the older version of which is the only cookbook to have a permanent place in my kitchen (the others are on a shelf in another room,) The Joy of Cooking is an equally beloved and foundational work.
5.) Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs
Beautifully illustrated, this book was one of my first introductions to herbalism. I really enjoyed how this book goes into the history and other interesting facts about each herb, in addition to uses and recipes. This is a conservative, alphabetical reference for the most common, useful herbs and is not as in-depth as it could be. Nevertheless, I find myself reaching for this book more than other, more thorough, books as a quick reference guide.
BONUS because I just love this book so much and just want to share it with you.
There you have it, some foundational books to get you started on your O-GOSH life! If you liked this post, be sure to check out other Open Art Affiliates–the O-GOSH life is the Open Art Life #livelife #lovelife #openartmedia