A few days ago, I wrote about supporting your local economy by making your Christmas gifts, supporting local artisans and farmers and not painting the Mall black on Friday. These are worthy ideals that will help you live more frugally, sustainably, with greater joy and self sufficiency. This is how I’ve lived for 30+ years but now there is a cultural shift forced on us by the recession, peak oil and global warming. The good news is that the self sufficient lifestyle is better for the environment, it will save you money, and it will give you greater control and satisfaction over your life.
You don’t need to own the farm to be a self sufficient homesteader. Joybilee Farm is a 140 acre fiber farm in the B.C. mountains — both secluded and rural, hey there’s no cell service or high speed internet here. But for 20 years we lived this lifestyle in the City of Mission, B.C. and raised most of our own food, bartered, and spun yarn, raised back yard chickens, dairy goats, and rabbits, while raising our 3 children. The homestead, self sufficient, frugal, sustainable, creative lifestyle can be lived anywhere. And best of all it is a joyful and satisfying lifestyle.
For a long time I felt alone gardening, spinning and canning on our urban property. Most of the Moms with kids in my age group were at the beach, while I was swinking over the canning pots. The neighbours had their sailboat out on Cultus Lake, while we were paying off our debts and squirrelling away enough money to buy our farm. For those times when you feel alone and need a little encouragement it helps to surf the web and check out the blog articles and you-tube videos on self sufficient living. Being mentored online through blogs, like this, gives you both teaching and support as you learn new skills and embrace your dreams. If you need a bit more nurturing, drop me an email or leave a comment. I personally answer them all. You can also sign up for my Newsletter, and join my community along with other people who embrace the frugal, sustainable, self sufficient, creative lifestyle.
Sometimes, though, you need more than the internet to support your journey. You need someone to hold your hand while you try a new skill — books are good for that. Sometimes you need a little inspiration and instruction, too. I was browsing through the new Amazon books for homestead titles and I was blown away. I realized I’m not alone any more. There is a grass roots movement out there that’s been germinating away from media attention for several years. I’m part of it and so are you.
I picked out 7 incredible books to help you live your dreams of self sufficiency where ever you live — a location independent self sufficient life.
I hope you’ll browse through the list. I would love to own any one of these books. Check out your library or interlibrary loan for these titles. If you decide to buy them, please use the links. They are affiliate links and this website earns a very small commission when you buy through the link. Thanks for supporting this blog.
1. The Feast Nearby by Robin Mather
This book chronicles the trials of Robin Mather as she adjusts her budget and her expectations to life without a job, and without her husband. Within a single week she lost both her marriage and her job. With insight and humour she chronicles her journey to live frugally, and locally — eating local food on $40 a week, while getting to know local farmers.
2. The Quarter Acre Farm by Spring Warren
Spring Warren decided to tear up the lawn and grow 75% of the food her family consumed in her back yard. This is the chronicle of both her mistakes and successes and what she learned along the way. Get the book here.
3. Making It: Radical Home Ec for a post consumer world by Kelly Covine
This book gives basic techniques and recipes to help you take control of your own needs. From making an olive oil lamp, to gardening, fermenting vegetables, making toothpaste, soap, and deodorant and guiding you through nontoxic cleaning supplies. This book is a guide to both frugal and sustainable living.
4. Mini Farming: Self Sufficiency on a 1/4 acre by Brett L. Markham
This book is more than just a grow your own food book. Brett takes you through a plan that will help you both grow and market food to your community. There are plans for growing grains as well as fruit and vegetables in an intensive system of organic gardening. This is a great urban planning guide for a sustainable lifestyle business. Although it is dependent on adequate water and length of growing season, so keep that in mind as you browse this book.
5. The City Homesteader: Self Sufficiency on any square footage by Scott Meyer
Backyard chickens, urban farming, raising bees in the city — this is the radical guide to working within city bylaws, and transforming your neighborhood with home grown food. Its about being resourceful, saving money, reducing consumption, and increasing self-reliance.
6. Urban Homesteading: Heirloom skills for sustainable living by Rachel Kaplan and K. Ruby Blume
This book is a basic guide that explains urban self sufficiency for urban dwellers who desire to localize their consumption, live sustainably, and with self reliance. There is concise how-to information that you can immediately put into practice. This book is a call to unite with your neighbors and local artisans to support a local economy and produce what your neighborhood needs — from food, to clothing, to plumbing and energy. It is a call to community. It will inspire you for what a few people working together can accomplish to heal society and the earth.
7. Self Sufficiency for the 21st Century by Dick and James Strawbridge
This book, written by a father and son British team gives a different perspective to self sufficiency. The book includes tips on energy self sufficiency such as how to run a car on bio-diesel, how to make a water wheel or a wind mill, gardening, raising livestock, making fermented foods like cheese and beer. This is self sufficiency without changing your lifestyle.
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What books have inspired your creative journey in homesteading? Leave a comment.