Have you ever stolen a peek onto someone’s book shelf?
To me, a quick scan of their library feels like a tiny glimpse into their heart and soul, a way to know a bit of who they are without saying a word.
I love seeing their book collection, reading the titles and imagining the significance to the owner. The books on the shelf feel especially meaningful this modern time of digital documents and Kindle books.
To the right of my ridiculously giant desk is one of my bookshelves.
While it is not a full representation of all of me, it’s sure a glimpse at what is foremost on my mind – permaculture, homesteading and ecology.
When I look at this shelf I see a chunk of everything I know about permaculture homesteading, or at least, what may have sparked a giant tangent into a specific topic.
Truth is, I love to read – but there are 5 books sitting on my desk that I have been trying to get through for almost a year. Not due to interest or anything like that. Simply, the year was so incredibly busy.
(Often, I get really excited about a book and add it to my collection, even before I’ve finished the others.)
If you’re interested in some book inspiration, or enjoy perusing other’s bookshelves like I do – here is an open invite to see some of my favorites from my homestead library.
All of these books have inspired me, helped me build our homestead and been a large part of my growth as a permaculture practitioner, farmer, homesteader and more.
Perhaps some of these books will help you on your homestead journey or inspire something new for you as well.
I have fond memories of Self Sufficiency for the 21st Century as it was one of my first books on the topic of sustainability and self sufficiency.
This book is nice because of its large size and high quality photos and diagrams; which really give a great visual picture of these topics for someone just learning.
Farming & Gardening
While the Market Gardener is a book all about profitable market gardening, there are so many exceptional sustainable farming practices in this book that I had to include it.
Even if you are not going to sell your veggies to markets this book will help you plant, grow and manage your small farm or garden.
Gaia’s Garden is one of the best all around permaculture books available. It is great for urban to rural permaculture properties.
Toby was one of my teachers and his knowledge about regenerative land design is extensive – this books has many of his best techniques in it. Lots of well drawn diagrams, photos and easy to read.
With climate conditions changing, rivers drying up and wells going dry, water conservation AND catchment is on many peoples mind.
Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands & Beyond is the best book I have found to go into the why and HOW of catchment. Brad is on my list of people to take a class from and highly recommend his books.
I met Katrina at a small workshop in CA, for a class on useful weeds, without even knowing she had written a book! The class was so informative I bought a copy directly from her.
The Wild Wisdom of Weeds teaches about the most universally found and useful weeds – from what they mean to how to cook them!
Yet another favorite on my shelf, Restoration Agriculture is an essential permaculture read for understanding what it mean to create regenerative landscapes.
This is the book for people interested in gaining understanding of ecological systems and how we can interact with them in positive ways as farmers and homesteaders.
Tending the Wild is my top recommendation for people wanting to know what permaculture is and where it came from.
This book is a collection of traditional Native American farming and land management practices. Another essential read for understanding where we need to head to create positive impacts on people and the environment.
What are YOUR favorite books?
That is my top 25 books at the moment. There are certainly more but maybe I’ll share those another day.
I would love to hear from you – What are your favorite books that are on your shelf?
Leave me a list of books to add to my un-read pile on my desk in the comments below!
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