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Picks of the Month

Home > Browse By Topic > Modern Homesteading > Modern Homesteading Books

We Found 196 items, sorted in Bestselling order.

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121.

WILD EDIBLE MUSHROOMS

Hope Miller
Paperback

Price: $18.95

Mushrooms are an excellent source of natural food: They have few calories and are abundant, free for the taking, and fun to forage. This handy guide clearly explains not only how to identify them but …

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Mushrooms are an excellent source of natural food: They have few calories and are abundant, free for the taking, and fun to forage. This handy guide clearly explains not only how to identify them but also how to prepare them for your next meal. Whether you are an experienced mushroom hunter or an amateur naturalist, Wild Edible Mushrooms will help you find, harvest, prepare and enjoy North American wild mushrooms.

Inside are detailed descriptions and color photos of 40 edible mushrooms (plus dangerous look-alikes to avoid), including scientific and common names, habitat, odor, taste, fruiting time, and more. Following them are more than 100 recipes, ranging from delicious appetizers to soups, and from fresh salads to and hearty entrees.

122.

TOP-BAR BEEKEEPING

Les Crowder & Heather Harrell
Paperback

Price: $24.95

In recent years beekeepers have had to face tremendous challenges, from pests such as varroa and tracheal mites and from the mysterious but even more devastating phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Di…

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In recent years beekeepers have had to face tremendous challenges, from pests such as varroa and tracheal mites and from the mysterious but even more devastating phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Yet in backyards and on rooftops all over the world, bees are being raised successfully, even without antibiotics, miticides or other chemical inputs.

More and more organically minded beekeepers are now using top-bar hives, in which the shape of the interior resembles a hollow log. Long-lasting and completely biodegradable, a top-bar hive made of untreated wood allows bees to build comb naturally rather than simply filling prefabricated foundation frames in a typical box hive with added supers.

Top-bar hives yield slightly less honey but produce more beeswax than a typical Langstroth box hive. Regular hive inspection and the removal of old combs helps to keep bees healthier and naturally disease-free.

Top-Bar Beekeeping provides complete information on hive management and other aspects of using these innovative hives. All home and hobbyist beekeepers who have the time and interest in keeping bees should consider the natural, low-stress methods outlined in this book. It will also appeal to home orchardists, gardeners, and permaculture practitioners who look to bees for pollination as well as honey or beeswax.

123.

THE VILLAGE CARPENTER

Walter Rose
Paperback

Price: $15.95

First published in 1937, this woodworking classic reveals a fascinating look into the social structure of a 19th-century English town and a carpenter's place in it. Encapsulating a time before power t…

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First published in 1937, this woodworking classic reveals a fascinating look into the social structure of a 19th-century English town and a carpenter's place in it. Encapsulating a time before power tools and mass production, when woodworkers made virtually everything, Walter Rose writes eloquently on a number of topics, including running a country business; the carpenter's shop; working on a farm, new home and windmill; undertaking; and furniture repairs. Manifesting the importance of skill and the attitudes of the craftsman to his tools and work, this book will be of great interest to any carpenter or woodworker with an appreciation for the history of their craft.

124.

LITTLE HEATHENS

Mildred Armstrong Kalish
Paperback

Price: $16.00

In Little Heathens, Mildred Kalish shares her story of growing up on her grandparents' Iowa farm during the depths of the Great Depression. With her father banished from the household for mysterious t…

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In Little Heathens, Mildred Kalish shares her story of growing up on her grandparents' Iowa farm during the depths of the Great Depression. With her father banished from the household for mysterious transgressions, 5-year-old Mildred and her family could easily have been overwhelmed by the challenge of simply trying to survive. This, however, is not a tale of suffering.

Kalish counts herself among the lucky of that era. She had caring grandparents who possessed-and valiantly tried to impose-all the pioneer virtues of their forebears, teachers who inspired and befriended her, and a barnyard full of animals ready to be tamed and loved. She and her siblings and their cousins from the farm across the way played as hard as they worked, running barefoot through the fields, as free and wild as they dared.

Filled with recipes and how-tos for everything from catching and skinning a rabbit to preparing homemade skin and hair beautifiers, apple cream pie, and the world's best head cheese (start by scrubbing the head of the pig until it is pink and clean), Little Heathens portrays a world of hardship and hard work tempered by simple rewards. There was the unsurpassed flavor of tender new dandelion greens harvested as soon as the snow melted; the taste of crystal-clear, marble-sized balls of honey robbed from a bumblebee nest; the sweet smell from the body of a lamb sleeping on sun-warmed grass; and the magical quality of oat shocking under the light of a full harvest moon.

Little Heathens offers a loving but realistic portrait of a "hearty-handshake Methodist" family that gave its members a remarkable legacy of kinship, kindness and remembered pleasures. Recounted in a luminous narrative filled with tenderness and humor, Kalish's memoir of her childhood shows how the right stuff can make even the bleakest of times seem like "quite a romp."

125.

BARNYARD CONFIDENTIAL

Melinda Keefe
Hardcover

Price: $21.99

A lighthearted A-to-Z encyclopedia of farm lore, Barnyard Confidential covers everything you need to know about living in the country, from courting to dealing with manure, root picking to rat catchin…

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A lighthearted A-to-Z encyclopedia of farm lore, Barnyard Confidential covers everything you need to know about living in the country, from courting to dealing with manure, root picking to rat catching, winter chores to tractor restoration, hay mows to outhouses … anything and everything related to farm life. Entries from well-known country authors like E. B. White, Gwen Petersen, Roger Welsch and Patricia Penton Leimbach range from funny definitions to full stories and are illustrated throughout with a charming mix of fun, nostalgic, black-and-white photos and illustrations. These stories are both humorous and practical and will remind you why you often have a love-hate relationship with rural living. Before you move to the country (or even if you already live there), learn all the secrets to success from Barnyard Confidential.

Featured authors include: Eric Sloane, Roger Welsch, Gwen Petersen, Ben Logan, Jim Heynen, Bob Artley, Marjorie Myers Douglas, Hamlin Garland, E. B. White, Jerry Stelmok, Louis Bromfield, Bob Becker, William Hazlett Upson, Patricia Penton Leimbach, Jerry L. Twedt, Michael Perry, Willa Cather, Jerry Apps, Josh Billings, Michael Dregni, Jared Van Wagenen Jr., Hugh Orchard, Dorothy Canfield, Virginia Bell Dabney, Tom Anderson, Ronald Jager, Margret Aldrich, Bill Vossler, and Gordon Green.

126.

KEEPING BEES IN TOWNS AND CITIES

Luke Dixon
Paperback

Price: $19.95

Keeping Bees in Towns and Cities features everything an urbanite needs to know to start keeping bees: how to select the perfect hive, how to buy bees, how to care for a colony, how to harvest honey, a…

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Keeping Bees in Towns and Cities features everything an urbanite needs to know to start keeping bees: how to select the perfect hive, how to buy bees, how to care for a colony, how to harvest honey, and what to do in the winter. Urban beekeeping has particular challenges and needs, and this book highlights the challenges and presents practices that are safe, legal and neighbor-friendly.

The text is rounded out with profiles of urban beekeepers from all over the world, including public hives at the Maryland Center for Horticulture; beekeeping on an office balcony in Melbourne, Australia; and a poolside hive at a hotel in Vancouver, British Columbia.

127.

HEMPSTONE HERITAGE 1

Les Stark
Paperback

Price: $20.00

Hempstone Heritage I explores the fascinating story of the thriving hemp industry of early Pennsylvania. The book's subtitle offers a succinct summation: "All the Heckled Hemp She Can Spin - A Study o…

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Hempstone Heritage I explores the fascinating story of the thriving hemp industry of early Pennsylvania. The book's subtitle offers a succinct summation: "All the Heckled Hemp She Can Spin - A Study of the Early American Homespun Hemp Industry as Revealed by the Wills of Old Lancaster County, Pennsylvania: 1729-1845."

The first book in the Hempstone Heritage Series, this work reveals the untold tale of the hempfields of Pennsylvania. Hemp was a vital necessity for our ancestors. They used it for everything from course cloth to fine linen and everything in between. The Conestoga wagons were covered in hemp canvas, and hemp was used for grain bags, rugs, curtains, tablecloths, napkins, handkerchiefs, towels, pillowcases, sheets, and tough, durable work clothes. Between 1729 and1845, Pennsylvania's Lancaster County alone contained more than 100 water-powered hemp mills, and dozens more were located in York County. The author reveals this and much more in this detailed account. It's a story that is changing the way historians have viewed our history and opening the eyes of many.

In a race to save Lancaster County's prime farmland and unique culture before this beautiful but endangered land is paved over forever, Hempstone Heritage donates one dollar for every book sold to the Lancaster Farmland Trust.

128.

WOODCARVING COURSE & REFERENCE MANUAL

Chris Pye
Paperback

Price: $19.95

The first step into a new craft can be overwhelming: Where to start? What tools to buy? What projects to begin with? Thanks to author and internationally acclaimed woodcarver Chris Pye, this guide is filled with everything a beginning woodcarver needs to know.

Pye's Woodcarving Course & Reference Manual is akin to having a one-on-one course with a master carver. You'll learn what to look for in a workbench, the importance of commissioning your carving tools-there's more to it than just sharpening!-and how to make exacting cuts and execute a variety of techniques. Like any good instructor, Pye includes practice exercises to make you comfortable with the tools and techniques, so you can build your skills and carve with confidence.

Pye's conversational teaching style will encourage you as you follow the step-by-step instructions and work on a number of motifs, as well as projects for low, high and pierced relief, and in-the-round.

With Pye's help, you'll learn to carve:

  • Four types of molding
  • A beautiful koi project in three levels of relief carving
  • A realistic baseball cap in-the-round
  • A charming wren in-the-round

129.

FARMS WITH A FUTURE

Rebecca Thistlethwaite
Paperback

Price: $29.95

As communities seek greater resiliency in the wake of economic upheaval, job loss, climate change and global food shortages, local farmers are seen as a key resource to help reinvigorate (or create) a…

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As communities seek greater resiliency in the wake of economic upheaval, job loss, climate change and global food shortages, local farmers are seen as a key resource to help reinvigorate (or create) a diversified, regionalized, ecologically based food system. Farms with a Future explores the passion, creativity and entrepreneurship that's needed to help family farms find their niche and remain sustainable and successful in an age of agribusiness and consolidation.

What is a farm with a future? What will make it sustainable and resilient? And what key qualities and skills does a farmer need in today's climate to be successful?

Rebecca Thistlethwaite addresses these and other crucial questions in this must-read book for anyone aspiring to get into small to mid-scale market farming, or who wants to make their existing farm more dynamic, profitable and, above all, sustainable.

A growing interest in locally grown food is evident: In 2008, local food sales (direct to consumers or direct to restaurants/retailers) totaled $4.8 billion dollars, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report. Those sales were predicted to top $7 billion by the end of 2011.

An experienced farmer herself, Thistlethwaite does not idealize or romanticize her subject in Farms with a Future. "If you are not prepared for some serious hard work, inclement weather, dirt lodged in every crevice of your body, and being so dog-tired that you fall into your easy chair at night and don't wake up until the next morning, then you might look into another vocation," the author warns.

Thistlethwaite and her husband took a one-year sabbatical and traveled the length and breadth of the United States to live and work alongside some of the nation's most innovative farmers to learn some of their best practices … and a whole lot about what doesn't work too.

Farms with a Future introduces readers to some of the country's most innovative farmers, who are embracing their "inner entrepreneur": unabashedly marketing and sharing the pride they have for what they produce; building systems and finding efficiencies and cost savings so they don't have to keep raising prices every year; shying away from huge debt loads by developing ways to build their businesses patiently over time, using earned income or creative arrangements with their community of customers; harnessing natural processes to ensure they are not degrading the natural resources the farms depend upon; and treating their employees and volunteers like family.

While many other books address agricultural production, very few talk about business management for long-term sustainability. Farms with a Future will help guide farmers to manage for long-term sustainability and build a triple-bottom-line farming business focused on economic viability, social justice and ecological soundness.

130.

PRESERVING WILD FOODS

Palzel, Weingarten
Paperback

Price: $19.95

Salted sardines with coriander and thyme. Crab apple mostarda. Instant samphire pickles. Speckled tea eggs with star anise and ginger. Dandelion jelly. Pickled chanterelle mushrooms. Blueberry-maple s…

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Salted sardines with coriander and thyme. Crab apple mostarda. Instant samphire pickles. Speckled tea eggs with star anise and ginger. Dandelion jelly. Pickled chanterelle mushrooms. Blueberry-maple spoon fruit. These and dozens of other inspired recipes from chef Matthew Weingarten show you how to preserve—by curing, canning, smoking and pickling—a wide range of wild ingredients foraged from the sea, fields, forests and fresh water. Clear instructions make small-batch preserving techniques easy to learn, from smoking fish to putting up jam, pickling vegetables and curing meat. Whether you forage in the wild or at the farmers market, you’ll delight in making and enjoying these unique preserves.

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