Before we came to Alaska, I did a lot of research on how our lives out here would be. I followed weather reports for this area all winter, talked to friends who’d lived here, and read book after book after book on homesteading. I also received quite a few books from friends and family before and after the move. I thought I’d make a list of books that I reference regularly, and have really been vital to our lifestyle out here.
Homegrown & Handmade – This book was given to me several years ago and I still go back to it from time to time. It’s full of great skill lessons and how-to’s for the new homesteader, or anyone who is looking to live more self sufficiently. I also love the fact that it covers cooking from your sustainable garden, and keeping livestock for fiber.
The Ultimate Guide to Self-Reliant Living – This book was gifted to Kyle and I last Christmas from my parents and has been a huge help out here. I’ve honestly read it front to back twice now. It covers all sorts of good information for homesteading (or prepping) including using plants to tell where the water table is for a well! I hadn’t even thought about using what is above ground to tell me what was below ground before. It’s a nice thick book that includes just about everything you could ever need to live off grid. We also received The Wild Game Cookbook, Can It!, and Guide To Preserving as well. We haven’t had a chance to try out the recipes in them yet, but we will soon!
Alaska’s Wild Plants: A Guide to Alaska’s Edible Harvest – My Mom just sent me this one not to long ago and it has already come in handy! If the title didn’t give it away, its all about foraging for wild food in Alaska. I really appreciate that it goes over how and when to harvest, as well as recipes for your finds.
Alaska’s Wild Berries and Berry-Like Fruit – This book was loaned to me by a new friend here in Alaska. It’s a great pocket guide to take berry picking. Especially helpful is the pictorial glossary at the end for plant parts.
Wild Edible & Medicinal Plants: Alaska, Canada & Pacific Northwest Rainforest (Vol. 1 and 2) – This book was given to me by my grandpa recently. It’s a small spiral bound pocket trail guide. I was able to use it to quickly identify several plants on our property I had been unable to classify yet.
Alaska Homesteader’s Handbook: Independent Living on the Last Frontier – This is another book my mom just recently sent me. It’s full of how to’s for all kinds of Alaska necessary skills from many different authors. It includes everything from how to start a chainsaw to how to spin dog fur! If you’re new to homesteading and are jumping into it in Alaska (cough, cough, like Kyle and I) then this book is a very useful guide to have!
The Woodland Homestead: How to Make Your Land More Productive and Live More Self-Sufficiently in the Woods – I purchased this book before our move as I knew our property was heavily wooded, and I am so glad I did! It is a really handy reference for making wooded land work for you. Ever heard of coppicing? Neither had I, but this book has an entire chapter on it! We will definitely be using that skill for the firewood section of our land.
As I add to my collection, I intend to come back and include other books that we use out here often. Of course that will require having more space for books first!