Our Favorite Homestead Resources, Tried and True
Trial and error is an expensive and frustrating way to find the best homesteading tools, gear, supplies, and books. And let’s face it, learning how to homestead from scratch is overwhelming enough as it is. That’s why we’ve created this list of our favorite homestead resources, in hopes that it will save you a little time and trouble along the way.
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Electric Polywire Fencing – Portable fencing wire for livestock. Create your own temporary/movable pastures for rotation or to protect permanent fencing from damage.
Electric Chicken Net Fencing – Create a secure, temporary/movable area for your free-range birds ~ or goats! Goats are clever. They completely disregard the typical single wire electric fencing often used for rotational grazing. In order to get them to cooperate with our pasture rotation plan, we had to go for the netting.
In-Ground Fence for Dogs – Gives our livestock guardian dog a secure/defined perimeter to patrol.
EcoGlow Brooder – Ever lay awake at night worried that the brooder lamp will catch your barn on fire? No? Just me? The EcoGlow is a safe alternative. It gives off a constant radiant heat allowing the chicks to self-regulate their temperature. It’s also more economical, running at 14 watts compared to 250 watts.
Battery Powered Lantern – We don’t have electricity out in the barn, so this comes in handy during those dark winter months.
Battery Powered Fan – Got mosquitoes in July??? Not so much fun at milking time. We’ve found that a battery operated fan is just the thing to keep them away. I’m hoping it works for flies next year when I’m milking Ivy too. I’ll let you know.
Free Choice Minerals for Livestock and Pets – Our soil in the United States is incredibly mineral deficient. In order to maintain the health of our animals we provide high quality free choice minerals.
Dr. Paul’s Labs – Alternative herbal medicine solutions for immune support, pain control, wound healing, and more.
Ladies Washed Insulated Bib Overalls – Homesteading in a harsh winter climate? These insulated bibs make winter chores MUCH more comfortable! Slip them on right over your clothes. Best purchase I ever made!
Bogs Women’s Classic Tall Insulated Boots – And don’t forget your insulated boots! Though, really, I wear these boots nearly every day of the year. Comfortable, durable, and you can even get yourself a cute design.
Muck Chore Boots – My husband prefers Muck boots to Bogs.
Warre Bee Hives, Gear, and Education – All natural beekeeping resources and fantastic customer service.
Sunblock Shade Cloth -Reduces the temperature to keep plants from bolting in summer heat. Additionally can be used to help germinate your fall crop when August temperatures are still too hot.
Floating Row Cover and Plant Blanket – Used for insect control and frost protection.
Trees of Antiquity – Heirloom fruit trees and berry bushes.
Botanical Interests – High Quality, Organic, Non-GMO seeds for the garden.
Homestead Kids Resources
Primary Children’s Clothing – Affordable, durable basics. Soft fabrics, lots of vibrant colors, and no obnoxious slogans! Super easy to mix and match. Always free shipping and 20% off your first order.
Hanna Andersson – Hanna’s got some of the best made children’s clothing we’ve ever tried. These adorable clothes can be handed down and down and down… They can really take a beating! Thick, soft, 100% cotton. Did I mention they’re adorable? The twirly dresses ~ oh my heart! Someday my girls will grow out of twirly dresses and then what will I do? Sniff.
Bogs Kids Classic Insulated Boots – Have you got farm kids? Then you know you need some reliable boots. Bogs are the very best. These things can even be handed down to little siblings as they grow ~ can’t say that about your average rubber boots! They’re chore boots, rain boots, snow boots (insulated to 30 below!) And seriously, could they possibly get any cuter?!
Crocs – What can I say? When they’re not wearing boots, they’re wearing crocs. I’m not saying it’s what the cool kids do, but it works for us.
Books, Blogs, & Videos About Homesteading
The Holistic Orchard – Grow tree Fruits and Berries by working with nature instead of against it.
Four-Season Harvest – Keep your garden producing (almost) all year long!
The Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardener’s Handbook– Week by week steps of helpful, how-to information. Doubles as a journal to reference your specific growing season (frost dates) and when you planted, harvested, etc.. the previous year. We’ve read lots of gardening books, but this one has been the most practical and helpful by far!
Homegrown Herbs – It took me awhile to find an herb book that I could use as an all around reference. This book has lots of useful information from soil requirements, planting, tending, propagating, harvesting, as well as recipes for culinary and medicinal uses for 100 of the most commonly used herbs.
A Kid’s Herb Book for Children of All Ages – This book is a treasure, and it isn’t just for kids either. Beautiful illustrations and a thorough education on all things herbal… herb history, herb safety, herb projects and recipes, songs for remembering the different properties of common herbs. Such a fun book!
The Small-Scale Poultry Flock – Everything you need to know about how to raise chickens and other homestead poultry using natural systems.
Milking School DVDs – Thinking of getting a family milk cow? Want to raise it on grass? These DVDs are pretty much the only resources you’ll need to get started right.
Natural Goat Care – Wow! This book is worth its weight in gold! Natural, mineral-based solutions to every possible problem you might run into with your goats. We’ve followed Pat’s suggestions from the beginning and we haven’t had a single instance of worms, fleas, mites, illness, or any of the other problem that can be so common with goats.
Natural Pet Care – Ditto, except this one is for your homestead dogs and cats.
The Complete Book of Butchering, Smoking, Curing, and Sausage Making – Well, the name says it all. Learn to DIY the whole process from butchering to smoking and curing your own hams, sausage, bacon, anything.
Abundant Permaculture Vlog – The Rhodes family takes you along as they travel to sustainable farms and homesteads all over the country.
ABC Acres on YouTube – ABC acres is a permaculture farm in the Bitterroot Valley of Western Montana. They’ve got about a hundred short videos that teach you all of the details about sustainable food production, healthy living systems, and ecological design.
The Elliott Homestead Blog – Real food recipes and homesteading tips
The Prairie Homestead Blog – Homestead life, gardening tips, and natural living.
Fias Co Farms Blog – Lots of detailed information on the care and keeping of dairy goats, with an emphasis on a natural approach.
Acres U.S.A. Magazine – Sustainable farming or “eco-agriculture” magazine full of a wide range of practical tips and strategies written by sustainable farmers all over the United States.
Mother Earth News – Practical skills for modern homesteading, sustainable agriculture, and self-sufficient urban or country living.
The Salatin Semester – This is on my Christmas wish-list! Joel Salatin is my (2nd 😉 ) favorite farmer and the king of sustainable agriculture. We have read many of his books and really admire his economical strategies for diversified farming. He believes in honoring the animals and the land by allowing them to work together within the perfect systems put in place by their Creator.
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And as always friends, please remember that I’ve got kids sledding down the stairs on Costco boxes as I write to you…
So, if you think I’ve forgotten something important, have any questions or comments, or simply a bit of encouragement to share, please use the comments below, send me an email, or find us on Facebook.
I’d love to hear from you.