This is an exciting time of year! The sunlight is coming back and our days are getting longer. Spring is right around the corner and now is the time to start getting ready. Here are some of my favorite homesteading books for spring planning.
I recently wrote about staying content during a long winter. One way to help brighten up when it feels like winter is never going to end is to remember that it eventually will and spring will arrive. Spending time planning and getting ready for the upcoming seasonal shift is a great way to press forward until the snow melts.
During the start of the winter months, I love to read. Curling up in front of the wood stove at the end of the day and relaxing with a favorite book is so nice. But as spring starts to approach, I turn my attention to reading up for the upcoming busy season.
Reading these and other homesteading books helps me to gather my thoughts so I know what to focus on. Our springs and summers are short in Alaska so there’s no time to waste! It’s important to know what needs our attention and what we need to do when spring hits. I also like to to try new things every year and reading these books inspires me.
I have accumulated a small collection of my favorite homesteading-related books over the past few years since we began this journey. Our local used book store and the library are full of resources too. These are my favorites that I return to time after time when I need some information and inspiration before springtime.
Homesteading Books for Spring Planning
These are some of my favorite books for homesteading in general. They cover all kinds of topics regarding homesteading so they make great references for many topics all in one place. I can look up tips for gardening, beekeeping, poultry, and livestock. They are also full of information on preserving the harvest, old-fashioned skills, and other farming advice.
- The Backyard Homestead
- Welcome to the Farm
- The Prairie Homestead
We currently keep six colonies of honeybees on our property. We have come to really love beekeeping, especially my husband! He has taken the wheel when it comes to hive checks and overwintering our bees. They are fascinating creatures and we are constantly learning new things about them.
We are fortunate to have a great group of northern beekeepers up here in Alaska to connect with. Keeping bees in Alaska requires some extra work that isn’t always documented in standard beekeeping books. But these are my favorite books for general knowledge when it comes to honey bees.
- Homegrown Honey Bees
- The Backyard Beekeeper
- The Beekeeper’s Bible
Before we decided to get a dairy cow for our family, I read anything and everything that I could get my hands on. Unfortunately there isn’t a whole lot of literature out there for families with their own cow. Many of the general farming and homesteading books contain sections about dairy animals that provide some basic information.
We have never kept a dairy goat so my favorite books are cow specific but the general homesteading books that I listed above cover other dairy animals, including goats and sheep. I’m thankful to have a friend and mentor help me along the way with our cow but I still turn to these books often for extra advice.
- Keeping a Family Cow
- Milk Cow Kitchen
- The Backyard Cow
I have read so many gardening books because this is an area where I have struggled quite a bit! I’m still working on learning to become a better gardener every year so I’m constantly looking for more information. I have taken a few Alaska gardening classes which have helped me quite a bit.
There are countless gardening books out there, it’s overwhelming. With so many different styles and techniques, there’s always more to learn. These are a few that have helped me greatly as a beginning gardener.
- How to Grow More Vegetables
- The New Organic Grower
- The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible
We keep a small flock of laying hens for our egg supply throughout the year. We have a chicken coop inside of our barn with a small door that leads to their large outdoor run. Each spring we add a new set of chicks so then we’ll always have a few fresh layers. We also keep a few geese and ducks for eggs.
In addition to our layers, during the spring and summer, we raise a few turkeys and sometimes chickens for meat. They provide us with our holiday meals as well as our white meat supply for the year. I enjoy reading about these birds and the different ways we can keep them happy and healthy.
- Fresh Eggs Daily
- Duck Eggs Daily
- The Homesteader’s Natural Chicken Keeping Handbook
There are a lot of Alaska-specific books on different farming topics. I enjoy going to our local library where they have a section dedicated to these books. Even if you don’t live here, you might enjoy reading some of these and learning more about Alaska.
Because Alaska has such an extreme climate compared to the lower 48, often the advice given in general homesteading and farming books doesn’t apply to us. I like to read as many Alaska-specific books that I can to make sure that I’m not missing any information that’s necessary for our environment.
Gardening, overwintering bees, and keeping livestock require extra steps during the harsh winters. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t do it! Gardens flourish, bee colonies grow strong, and livestock produces, even as far north as we are. You might enjoy these Alaskan books on farming.
- Alaska Gardening Guide
- There’s a Moose in My Garden
- The Alaska Gardener’s Handbook
If you have any recommendations on what I should read next, please let me know! Spring planning is in full swing and we’re looking forward to the upcoming season of longer days and warmer weather.