1. In this world of technology, resources and information on just about any subject are easily accessible in short order. The most readily accessible and likely most often used resources are books and the internet. Both of these resources are typically available to anyone at the public library free of charge. When deciding to explore homesteading, whether ready to take it on or whether in the exploring and learning stage, there are quite a few resources at the ready that can answer most questions and give great ideas as well.

    Books:

    The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emory- this is quite possibly the beginning homesteader’s Bible if there is such a book that exists. Ms. Emory has published several editions of this book, each one adding more and more detailed information on a host of homesteading topics from raising pigs to cooking from scratch. With easy to follow, detailed instructions on many homesteading projects, this is a great reference book that is made to be pored over time and time again.

    Back To Basics by Reader’s Digest- an overview book that gives a lot of good ideas for projects but not much in the way of how-to details. This one is good to peruse to garner homesteading ideas then go forth to other resources for more information.

    Blue Ball Book of Preserving by the Blue Ball Canning Jar Company- this book is small but packed full of information on the preserving and canning of all the garden produce a family garden can provide. Step by step instructions for preparing and canning the garden bounty can teach a beginner and support an experienced canner as well.

    Storey’s Guides by various authors- each volume of this book set covers a specific homesteading topic from canning food to raising baby goats and so forth.

    Preserving Summer’s Bounty by Susan McClure- this book shows how to preserve absolutely any food that could possibly come from the garden.

    Magazines:

    Countryside Magazine- while magazines come and go, this magazine of modern homesteading has been around for over 94 years. Evolving with the times yet staying true to homesteading, each issue is a wonderful resource for beginning and experience homesteaders.

    Mother Earth News – another commonly read homesteading and sustainable living magazine popular with many homesteaders. Published by Ogden Publications, Mother Earth News has been around for years, as well as other magazines produced by Ogden Pub including Grit Magazine for rural families and hobby farmers.

    Hobby Farm, Hobby Farm Home, Urban Farm – three magazines growing in popularity with homesteaders rural and urban alike.

    Online:

    Search via Google, Bing, Yahoo or other search engines – the Internet is a fantastic resource for so many things and homesteading is no exception. Websites and forums specially devoted to homesteading are in abundance online. Keyword suggestions include "homestead," "homesteading," "sustainable living," "green living," "organic farming," "permaculture," or "biodynamic farming."

    Homesteadingtoday.com – a rich and informative site covering everything from raising chickens and other livestock to gardening and everything in between. Boasting over 26,000 members, this is one of the most active forums on homesteading.

    Homestead.org – another popular homesteading forum featuring articles, library resources, as well as an active, well-informed membership. While membership numbers are a modest 5,000+, members are active and helpful in terms of pointing new homesteaders in the right direction.

    Live Answers:

    Friends and Neighbors- there is no better advice than that given by friends and neighbors who have been there and done that when it comes to homesteading projects. The homesteading community is a friendly one, willing to help newcomers and experienced homesteaders alike.

    Local County Extension Office- all counties have a local extension office where the agriculture information is up to date and tailored for the area. Many extension offices will host classes on gardening, livestock and other such pertinent topics to homesteading.

    Local Feed Store- whatever is going on in the area when it comes to homesteading topics, the folks at the local feed store will either know about or will know of someone who does. The feed store is often a hub for farmers and other homesteaders to exchange information and services as well as buy the feed and necessary items for their livestock.

    Homesteading is a wonderful way of life that may seem overwhelming at the start, but when taken one small project at a time, can be learned and enjoyed by anyone truly interested in doing so.

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