A place where one woman has gathered resources and information to help her family survive in an uncertain future; together with occasional personal musings.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Homesteading Library

Thinking about Food Security and writing about food preservation led me naturally into thinking about all the knowledge and skills that preservation entails. Of course, Alternative Utilities will involve even more knowledge and skills, and more complicated ones, but they are not - so far and God willing - my purview.

The more I thought about the knowledge and skills that it would be useful (or vital) to have on my homestead of the future, the more I realized that here I have a wonderful opportunity to embark on a project of my very favorite kind. I shall assemble a library!

Actually, I already have a good start on the library of my future homestead, just because I have long been interested in many of the topics involved, especially food. But anyway, here goes, my current list, organized by category (and added to as time goes by and I buy more books). Books I own and collections I consider complete or nearly complete - are marked with an asterisk. I am also assembling an online archive of useful articles, but since I assume that the internet will not be easily accessible in the post-apocalypse world, I'll have to convert it to a printed version at some future point. Therefore, it is not catalogued here.


- general cooking*
- sausage making*

4 season gardening, greenhouse construction, container gardening, composting, seed saving, pest control, irrigation techniques

Animal Husbandry
Care and feeding, breeding, and veterinary information on goats, sheep, chickens, horses, rabbits and pigs. I already have the basic Storey Guides to most of these, but I want more detailed and in depth information. Slaughtering and Butchering.

Wild Foods (and) Herbal Medicine*
Field guides to edible and medicinal plants, books on preparing and storing the same, mushrooming books*, field guides to local marine life*, information on poisonous plants and animals

Long-term Pantry
-information on stocking and maintaining a long term pantry: that is, food that will keep for ten years and beyond. Water storage.

That's about all I can think of off the top of my head on the subject of food.

Next category: Medicine

I have a good start here too, with my complete collection of Nursing textbooks. Of course, much of the information in them is unlikely to be useful on my future homestead (interpreting EKG data?), but much of it will. All the basics on first aid, infection prevention and control, dietary treatment for various chronic diseases, care of the pregnant mother and the newborn, lactation, and far too much more to list here. Also I have pharmacology and drug books, which are useful even in the absence of modern drugs, because (with the help of my medicinal plants library) I will be able to identify the active principles in various plants and then read about that principle (for example - not that I'd be messing with this plant - digitalis as the active principle in foxglove.)

I'd like to get some books specifically on home remedies and traditional medicine. Also midwifery (not just theory but practical).

Dental. Yikes, there's a scary thought. Home dentistry? Ouch.

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