this is an ever-changing, ever-evolving list of books that i have found very helpful in my Making of Food. i have linked them either to their publisher (where you can purchase them) or through indiebound where they will help you find a local bookstore in your area that carries the title. i know amazon is much more simple. has one thousand ways to offer free shipping. and is generally the Best Deal in Town. but going to your nearby bookstore is priceless, truly. and there you can get lost in all of the other cookbooks, animal husbandry manuals, and gardening guides. its worth it.
natural pest and disease control
so, if you are planning on growing your garden in the most natural organic manner this book is essential to helping you do so.
the ball complete book of home preserving
canning is the only way to have your (or your nearby farmer's) tomatoes in the dead of horrific winter months. it is the only way to use your creepy basement for good. it is the only way to give cheap homemade christmas presents without getting too much guff. i recommend finding this book and planning out what you can can this summer. you don't need to start off with the Stocking of the Whole Pantry. but begin with a couple of colorful recipes. your future sun-light deprived january self with love you. you'll learn the good basics here so you can soon learn to make up your own.
learn how to make kimchi, kombucha, dilly beans, wine, sourdough. all in your own kitchen. it will provide you the good safety guidelines for how to make these fermented products. you soon will be a queen of fermentation. the kombucha nick made using this as a guideline has changed my morning routine.
the small scale poultry flock
a good farmer friend recommended this book. it is a great start off book for those of you looking to raise chickens on a small, backyard scale. you don't want to have to call you vet (who probably does little with chickens) each time a chicken droops it's head. here you will have an excellent manual for what to look for and when to intervene.
the untold story of milk
this book is a fascinating exposé into why our milk is the way she is today. if you are at all curious about raw milk and its benefits OR if you just consume milk --ever-- i present this. i especially recommend it to anyone who is every considering getting a family cow. its smart to know the history behind what you will be drinking.
keeping a family cow
i have referred to this as our bible. and i stand by it. a beautifully written account of every aspect of how to keep your cow. how to breed her. milk her. and of course, why you should have her in the first place. we would be quite lost without this book.
week by week vegetable handbook
my mama got me this book this winter as she was as painfully aware as i that this will be my first year going solo on the garden. this book is part reference/part workbook and is immensely helpful to organize yourself with the timing. as Timing is Everything in the garden.
rodale's encyclopedia of organic gardening
instead of googly-ing every pest-y promblemo and soil requirements for melons look here first. an encyclopedia is always a welcome resource in my home. especially one that hold's my shaky hand through the garden.
preserving food WITHOUT freezing or canning
this book is, in a sense the antithesis to the Ball Complete Book of Canning. this teaches you about dehydration and lacto-fermentation, and many other old world ways of preserving your summer and fall harvest. it was written by the good people of terre vivante which is based in the town where we lived in france! small world.