When people think about preparing for emergencies, they usually think about the obvious first: food storage, water, and guns. I’m afraid that often people forget how important it is to have a well established personal library comprised of different “how to” type books.
Today, I’d like to make some suggestions for books that would be very useful to have on hand in case the internet was lost and the only information you could access was what knowledge you’ve tucked away for a rainy day, and the books you have with you.
They say “Knowledge is power”, but in a survival situation it could mean more than that. It could mean life or death. The right kind of books can help you get through the hardest of times. Here are some titles you might consider putting on your wishlist this year. I can only comment on books that I personally own, but I’ll also share a few with you that I have on my wishlist (if I had all the money in the world, I’d have a massive library!). I’d love to hear your recommendations if you don’t see one of your favorites mentioned.
There are so many good books out there, but here are a few I’m pleased to own:
Since I’ve begun using a variety of gardening methods, there are several different books I refer back to quite often. I find value in knowing various gardening techniques, so my library includes Lasagna Gardening, Square Foot Gardening, Organic Gardening, Hidden Survival Gardening, and traditional methods. I’m also interested in the French Intensive Method, Hugelkultur, and Permaculture. Here are a few of my most referenced gardening books…
Reader’s Digest Illustrated Guide To Gardening. This book is great because it covers almost every plant you can think of, including flowers, fruits, nuts, and berries. It gives lots of information on planting, propagating, fertilizing, pruning, and pest control.
Step by Step Organic Vegetable Gardening by Shepherd Ogden. We found this oldie but goodie in my husband’s grandpa’s house after he passed away. Lots of old fashioned gardening wisdom in this book.
The Frugal Gardener by Catriona Tudor Erler. This book is packed full of money saving tips to help you have the best garden for the least money.
All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew. Learn how to make the best use of every square foot of your garden.
What’s Wrong With My Vegetable Garden by David Deardorff and Kathryn Wadsworth. Diagnose disease and pest problems and learn organic solutions for your vegetable garden. Lots of great photos.
Secret Garden of Survival by Rick Austin. Learn how to plant edibles in such a way that it just looks like a bunch of wild plants to the average passerby.
Seed to Seed by Suzanne Ashworth. Everything you’ll ever need to know about saving seeds for your garden.
I think you can find all of these books on Amazon. Some of them are out of print, but can still be purchased secondhand through Amazon sellers for just a few bucks.
Homesteading/Living Off The Land
I have a ton of homesteading books on my bookshelf, but if you’re looking for literature that covers everything you would need to survive using primitive skills, my suggestion boils down to two books and a great series.
The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery. The Bible of homesteading. Every serious homesteader should own a copy of this book.
Reader’s Digest Back To Basics. I LOVE this book. It’s packed full of pioneer skills with step-by-step instructions and lots of great pictures. I often flip through it just for fun and inspiration.
The Foxfire Series. Our set was also salvaged from my husband’s grandfather’s old house. They’re well worn, and thoroughly enjoyed. Each of these books follows a crew of students deep into the Appalachian mountains, where they interview old timers who have been living primitively in an off-grid cabin their whole lives. These folks teach us how they survive on whatever resources they have available to them. Fascinating stories.
You can find the entire Foxfire series available on Amazon, or you can buy the books one at a time.
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