This list of recommended books for small farms and homesteads makes a great start to your library.
This classic book covers many aspects of basic farm life, including gardening, food preparation, and buying land. In true encyclopedic fashion, you'll find information on keeping bees, culturing yogurt, baking bread, and artificially inseminating a turkey. If you had to get just one book on how to farm, this would be it.
Subtitled "The Entrepreneur's Guide to Start & Succeed in a Farming Enterprise," this book by the acclaimed owner of Polyface Farm in Virginia is just that. Salatin describes his own experience in this book, teaching by example and inspiring readers. The focus here is on a profit-making enterprise, but there's lots of great information for small farmers who don't want to bring products to market. There is a lot here that will challenge your ideas and assumptions about farming and agriculture.
This book is great for farmers just getting started. With a heavy emphasis on determining what you want from your farming life and planning your farm enterprise, it helps small farmers build a strong foundation for their farm. It also covers choosing livestock, understanding housing, fencing and feeding needs, breeding, and market strategies. This book takes a grass-based, grazing approach to farming.
Through a British lens, this book covers the basics of homesteading and small farming for urbanites new to rural living. Topics covered include: food from the garden, animals, the fields and the wild; in the dairy; in the kitchen; brewing and wine-making; energy and waste; crafts and skills. Similar to [i]The Encyclopedia of Country Living,[/i] this book seeks to share information about many aspects of the homesteading/self-sufficient life.
Subtitled: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners. This book details how to save seeds for over 160 vegetables, including detailed information about each vegetable. All techniques are thoroughly researched and tested. [i]Seed to Seed[/i] is the quintessential reference book for learning how to save seeds from your garden.