Recommended Gardening, Homesteading and Self-Sufficiency Books

A few days ago a reader sent me an email asking me what my favorite and most recommended books on gardening, homesteading and living off the land were. Below is that list, feel free to add your favorites in the comments section below…

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. Greg Monger says:

    All are great books, but would recommend adding Balls Blue Book of Canning. If you grow produce, you must have a way to store and keep it long term. Just my 2 cents.

    • Moira M says:

      I second this recommendation. I love the gardening books MD listed above, and preserving the harvest completes the process.

    • I need that book. I’ve been using the American canning book that came with the canner, but its worked good so far.

    • There are many books from Ball out there. Do you have a preference?

  2. PatrickM says:

    Another interesting idea book is titled , The “Have More” Plan, by Ed and Carolyn Robinson. It is a reprint. It may be a bit outdated, but still contains interesting and useful idea’s.

  3. Crazy Joe in South Jersey says:

    All Rodale Press books relating to this topic .

    Fire Fox series cannot hurt either for helpful ol’timey tips .

  4. The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery. More than you ever wanted to know about the nitty-gritty and common sense knowledge of living off the land. And…just a plain good read that is full of encouragement besides.

  5. Curtiss says:

    Great selection, but you need “Composting Everything” by David tithe Good to make it all come together

  6. PatrickM says:

    “Country Wisdom & Know-How” from Storey Books, is another good collection of ‘how to’.

    Fox Fire series are good too! Still working on filling out my set.

    I try to lean towards yesteryear’s technology mixed with a bit of contemporary convenience. I always thought that if an EMP/solar event were to take the grid down, 19th century technology would instantly be required. Not having that info will keep alot of folks ‘hammered down’.

  7. Roberto says:

    All good selections (I have every one of them) but besides those mentioned by other readers, one ‘must have’ for those of us living North of the Mason-Dixon line is “Four Season Harvest” by Elliot Coleman. An excellent book for how-to grow year round in cold weather.

  8. Chuck Findlay says:

    Here are some free On-Line PDF format books you can download. I have them on my Nook E-Reader, both computers and a backup on DVD’s. Once loaded, just right-click and save the file to your computer.

    Not all gardening or homesteading books, but all good to have.

    Where There Is No doctor

    LDS Preparedness Manual

    Where There Is No Dentist

    American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED Manuel

    Pioneering 1962

    The Encyclopedia of Country Living (9th edition, I have a paper copy of the 10th edition)

    Ships Medicine Chest and Medical aid, a book that is made for ship medical issues where a doctor is not available

    Wilderness Survival – Basic Survival Skills

    Camping and woodcraft; a handbook for vacation campers and for travelers in the wilderness

    The Modern Survival Retreat by Rangar Benson,%20Ragnar%20-%20The%20Modern%20Survival%20Retreat.pdf

    Here is a site that has a lot of good homesteading / gardening books in PDF format, All Free PDF’s

    Here is a list of some of the PDF books on the Survival Sullivan site.

    Food, Stockpiling, Homesteading, Farming

    The USDA guide to Preparing and Canning Poultry, Red Meats, and Seafoods:

    The Vegetable Garden Encyclopedia

    Canning Foods:

    How to Make Natural Fertilizer

    USDA’s Pig Farming Booklet

    Medicine and First Aid

    The U.S. Army Basic First Aid Manual

    And several others more along the prepping / military type then homesteading.

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