"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Homesteading Library

Time for another installment of Crazy Aimee Prepares for the Zombiepocalypse!!!

This one is fun. I've been trying to have more fun with my preparations and less lying awake at night wondering if my children will get to grow up. As my mom and the boyscouts of america say, "don't be worried, be prepared!" So I was thinking, what aspect of preparedness would be absolutely the most fun for me, Aimee? The answer came to me immediately; building a library for use on my future homestead. What could be more fun? I get to peruse many dusty old bookstores, spend money I shouldn't really spend, and there's no physical labor involved (except toting the books home, which was a little bit like work, I admit).

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, the current list, organized by category. 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*, canning*,cheesemaking*, sausage making*, brewing

-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.

-RDA of vitamins and minerals and what foods provide them, special nutrition needs od various populations (i.e., infants, elderly, chronically ill)

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. Recommended to me today was "Where there are no Doctors") Also midwifery (not just theory but practical).

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

Topics which await categorization (although I do already own a few books on the subjects) include Home Power Generation, Home Repair and Maintenance, Rainwater Harvesting and water storage in general,Septic Tank Maintenance and other waste related issues, and Land Management and Pasture Improvement, and other good farm practice issues.

Today I bought the titles you see in the photo: a gardening book, a very complete book of American medicinal plants and their uses, "backwoods Home" magazine's emergency preparedness manual (extremely interesting reading so far), and two of the famous foxfire books. Not that I plan to be building any banjos, but it's nice to know I will be able to if I want.


foodstr2 said...

Here are a couple of medical manuals that might interest you:

The Official Pocket Medical Survival Manual, by Robert W. Pelton 16.00, shipping included

The Official Pocket Medicinal Plant Survival Manual, by Robert W. Pelton 16.00, shipping included http://www.internet-grocer.net/pocket3.htm

Best regards,


Q said...

Such an interesting post. I also have lots and lots of "how to books".
How about how to knit and sew?
How about how to spin and weave?
I have a dream of having my books organized...don't forget a few poetry books...everyone needs food for the soul...

Aimee said...

Thank you very much, Bruce, I'll check them out!
And Sherry, you are absolutely right, sewing and the other cloth-crafts are extremely important! I own a sewing machine but I don't know how to sew. My daughter spins and knits.

Aimee said...

Oh and yes indeed I couldn't agree more on poetry and the importance of a "regular" library. I have a pretty good one, including lots of children's books.