Book Review: The Ultimate Guide to Homesteading by Nicole Faires + A Giveaway

The Giveaway is now over. I will announce the winner tomorrow. Thanks for participating everyone!

Yay! Finally! I am doing the book review I promised. It’s taken me a while to get this review published but I think it will be worth the wait. At least I hope it will be.

The publishers of the book, The Ultimate Guide to Homesteading (aff. link), offered to send me a free book for a review. I actually got to pick the book I wanted to review. Skyhorse Publishing has a number of books but OBVIOUSLY I was going to choose something related to homesteading. I was actually very thoughtful about which book I was going to choose. I didn’t want just any book. I wanted a reference book and that’s just what I got in The Ultimate Guide to Homesteading. This book is actually more like an encyclopedia. In fact the subtitle of the book is, An Encyclopedia of Independent Living, so an encyclopedia is exactly what it is.

Before I begin the review I want to share with you why I really chose the book. As I was looking through the homesteading books Skyhorse Publishing offers I did a few searches on the books that interested me to see if it would help me make a decisions. While searching for more information on The Ultimate Guide to Homesteading I found the authors website. Come to find out Nicole Faires is a very interesting person. Not only is she the author of a great homesteading reference book, a wife and a mother of three children, she is also traveling the country in a big blue bus. How cool is that?! Well, it may not sound all that cool until you hear the reason why.

Nicole and her family are currently touring the country in the bus they converted into a home. And they did a great job of converting it too! You have to see these photos of their bus home, called the Albatross. The plan is to visit organic farms across the United States. This adventure is called the Sea to Sea Organic Farm Tour. They will be visiting the best organic farms across the country and these farms will be the topic of her upcoming book, The Organic Farmers Sourcebook (will be published in the spring of 2013). The book will include hundreds of photos of these organic farms and the voices behind them.

Watch the video to learn more about the tour. If you are interested in helping the Faires family financially on their tour across America,visit this link.

Can you see why I would be interested in a book written by such an interesting person? Not only is Nicole’s current life interesting but her childhood also intrigued me. In her own words..

I am an adventurer, self-proclaimed eccentric, and mother of three girls.  I grew up in a semi-nomadic homeschooling family and spent lovely years in rural Montana on a hobby farm raising chickens and growing my own food, investing my teenage life in learning to crochet, reading books by Tom Brown, Jr. and Masanobu Fukuoka, and dreaming of the Amish.

The Book Review

The The Ultimate Guide to Homesteading is not the type of book you read cover to cover. You certainly could if you wanted to but it was written in encyclopedia form so it’s better read as a quick reference book or a starting guide. In true encyclopedia fashion, you won’t find too many topics that are explained in great detail. But you will find good introductions , some great photos on many homesteading related topics. Nicole offers information on everything from, ‘how to build a food storage’ to ‘how to sheer a sheep’. To give you a better idea of what this book covers, the book is divided into these chapters:

  1. The Basics
  2. Building Shelter for Man and Animal
  3. Horses and Other Animals
  4. The Comforts of Life
  5. Health and Family
  6. Food, Field and Family
Some of the information covered in the book are introduction to the very basics of living a independent lifestyle. Do you want to learn how to build a 10 foot tipi? Or maybe you want to learn how to make a loom? Or make a birch twig broom? Not interested in such primitive living? Well, this book can also teach the basics of how to change a tire or replace a car battery. Though much of the book covers more information about simpler living, there are some modern living topics covered as well.
I particularly like the section that covers herbal remedies. I am also very interested in the beekeeping section and a few very useful charts. There is a food storage chart which includes how much one food type will be consumed in a year by each person in the house. For instance, according the chart, 1 pound of baking powder is needed for one adult per year. Having this type of information will help me with Preparedness Challenge. The book also includes an emergency kit list.
There seem to be a few topics that have little more in depth instruction. For instance, there is a lot of information on caring for sheep and horses.
If you are looking for a quick reference book that will give you some very useful information about things you may never have thought of and information about things you have always wanted to know about, then this book is for you. It’s a book I would highly recommend having on your bookshelf if you are interested in sustainable and independent living.
The Giveaway!!
I decided to share the love and give away a copy of this book to a lucky winner.

How to Enter the Healthy Homesteading Random Drawing Give-Away.

  • Leave a comment below sharing why you would like to have a copy of this book.
  • You can enter again by sharing this give-away with your readers and friends by blogging, tweeting, or facebook. You must link back to Healthy Homesteading and don’t forget to let me know by commenting for each of the three methods of entering.

This give-away will end next Saturday at 1pm PST.

Don’t forget to join the Preparedness Challenge!! Also, Join the Barn Hop!!!

42 Responses to “Book Review: The Ultimate Guide to Homesteading by Nicole Faires + A Giveaway”

  • I’d love to win this book because I really hope to be living on land that’s homesteadable some time in the next 5-10 years. At this point in my life (living in a large city in Turkey), I’m currently just filling my head and heart with dreams about what it would look to live a more self sufficient country life. Good books will be key to sharing the vision with my wife :). (she’s not as interested in the podcasts and blogs that I visit to get inspired.)

  • I also tweeted ( @jakedolson) about the drawing

  • I also facebooked about this /jakedolson

  • Bobbi:

    I would like to read about some of the simpler things in life. I am not sure how much I would use the knowledge, but I would still like to have it, just in case. Thanks, Bobbi

  • Ooh, another great book in your library! We’re on the path to become more self-sustaining, and this year we’ve started a garden. We don’t have an abudance, so I’ll have to rely on farmers’ markets and other resources for putting things by (canning: another thing on my list!). We’re also thinking of getting chicken, maybe some goats… who knows where it could lead! The more information you have at your fingertips and the more experience you gain, the more confident you become in your endeavors. Right now I kind of feel lost in a sea of overwhelm; it’s hard when I’m trying to take baby steps in so many different directions!

  • Tanya Williams:

    I would love to win this book because… I have a growing library of homesteading/prepping books and this would be a great addition! I am slowly working my way back to the basics of life.

  • Tanya Williams:

    Posted this on both my personal facebook page as well as my Shelf Reliance Independent Consultant facebook page.

  • Pam:

    Basically to broaden my information about homesteading and seeing how other do it! Wonderful giveaway…thank you!

  • kim diehl:

    i just got this book. it is so great. alot of useful info for sure! there are alot of things i never thought wouldve been in there…..even bee info! i would buy it again.

  • I would love to be entered! Thank you!

  • I am always ready and willing to expand my knowledge on all topics when it comes to the subject of sustainable living/homesteading!

  • Ginger:

    I’d love to win cause I’m always learning & you can never have too many good homesteading books!

  • Dee:

    I am hoping that we can move out of the city very soon, and am beginning to read and hopefully learn what it will take to homestead successfully.

  • Alicia Taylor:

    I just looked at this book in the book store. It is a lovely book. I would enjoy reading this and adding it to my resources.

  • Selina:

    Thanks for the review, I had been wondering what this book was like. I would like to win it as I am trying to learn as much as I can about homesteading and am slowly trying out new homesteading ideas.

  • I would love to own this book – it would be a great book for homesteader’s library – then would only need to fill in on specialty topics! We have begun the journey to be self-sustaining so all help is greatly appreciated!

  • Heidi:

    I would love to own this book. I live in a city neighborhood but I am gradually trying to provide for my family with an urban garden. This year I have 96 square feet and I hope to build up next year to 400. Resource materials are always helpful to become more self-sustaining and knowledgeable about options.

  • Elisabeth:

    That looks like a fabulous resource; I would love to win this book as I am an absolute beginner in every way and this looks like a good book to walk me through a variety of topics.

  • I would love to have a copy of this book. I’m very interested in doing things my self and becoming less dependant on others for my very survival. Oh I know no man is an island and we do need to help one another but I believe we need to do more to take care of ourselves. The more we learn the more useful we can be to other in need. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  • This looks to be a wealth of information!
    Here on our little homestead of 40 acres, I sometimes need a great motivator to kickstart a project…this book could definitely do that!
    Thanks for the chance to win it.

  • Andi:

    I would love to enter the give away…I am new to your blog via the Barn Hop. Great place!

  • Andi:

    I tweeted about this give=away!

  • Would love to have this in my bookcase for my children! Granted, I could still use it but it’s nice to have them look through and find things they want to try especially if I don’t know how. Then, we can learn together or they can teach me!

  • I love your review of the book. It sounds like a wonderful resource to have on hand. Thanks for the chance to win it.

  • I have a WISHLIST on amazon of books on this criteria of HOMESTEADING,we are learning every year how to be more self sufficient.I have not seen this book so what a great addition to our books to learn from.Thanks for giving the chance to WIN a great book.

  • I have been eyeing that book! It’s been on my Christmas list for 3 or 4 years now but have not gotten it. Over the last few years, I have been trying to sell my husband on the idea of a homestead of our own. He really resisted at first. We live in a subdivision with less than an acre land. This year, he finally seems to be on board and things on our little lot have been transforming ever since. We planted our first veggie garden and got a clothesline up. We are in the proffers of researching chickens and deciding where we can put a root cellar. It’s all very exciting for me but also feels overwhelming at the same time. A book like this would definitely help make this transition a little less stressful.

  • Thank you for doing this giveaway! I would enjoy having this book for our library so much. We will be inheriting 80 acres of farm land once the estate closes. Our family would love learning some of the treasures that are between the pages.

    Thanks again for your generosity. It is appreciated!
    Blessings, Linda

  • Mark Roberts:

    Excellent giveaway! I’d love to win the book because I think it will give the kick in the pants need to actually DO some of the stuff I have been reading and thinking about related to homesteading and living self sufficient.

  • Terry:

    My husband and I are getting close to retirement and hope to live on the same property as our son and his family. They have been doing quite a bit with sustainable living on their current property. My husband I are in the process of learning new things, but we want to learn and do more when we retire. The book would be a great resource for both us and our son. Thank you!

  • CarolM:

    I have an interest in all things home grown and home made, and basic self reliance.

  • I’d love to have this book to add to my home library. We’re about 4 years into honing our homesteading skills, little by little, on the one acre we have right now. Dreaming of a bigger spread someday to really go self-sufficient!

  • I would love to have this book because THIS is my dream, my goal. I really don’t know much, but I want to learn. I want to have a homestead and be self sufficient.

  • Sheila D. Copeland:

    I (we) would love a copy of this book! My sister and I are sharing (and passing between us) any and every book we find on Homesteading. This would be a wonderful addition to our collection. Thank you for this giveaway!

  • I’d love to have this book. I’m a beginner and need all the help I can get!

  • Jeanny:

    Good Morning.
    I would love to win a homestead-ing book. Not only for myself but also for my 5 year old daughter Alexis. I have been encourageing her to learn anything she can about homesteading. To live of the land to me, is going back to our “roots”.
    She loves to garden & is such a proud little girl. We have a bunnie that we raise & just joined the Stallion Springs 4H club.
    In the near future we hope to get two milking goats for our family as well. I am trying to soak up as much information I can in order to teach my daughter. She loves to help cook,bake & we will start canning soon aswell. We are so blessed to live in such a great rural community.
    I wish to teach her everything I was taught by my Grandmother & Great-Grandmother.
    I love to hear her little voice say “this is so fresh mom”. Knowing that we grew a veggie from one little seed & watching it grow. Is a gift from God.

    Happy Saturday!

  • Jeanny:


    I love to read your post’s/Blogs & see the wonderful photos of your family & farm.
    What about fall & winter? I would love to know what crops you plant/grow for the winter season. I think it’s almost about that time.

    Thank you

  • karen barnes:

    I think it would be great to learn more about homesteading !!!gardening and raising animals , always fun to see it from someone elses view !

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