I’ve collected some of my favorite Tools of the Trade for backyard homesteaders or farmers; and they are listed here! I hope this page is a helpful resource as you build your tools, books and knowledge on this path to a more sustainable life.
The Homesteader’s Kitchen
I think one of the key aspects to a homesteading life is cooking from scratch. At least in our modern times we have some amazing tools that can make that job a lot easier.
- Cast Iron Cookware – my favorite way to cook is in a quality cast iron pant. I recommend starting with a good cast iron cookware set.
- Good Blender – This is so much more than a typical blender. We’ve had our Blendtec for years and it never disappoints.
- Stand Mixer – I’d say this is the KitchenAid gold standard in most homestead kitchens. Too many uses to list but way beyond baking.
- Dehydrator – You’ve probably heard all about the Excalibur Food Dehydrator which I would love to own. But we’ve had the Nesco Food Dehydrator for a few years and have no complaints (for a fraction of the cost).
- Pressure Canner – here again, if money is no object, the All American Pressure Canner is probably the best on the market but I’m still using my Presto Pressure Canner and happy to continue with it for now. I don’t see any need to buy a separate water bath canner; you can use your pressure canner for that as well.
- Food Processor – I have to tell you I was a hold out on the food processor but now I am a convert. I love mine and it rarely goes unused for more than a day or 2.
- Mandolin Slicer – even though I have a food processor, I still use my mandolin slicer. Great for even slicing every time!
- Stockpot – ok, this one isn’t cast iron…but a homesteader’s kitchen is not complete with a a good (large) stockpot. Whether you plan to make good bone broth or some homemade cheese…you’re going to need one!
- Cheese making – if you plan to make your own home cheeses (and you should) then you’ll need more than a stock pot. I recommend educating yourself first by reading Home Cheese Making; it is probably the only book you’ll ever need. The first time I made cheese I used one of Ricki’s kits.
- Fermenting – if you want to ferment but the mold thing freaks you out, I recommend checking out Farmcurious Mason Jar Kit.
On the Homestead
- Garden Clogs – I step in some stuff when I’m in my backyard working on the garden or cleaning out a coop. This job requires the right foot wear! I love Bogs Garden Clogs because they hold up to wear and I am not getting stuff up through the sole!
- Garden Stamp – I freaking love my Garden Stamp; there I said it. Sure it was a bit of an indulgence but it makes my garden plotting so much easier. Worth every cent.
- Sweet PDZ – ok ya’ll, if you are going to raise small livestock in your backyard then for the love of your neighbors be clean. Sweet PDZ helps keep things smelling fresh and a little goes a long way. I like to use it in my rabbit pans. You can also get the small pet version if you don’t want a 40 lbs bag. Best part – all natural and compostable!
- Grandpa Automatic Feeder – I can’t tell you the peace of mind this little contraption gives me. Neighborhood birds and rodents be damned…this is not a buffet! The Grandpa Feeder keeps them all at bay but easy to train your chickens to use. It is an investment but it will save your feed costs, trust me. Check out this video on how to use it.
- Fresh Eggs Daily – a wonderful book for a natural approach to raising chickens. This is the book to get when you’ve got the basics down and you’re ready to move on to the next level.
Books Worth Reading
Here are a few of the books I personally have in my homesteading library.
- The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It
- Folks, This Ain’t Normal: A Farmer’s Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World
- Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) (Living Free Guides)
- Gardening for Geeks: DIY Tests, Gadgets, and Techniques That Utilize Microbiology, Mathematics, and Ecology to Exponentially Maximize the Yield of Your Garden
- Nourishing Broth: An Old-Fashioned Remedy for the Modern World
- Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving