Truthfully, I hoard books. No shame! There are so many gardening and homesteading books out there to be read. Finding books on cold climate gardening can be tricky, but I’ve found a good handful that I love!

I found a good stack of them and would love to share my favourites with you in case you’re just beginning on your gardening or homesteading journey.

The criteria I looked for included the following:

Cold Climate

We live in Canada in Zone 4B/5A and I needed the books I was reading to reflect advice that would be appropriate for my area.

Sustainable Practices

It’s important to me and my family that the gardening and farming practices we use are sustainable. We want to be able to pass this land on to the next generations and we don’t want the things we do here to leave a lasting scar that cannot be healed.

Technical Information

The books I choose aren’t just fluff, they have to contain technical information about how to do things, plant species information, animal care, and storage.

So, which books are currently on my shelves that I LOVE?

The Books

The Market Gardener by Jean-Martin Fortier

Jean-Martin is a market gardener from near Montreal Quebec. He and his wife have a market garden farm where they grow produce. His wife now runs the farm which serves more than 250 families all on under 3 acres of land.

His book is filled with great gardening info about how to farm intensively on a small piece of land. He also shows you how to farm your land without needing an expensive tractor.

The Urban Farmer by Curtis Stone

Curtis’ book was written like a how-to for a beginner farmer looking to farm on small city lots. I like this one because it really shows you what you can accomplish even in your own backyard in a city!

Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation by Tradd Cotter

Do you have a wooded or shaded part of your property that can’t be used for anything else? Or maybe you have an unfinished basement that you could dedicate to growing a few different species of mushrooms? This book will tell you everything you need to know!

The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery

Carla’s book is the Bible for homesteaders. I’m sure that nearly every homesteader has a copy of her book. It teaches you nearly every homesteading skill you need from growing veggies, preserving your harvest, animal husbandry, and lots more!

Pastured Poultry Profits by Joel Salatin

In this book of Joel’s, he teaches people how to farm organic chicken intensively on very small pieces of land without sacrificing the animal’s well being. I like this book because again, it shows you how much you can accomplish on small pieces of land.

The New Organic Grower by Eliot Coleman

Eliot Coleman is from Maine and is sort of known as the father of cold climate gardening using intensive organic farming practices. Living in the North Eastern part of the United States he perfected the art of extending his season without expensive equipment.

The Winter Harvest Handbook by Eliot Coleman

In this book of Eliot’s, he goes further into detail about how you can grow veggies later into the winter season. I liked this one for the technical knowledge he provides on how to do this.

Gardening When It Counts by Steve Solomon

Steve’s book is very technical. It gives you loads of biological information about plant structures and how they work. This knowledge is key when trying to start seeds, save seeds, and garden without a garden center.

Homegrown Herbs by Tammy Hartung

This is a great guide on how to grow herbs at home. Tammy gives you all the info you need to choose the right location for your herbs since they like different conditions than other flowers and veggies.

The Herbalists Way by Nancy Phillips

Nancy’s book is a guide on how herbs have traditionally been used by people to promote health. This book goes hand in hand with Homegrown Herbs as a must have in the gardening section of your library.

Growing and Using Herbs Successfully by Betty E. M. Jacobs

Betty ran her own commercial herb farm for many years. This book has beautiful illustrations and will give you all the info you need for planting, propagating, harvesting, drying, freezing, and storing 64 popular herbs.

Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan

Carleen’s book is like a blueprint on how you can squeeze a garden, chickens, pigs, cows, an orchard, and much more into a 1 acre or less piece of property.

Mycelium Running by Paul Stamets

Paul’s book is a great resources for those who are interested in growing and using mushrooms! There is so much information in this book! Mushrooms are actually really amazing things that can really benefit the ecology of the soil among other things. This one is definitely worth the read!

I’ve read so many books on gardening but these are by far my favourite for cold climate gardening! They will help you to figure out what your priorities are for the size of land you have and the goals you have in mind.

Do you have a garden? Do you like to read books on gardening and homesteading? Which ones are your favourites?