Recommendations for books I have found helpful, and titles mentioned in the blog. I’m a bit of a gannet for interesting books and tend to pick up anything I see that takes my fancy (damn you, Amazon!). Here are a few of the titles I’ve found myself referring to again and again.
Arranged roughly by category, this list will be expanded as time goes by (and my book collecting habit gets increasingly out of control!).
- Hen Keeping, Mike Hatcher (Self-Sufficiency series, New Holland Publishers) ISBN 978-1-84773-420-4. Great starting point for hen keeping full of basic useful advice and information.
- Diseases of Free Range Poultry, Victoria Roberts BVSc MRCVS (Whittet Books) ISBN 978-1-873580-78-3. More advanced text by a specialist veterinary surgeon but has a good up to date overview of health and disease in backyard hens.
- Home Brewing, John Parkes (Self-Sufficiency series, New Holland Publishers) ISBN 978-1-84773-460-0. Really practical re-assuring guide to starting to brew beer at home.
- Brew your own British Real Ale, Graham Wheeler (CAMRA) ISBN 978-1-85249-258-8. The authoritative guide to home brewing, and a great ‘more advanced’ text after the John Parkes, focuses on extract and all-grain brewing techniques with loads of great recipes.
- Real Cidermaking on a Small Scale, Michael Pooley & John Lomax (Special Interest Model Books) ISBN 1-85486-195-6. For those who want to make ‘proper’ cider the old-fashionned way!
- Preserves, Pam Corbin (River Cottage Handbook No.2, Bloomsbury Publishing) ISBN 978-0-7475-9532-8. This is a beautifully printed little hardback book with some great recipes. Beware, though, it looks so pretty on the shelf you’ll want to collect the whole series.
- How to Store Your Garden Produce, Piers Warren (Green Books) ISBN 978-1-900322-17-1. Very practical guide to preserving and storing fruit and veg from the garden.
- The Candle Maker, Claire Leavey (Collins & Brown Limited / North Light Books, 2002) ISBN 1-58180-250-1. Sadly appears to be currently out of print, I got my copy from Abebooks from a US second hand book dealer. Easily the best general purpose guide to home candle-making I’ve found, however.
- The Making Your Own Candles Blog – useful online resource from one of my favourite online candlemaking supplies sellers.
Home Curing / Bacon Making
- Manual of a Traditional Bacon Curer, Maynard Davies (Merlin Unwin Books) ISBN 978-1906122089. This is a great read, even if you’re not planning on taking up curing seriously!
- The Smoking & Curing Book, Paul Peacock (The Good Life Press Ltd.) ISBN 978-1-904871-61-3. A useful starting-out book, though lacks the real breadth and depth of the Maynard Davies book, it’ll get you started on the right track.
- Home Smoking and Curing, Keith Erlandson (Ebury Press) ISBN 978-0-09-192760-8. A very comprehensive little volume with some insping suggestions for smoker builds.