Library Like… A Modern Homesteader

Love to grow things, DIY and craft? Us too.

Grow Stuff

Growing food is an excellent way to get more in touch with nature and feel good about eating. While many of us lack the space for traditional farm fields, a set of techniques known as square-foot gardening can help the modern homesteader get the most out of their space.

Dig deeper—All New Square Foot Gardening is a great resource. Organic, Eco-Friendly Gardening Picks and Get Ready to Garden include beginner-friendly titles and links to useful tools on the MSU Gardening Extension website. You’ll be growing delicious food at home before you know it!

Give a Cluck

Chickens! Even if you don’t eat meat, chicken eggs are delicious and nutritious. Chickens also provide other benefits when allowed some free-range time, such as reducing the number of parasites and other pests on your property. They can even help with garden pests in your veggie plots, but be careful when you let them in the garden, and for how long, as they are just as apt to eat your ripe tomatoes as any caterpillar! 

Get clucking—The Beginner’s Guide to Raising Chickens is a great place to get started, and those with some experience might consider Backyard Chickens: Beyond the Basics. Before you jump in, make sure you’re living in an area where raising chickens is allowed. Many cities and townships have specific restrictions, such as not owning roosters or limiting the size of your flock. The Ferndale Chickens website made this handy list of which Michigan cities allow chickens, along with information on limits, permit requirements, etc.

Build the Future You Want to See

For those who prefer to craft and build, the library has instructional books that can help you with everything from sewing your own clothing (check the 646 section in nonfiction for more options) to building stone walls (in the 690 section). We’ve also got you covered for more modern DIY home improvement.

It's a Community Thing

Beyond books, you can also find space at the library for your homesteading collective to meet, discuss projects and offer mutual support. Be sure to read our meeting room policy before reserving a room, and if we can’t meet your group’s needs, we also have a list of other local meeting room options.

Have a homesteading vision you’re not sure how to execute? Stop by the Information Desk anytime, and our librarians will be glad to help brainstorm resources with you.