No one can do this alone.
There is a lot of emphasis out there on self-reliance, independence, pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps, etc., but the truth is that we don’t do anything alone.
When you break ground on your first garden bed, you didn’t do it alone, unless you made your own shovel. You still had to rely on other people to dig up the ore, forge it into a shovel, ship it to the hardware store, and then sell it to you.
We are designed to live in a community: humans are pack animals!
There is nothing wrong with having philosophies of independence, but much of that is a reactionary stance to invasive governmental enclosure systems. With notions of independence, what folks are truly going after is freedom and safety.
Independence and freedom are not the same things. You can be free and interdependent upon social systems.
As part of that community interdependence, information resources and social networking for homesteaders is integral to your success while on the land!
Luckily, whether you have just decided to make the jump to homesteading or have been doing it for a while, there are many places to find in-depth resources.
If you need inspiration, motivation, encouragement, or an explanation for some puzzle you’re facing, these magazines will have something for you!
One of the more political publications on this list (self-identified as Libertarian), Backwoods Home originally started out as a magazine focused on how to live rurally in a completely off-grid, low-tech manner.
The author wanted to focus on freedom and self-reliance, which meant that everything featured should be as low-tech as possible (except for the guns, of course). Since then, it has expanded to a more modern approach to homesteading.
This magazine is easily the most popular entry, designed for small-time homesteaders who want to focus on sustainability and rural living. Its focus tends to be on how homesteading will help us to deal with climate change with positive family- and community-oriented solutions.
Grit was started in 1882 and began as a full-fledged newspaper with comics, how-to guides, fiction, and more. In the intervening years, Grit has become a staple at farm and feed stores and still features positive rural living articles and how-to guides.
Self-Reliance magazine is a spin-off from Backwoods Home and is owned by the same family. Self-Reliance tends to focus more on specific herbs, plants, and animals dedicated to homesteading, while Backwoods Home veers toward the off-grid-living and survival mindset.
Countryside magazine’s editorial staff does a lot of work to make sure that it isn’t just filling pages with theoretical information. Instead, it focuses on personal stories submitted by its readers while making sure that its staff and editors have personal experience with their topics.
Like Countryside, The New Pioneer features real stories of real people who are going out and doing it on their own. Their hope is to guide and inspire all of us into seeking new frontiers as well as providing expert, quality how-to and technical guides for any of the hard skills you may need.
7. Home Power
Home Power magazine was published from 1987 to 2018. Home Power’s main goal was to provide technical information for residential-scale renewable energy systems, including homes, vehicles, and home businesses. You can download any back issue for free at its website.
8. Hobby Farms
This is my favorite publication on the list! Not only does Hobby Farms have a magazine subscription, but they also feature a podcast and a YouTube channel filled with great content to help you get started and stay involved in the homesteading movement as a whole!
Backyard Poultry is an all-purpose magazine that expands the typical homestead focus on chickens into the greater scope of turkeys, ducks, pheasants, and any other kind of bird you can think to keep. With expert knowledge of meat, eggs, and other bird business, this is a perfect big-picture view of how to move forward with your flock.
Presented by Hobby Farms, this magazine is all about… well, do you need me to say it? It is filled with personal stories, DIY projects, and technical guides to eggs and meat. If you have decided that chickens are going to be a main part of your homestead, then his magazine is absolutely for you.
11. Recoil Off Grid
This magazine is one of what I call the “Apocalypse Outfitter” magazines. While I tend to be a bit tongue-in-cheek about preppers, the truth is that they have some very, very cool gear! They are also a good place to look if you are interested in advanced first aid and discreetly high-tech gear for off-grid living.
12. Outdoor Life
This magazine is not necessarily focused on homestead life, but it is very much focused on all the cool things you can do while living on a homestead! Hunting, fishing, camping, etc. — they’ve got gear and stories for it all. Something we don’t often mention is that outfitters often sell gear for long-distance hikers and outdoor sportsmen that can perform double duty for heavy homestead use.
13. Family Handyman
Chocked full of technical knowledge and personal experience stories, Family Handyman is absolutely going to be helpful for you on your homestead. Like every homeowner, you are the first line of defense for maintenance issues.
Unlike typical suburbia, however, you will have specialized systems for your house that only you can attend to. Simply put, if it works for your house, it will also work on your chicken coop.
Small Farmer’s Journal has a very classic feel to it in both aesthetics and content. Not only will you get great information for your homestead here, but you will also be encouraged to slow down and appreciate life at a more sane, natural pace.
Homesteaders of America is less a magazine than an online community of members that share stories and advice in text and video. They work hard to bring people together when homesteading can often feel isolated and lonely. They support every kind of homesteading from backyard to off-grid and even apartment-based sustainable living.
Permaculture is based in the UK, which is why they are so good at getting a high yield in a small space! Filled with courses, materials, and outreach opportunities, Permaculture is a great place to get started if you want to maximize your production while lowering your footprint.
17. Organic Gardener
This Australian-based magazine has loads of information on every kind of garden plant! From herbs and spices to fruits and veggies, you can check out their print, digital, or video resources on their website. They also have a robust Facebook community where you can connect with organic gardeners all over the world.
Survivalist magazine is no longer in publication, but it had a good 27-issue run! You can find its print magazines on Amazon or eBay, and we recommend them if you are interested in subject-specific survival guides.
While they do cover some doomsday scenarios, they also approach things from a bushcraft perspective because, after all, some people actually want to be left alone far away from creature comforts.
Successful Farming magazine is for mid-to-large scale farmers and will cover big-picture topics like stock prices, farm bills, and how to farm upwards of 20 thousand acres! This publication also covers international topics in farming and how global price trends will impact what you should plant every season.
Produced by the same parent company as Successful Farming, this magazine focuses on small-scale production and is definitely geared toward promoting the dream life of private, rural living without the struggles of big-farm maintenance or suburban sprawl. Its pages are filled with idyllic photos, and it promises to help you live a slower, more peaceful life on a family farm.
21. Homestead Living
Homestead Living is geared toward the “modern homestead movement,” which means it focuses on the desire we all have to slow down in the face of constant grind culture and live within the sanity of the land’s pace.
This magazine features contributions from big names in modern homesteading and offers technical guides inside personal stories of encouragement and wisdom for getting out and homesteading successfully.
This list is a short one! You can find endless blogs and social media accounts that will try to appeal to you and your specific desires for moving out to the land. I say let them! It isn’t cynical to acknowledge the place that branding has in helping us find our stories.
You will need encouragement and inspiration at every point in your homesteading life, so feel free to find out who is telling you the stories you want to hear so that you can go out and take your place!