The Tools & Books I Use
I feel it’s very important to state up front that I’ve accumulated all of these things over the course of years (many of my tools are over a decade old) through my own purchases or gifts from family or my spouse.
I encourage you wholeheartedly to find refurbished or used tools. You can even DIY many things from spindles to incubators. Books can also be purchased used or checked out from your local library.
All links are affiliate links unless noted otherwise.
I read a lot of books. These are some of my favorite reference books.
Garden & Plants
An approachable guide to understanding and incorporating permaculture into your land.
For suburban & small acreage folks.
A very beautiful and inspiring book that covers basic information on cut flower farming. You may prefer borrowing from the library.
A much more detailed flower farming book that goes beyond the information covered in the Cut Flower Farmer.
Oregon author Carol Deppe’s popular book on growing your own food supply and how to be successful despite a changing climate.
Essentially tips and examples of how he runs his market farm using lean business practices. You may prefer to check it out from the library.
If you’re interested in breeding your own plant varieties this book will give you a solid understanding without being a dry science manual.
I really enjoyed this book! It’s a hefty resource thoroughly covering the in’s and out’s of growing organic medicinal herbs.
Sewing & Knitting
A detailed guide to sewing techniques used in making couture clothing. Definitely a great resource for those more finicky bits of sewing.
I reference this book often while sewing. Not only does it contain a variety of stitches for both construction and decoration, but it also has lots of information on adjusting patterns to fit.
A late 19th-century guide to stitches, sewing techniques, and garment construction.
A darned good book if you want to design knitting patterns. However, it’s quite spendy so try and get it from your library.
While there are a number of stitch dictionaries you can buy, I find that I mostly reference the free online dictionary by Knitting Fool.
Poultry & Livestock
If you’re in the USA and are interested in breeding heritage poultry then the SOP is an important reference that should have.
The Call of the Hen (free)
Published in the early 20th century, this is a great reference for breeding any breed of chicken towards better egg production.
Storey’s Guides are always one of the first resources I look at whenever I’m researching a new animal to the farm.
In The Kitchen
Heavy Duty Kitchenaid
Refurbished, circa 2010. I recommend looking for used KitchenAids.
Hamilton Beach Food Processor
I use this for making pasta dough, pie crusts, grating lots of cheese, and more.
One of the most used tools in my kitchen. Sometimes the kids even let me use it.
Cast Iron Pans
These can often be found used and reseasoned to make them like new. I have a few different sizes & a Dutch oven.
Around the Farm
There are newer models available, but this is what I have. I use mine for incubating only.
I use this in my incubators to tell me the temp and humidity.
I use this model specifically for hatching. It works very well despite being “cheap”.
Some seeds, such as peppers & eggplants, germinate better (and faster) with warm soil.
Safer and more energy efficient than heat lamps. I have 3 heat plates total (1x for 50, 2x for 20).
Soil Block Maker
I have the 3/4 inch (20 block) size. I’d like to add larger sizes in the future.
Metal Stock Tank
For brooding chicks for their first 2 -3 weeks of life. Or, you know, for providing water to larger livestock.
Seed Starting Trays
My favorite size is 50 cell, but I also have some 24, 30, and 72 cell trays.
Making & DIY
Also available as pre-stained. But I’m kind of into DIY and stained it myself.
I have 2; one that I DIYed and one that I purchased locally from a woodworker.
I have the 24” with heddle sizes 7.5, 10, 12, and 15. I opted not to get a stand.
Unfinished, and I believe Fine 120 TPI.
ChiaoGoo Knitting Needles
Either the Red Lace fixed circulars or the Twist interchangeables. I like lace-tipped needles.
A darning egg makes repairing socks (and other items) much easier.
For weaving in ends when knitting, crocheting, darning, or weaving.
No longer made and I would 100% recommend finding a used sewing machine.
I’ve had this pair for many years and have no complaints!
Great for sewing kits, snipping threads, and cutting fine details.
It’s good for measuring and you can see through it. What more can I say?
These are handy when drafting or altering patterns.
I most often use embroidery and quilter’s between needles for hand sewing. Typically size 9.
You can make your own with leather or purchase a metal thimble. Sizing is important.
Bath & Body
I use this soap mold more than any other. It’s my favorite!
Try and find a used one since you won’t be using it for food ever again.
Basic safety googles can be purchased at any hardware store.
A free online calculator for making custom soap recipes.
One of my favorite suppliers for bath and body. Their fragrance oils have always been top-notch.
Another great supplier for bath and body ingredients that I have used.