Book Review: The Weekend Homesteader by Anna Hess

I’m so grateful for public libraries. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to afford my book addiction. Since I mentioned this book in my recent posts, I wanted to provide a quick review. The Weekend Homesteader: A Twelve-Month Guide to Self-Sufficiency by Anna Hess is one book that I found at the library and liked enough to buy myself. Or rather, ask for family to buy for me as a gift – haha!

Since receiving this book, I have reread half a dozen times and loaned out to various folks. Here is what the book is all about…

The Weekend Homesteader is intended to help the aspiring homesteader get started, however the many of the projects in it are great ideas for folks at any stage of their homesteading journey. It is organized by month with four seasonally appropriate projects per month – and each project can be fit into a single weekend.

As Hess states in her introduction, “Weekend Homesteader is full of short projects that you can use to dip your toes into the vast ocean of homesteading without becoming overwhelmed.”

While I had heard or even daydreamed about several of her projects before, reading her book gave me the gumption to go ahead and try several out. Below are the projects I’ve either accomplished for the first time or had already been doing & improved upon after reading Weekend Homesteader. I’ll link any projects that I’ve written about in this blog.

- Survey your site (improved my methods; great time saving tips)
- Plan your summer garden (improved my methods)
- Mulch
- Compost
- Worm bin (one of my favorites!)
- Quick hoops (this has been fantastic as I’m on the northern edge of zone 5)
- Garden rotation (good advice for keeping it simple)
- Diversify your income
- Soil test (1st time I attempted this)
- Baking bread
- Planting berries – strawberries & currants for me
- Storing drinking water

There are so many more projects that I was either already doing or am planning to do soon. To wrap things up, here’s what I thought of the book:

- Very well organized by month and season. You can jump in at any time of the year.
- Fun projects that are exactly as advertised and clearly laid out
- Excellent use of photos; so many gardening/homesteading books are all pretty pictures with no content. The photos in this book complement the vibrant content.

I don’t really have any negatives to point out. The book is directed towards entry level homesteaders. So, if you are an “advanced” homesteader, then this book is probably not for you. Otherwise, I would definitely recommend this book.

You can also visit her website at