I purchased myself a little Christmas gift this year. It's a book entitled Country Wisdom & Know How: Everything you need to know to live off the land. Check it out here:
My favorite review of the book is this one, from Harold McFarland in Florida:
If you could gather up the wisdom of the many generations of farmers, ranchers, outdoorsmen, homesteaders, and mountain-men and put it into a book you would end up with a book like this. While this is not as thorough as the multi-volume sets like the older Foxfire series, it is one of the most complete single-volume works available. The text is small in order to cram all the information into this oversized almost 500 page book but it is still readable and very interesting. The book is divided into the six major sections of animals, cooking, crafts, gardening, health and well-being, and home. Each of these major divisions is subdivided into multiple more detailed sections. For example, the animals section includes information on attracting desirable animals such as humming birds, building bird shelters, feeding birds while preventing squirrels from robbing the feeder, getting rid of problem animals, taking care of your pets, herbal treatments for dog problems, rabbit husbandry, horsemanship, raising chickens and ducks, beekeeping, and butchering. Each section is similarly detailed with the gardening section being particularly large. Country Wisdom and Know-How is an indispensable reference volume for anyone interested in country living and is highly recommended.
This book truly has an answer to every question you might have asked your great-grandparents. It's got recipes, plans for building a smoke-house, pickling and preserving information, instructions for making soap, hand salve, and a stone wall! AMAZING. I don't think I've ever met a reference book I like better. Try it...you'll like it... ;-)