Back-to-the-Land Resources

Interested in diving deeper into this rich American subculture? Here are a few of my favorite back-to-the-land books, articles, Facebook groups, and other resources. Many of these back-to-the-land recommendations focus on Maine, where my wife and I are based:


"A Handmade Life - In Search of Simplicity" - by WM.S. Coperthwaite, who started a yurt-building school in Downeast Maine and much more.

"The Unsettlers" - by Mark Sundeen, follows three contemporary couples as they try to live more fulfilling and less destructive lives in modern America

“Living the Good Life” – This book made Scott and Helen Nearing the “symbolic leaders” of the homesteading/back-to-the-land movement in the 1970s and 1980s. It's a bit out of date, but, otherwise, provides the basic tenets.

"First-Time Farmer's Guide" - Published in 1971 by a division of Rolling Stone, this book has unbelievable images like a naked dude riding horseback across a river and some urban youths walking among skyscrapers in gas masks. It was my parents' "bible" during their early years as homesteaders. It makes everything sound too easy, but you can feel the energy of the back-to-the-land movement seeping through its pages just the same.

"First-Time Farmer's Guide"

"This Life Is in Your Hands" - by Melissa Coleman, daughter of Eliot and Sue Coleman, who own Four Seasons Farm inspired by Scott and Helen Nearing. 

General Articles:

Story of Bill Roorbach from "many decades ago," Maine Farmland Trust, 2017

Back to the Land 2.0, covers the current back-to-the-land resurgence, Downeast Magazine 2014

Story of Strohauers, Mother Earth, 1984: 


Lisa Steele's blog about gardening with chickens in Maine

Methods of living the good life in New England by Rachel Arsenault

Maine Homesteads on Social Media


Famous for hosting the Common Ground Fair, this group in Unity, Maine, offers inexpensive workshops and events year-round. My wife and I really enjoy Farm & Homestead Day.

This is a great way to connect with neighbors over shared interests.

If you live in the right spot, you can get free woodchips delivered to your door with this service. We didn't have any luck in Maine.

Active Maine Gardening and Facebook Groups (as of April 2020)

I'll keep updating this post with new resources. Feel free to add more resources to the comments, or sign up for the Ravenous Farmer newsletter and contact me directly.

"First-Time Farmer's Guide"


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