Gardening – Farming – Forestry – Country Living – Free Online Books

Farming, Country Life, Women in Agriculture, Factory Farming, Gardening, History of Agriculture, Farm Life, Free online books

Hint: When a book you want to borrow at Internet Archive is already checked out, go to the Internet Archive’s ‘Search’ box, check “Search Metadata”, and search for the book’s title. Sometimes they have two or more copies.

Century Past Library



Gardening Collection

Big collection of over 4,400 modern books and magazines that are free online at the Internet Archive, related to “gardening”. If you wish to narrow the search, find “Topics & Subjects” in the left column and click on “More”. Be patient as the page loads.

Vegetable Gardening Collection

More than 300 books from the Internet Archive free online on the subject of Vegetable Gardening.

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Organic Gardening Collection

About 250 books from the Internet Archive free online on the subject of Organic Gardening.

Free online magazines about Home, Family & Garden

Flower Gardening Collection

About 300 books from the Internet Archive free online on the subject of Flower Gardening.

Herb Gardening Collection

About 200 books from the Internet Archive free online on the subject of Herb Gardening.

Container Gardening Collection

About 200 books from the Internet Archive free online on the subject of Container Gardening.

Perennials Collection

Here are over 160 free online modern books on Perennials. You can use the “Search this Collection” box to narrow your search.

Free online magazines about Crafts & Hobbies

House Plants Collection

Here are 380 free online modern books on House Plants. You can use the “Search this Collection” box to narrow your search. Be patient as the page loads.

Manual of Gardening

Bailey , Liberty Hyde
Macmillan 1910        Dewey Dec.    635

Combines the main parts of the author’s “Garden Making and Practical Garden” book, bringing to date and enlarging into an authoritative and comprehensive handbook for the northeastern United States. The “seasonal reminders” (chiefly for vegetables) are made for both North and South.- A.L.A. Catalog 1904-1911

Free online Lifestyle Magazines


Bailey, Liberty Hyde
Macmillan 1895        Dewey Dec.    635

Lucid account of various methods adopted by gardeners to secure new and improved varieties. Deals with subjects of variation as influenced by physical environment, the struggle for life, the division of labor, etc. – A.L.A. Catalog 1904

Online Collections of Vintage Illustrations

New Garden Book

Better Homes and Gardens Books
Meredith 1990        Dewey Dec.    635

Lavishly illustrated guide presents gardening basics, landscaping, special gardens, and charts of over 800 plants, diseases, and pests.

Landscaping: A Five-Year Plan

James, Theodore Jr.
MacMillan 1988        Dewey Dec.    635

A step-by-step, year-by-year, easy care program.

The Organic Gardener

Lavelle, Christine and Michael
Anness 2004        Dewey Dec.    635

How to create flower, vegetable, herb and fruit gardens using completely natural techniques.

The Practical Encyclopedia of Houseplants & Plant Care

McHoy, Peter
Hermes House 2000        Dewey Dec.    635

Over 600 photos. Step-by-step advice on watering, feeding and choosing the right container. Instructions on division, layering, cuttings and propagation techniques. Choosing the right plants for your home. A-Z catalogue of plants for quick identification.


Farming Collection

Here are 800 free online modern books on “Farming”. If you wish to narrow the search, find “Topics & Subjects” in the left column and click on “More”. Be patient as the page loads.

Folkscanomy Library on Agriculture

350 free online modern books on Agriculture at the Internet Archive, handpicked by ‘Folkscanomy’.

Books on The Care of Animals, including Horses, Dogs, and Cats

Family Farms Collection

About 80 modern free online books about “family farms”; some of which are fiction.

Practical Farming; A Treatise on Present Farming Conditions and How to Improve Them

Allerton, Samuel W.
Rand, McNally 1907        Dewey Dec.    630

Cyclopedia of American Agriculture

– Volume 2

– Volume 3

– Volume 4

Bailey, , Liberty Hyde. ed.
Macmillan 1907-9        Dewey Dec.   630

Vol 1 – Farms; Vol 2 – Crops; Vol 3 – Farm Animals; Vol 4 – Farm and Community
Valuable and comprehensive treatise, the work of several hundred specialists, collecting a large mass of material bearing on the history, economic and sociologic aspects of agriculture in this country. – A.L.A. Catalog 1904-1911

Farm and Forest

Bailey, Liberty Hyde, ed.
Hall and Locke 1911        Dewey Dec.    630

Volume 3 in a 10-vol. series called “Vocations” edited by William DeWitt Hyde. This volume contains 2 parts; “Farm Life” with 30 essays, and “Forestry”, with seven essays. Essays are each from different authors.

Farm and Garden Rule-Book

A Manual of Ready Rules and Reference with Recipes, Precepts, Formulas, and Tabular Information for the use of general farmers, gardeners, fruit-growers, stockmen, dairymen, poultrymen, foresters, rural teachers, and others in the United States and Canada

Bailey, L. H.
Macmillan 1911        Dewey Dec.    631

Agriculture and the Farming Business

Benson, Oscar H. and Betts, George Herbert
Bobb-Merrill 1917        Dewey Dec.    630

Books on Sustainable Living, Homemaking, Vintage Housekeeping Books, Home Economics

Citizenship Papers

Citizenship Papers Book Cover

Berry, Wendell
Shoemaker & Hoard 2003        Dewey Dec.    338.1

“Berry’s essays may restate what he has said before – that agribusiness and the new globalism are inimical to human thriving – but they say it better, and through different immediate subjects, saliently including sound sheep raising and 9/11, than ever before.” -Booklist

Home Life of Women In Western Canada

Canadian Pacific Railway Company 1907        Dewey Dec.    630

A 40-page booklet with numerous photos produced by the Canadian Pacific Railway to promote immigration to the western provinces and to help the company sell 10 million acres there. It contains many brief profiles of western women in various roles.

Horse, Truck, and Tractor. The Coming of Cheaper Power for City and Farm

Casson, Herbert N., ed.
Browne 1913        Dewey Dec.    631.3

See also:Casson, Herbert, The Romance of the Reaper in Illinois Economic History

Sustainable Market Farming: Intensive Vegetable Production on a Few Acres

Dawling, Pam
New Society 2013        Dewey Dec.    635

…”Covers all aspects of production from planning, planting, crop rotation, soil, and pest management, to harvest and storage; and imparts in-depth knowledge of each crop and the care it needs to thrive.” – Reader’s review

The New Business of Farming

Dimock, Julian A.
Frederick A. Stokes 1918        Dewey Dec.    630

The Fruited Plain: the Story of American Agriculture

Ebeling, Walter
University of California 1979        Dewey Dec.    630

Dairy Cattle and Milk Production

Eckles, Clarence Henry
Macmillan 1911        Dewey Dec.    637

Manual for dairymen and dairy students, dealing with the subject in an accurate, full and
specific manner. Considered by an expert the best of its kind.- A.L.A. Catalog 1904-1911

See also:Lampard, Eric E., The Rise of the Dairy Industry in Wisconsin; a Study in Agricultural Change, 1820-1920 and Turning Points in Wisconsin History: The Rise of Dairy Farming in Wisconsin Economic History

Farm Life Reader (Book Four)

Evans, Lawton B.; Duncan, Luther N. and Duncan, George,
Silver, Burdett 1913        Dewey Dec.    630

The authors’ objectives for this series for students were to provide good literature for practice in reading, while teaching students about farming and showing them “the freedom, health, and prosperity that may come to those who live in the country and pursue the business of farming with intelligence and energy.” This volume contains over 100 reading selections; including poems by known poets, articles explaining aspects of farming, and prose related to country life.

See also: McCune, Julia, ed., Mary Austin Wallace: Her Diary, 1862: A Michigan Soldier’s Wife Runs Their Farm in Biographies & Memoirs in Michigan History

Online Collections of Historical Maps of the U.S.

The Breeds of Live-Stock

Gay, Carl W. ed.
Macmillan 1919        Dewey Dec.    636

Articles from L. H. Bailey’s Cyclopedia of American Agriculture, Volume 3, were updated, edited and rearranged for this book.

The Disappearing American Farm

Goldberg, Jake
Franklin Watts 1995        Dewey Dec.    338.1

“Describes the problems in American agriculture due to technological innovation, gives a history of American agriculture to explain the origins of the crisis, and outlines the limitations of government farm programs and policies to cope.”

Free online Newspaper Archives for the U.S. & other Countries

The First Book of Farming

Goodrich, Charles L.
Doubleday, Page 1907        Dewey Dec.    630

Food and Farming

Green, Jen
Heinemann Library 2012        Dewey Dec.    630

Discusses the impact of environmentalism on agriculture and the food industry, including the fair trade movement, organic farming, and crop rotation.
Thinking about food sources — What is environmentalism? — Modernization of farming — The impact of farming — The “greening” of farming — The food industry — Feast and famine — Looking into the future — Timeline

The Food & Farming Transition: Toward a Post Carbon Food System

Heinberg, Richard and Bomford, Michael
Post Carbon Institute 2009        Dewey Dec.    630

Please visit our Century Past Free Online Library, with thousands of books to read online or download

Making the Corn Belt: A Geographical History of Middle-Western Agriculture

Hudson, John C.
Indiana University 1994        Dewey Dec.    630

Corn belt geography — Making the land — Finding the land — Zea Mays — The feedlot — Razorbacks and Poland-Chinas — The first corn belt — Corn belt sectionalism — Specialization and westward expansion — New crops and northward expansion — West to the Plains — The corn business

The Department of Agriculture

Hurt, R. Douglas
Chelsea House 1989        Dewey Dec.    630

Surveys the history of the Department of Agriculture, describing its structure, current function, and influence on American society.

The Dust Bowl: An Agricultural and Social History

Hurt, R. Douglas
Nelson-Hall 1981        Dewey Dec.    630

About Truck Farming

Johnson, Irma
Melmont 1962        Dewey Dec.    635

Food’s Frontier: the Next Green Revolution

Manning, Richard
North Point 2000        Dewey Dec.    338.1

The seed: the case for a second green revolution — An island in Africa: global methods, local choices [Ethiopia] — How things fall apart: when politics pushes people against nature’s limits [Zimbabwe] — To work in peace: visionaries in violent times [Uganda] — From basket case to bread basket: when biotechnology has a brain trust [India] — The critical mass: the fate of farming in an industrializing world [Nanjing, China] — Genetic revolution: bioengineering on the loose [Shanghai, China] — Forging a magic bullet: technology based in biodiversity [Chile and Brazil] — In wildness is the preservation of the world: sustaining traditional farming and genetic resources [Mexico] — Roots: restoring rural wisdom [Peru] — The genie in the genome: bioengineering in context — A common ground: food, cities, and the integrity of rural life

The Farmer’s and Emigrant’s Hand Book

being a Full and Complete Guide for the Farmer and Emigrant, comprising the clearing of forest and prairie land – gardening – farming generally – farriery – cookery – and the prevention and cure of diseases. with copious hints, recipes and tables

Marshall, Josiah T.
Boston: Wentworth 1852        Dewey Dec.    631

The Small Country Place

Maynard, Samuel Taylor
Lippincott 1908        Dewey Dec.    630

Practical information on building the house, decorating the grounds, fruit growing, market gardening, poultry keeping, and dairying. Calendar outlines each month’s work. Applies specially to eastern conditions, but many of the suggestions are of value anywhere. Well illustrated. – A.L.A. Catalog 1904-1911

A History Of World Agriculture: From the Neolithic Age to the Current Crisis

Mazoyer, Marcel and Roudart, Laurence
Earthscan 2006        Dewey Dec.    630

Manual of Practical Farming

McLennan, John
Macmillan 1910        Dewey Dec.    630

Practical, non-technical treatise covering briefly the whole range of farming. – A.L.A. Catalog 1904-1911

Factory Farming

Miller, Debra A.
Greenhaven 2010        Dewey Dec.    630

Contains essays that offer a variety of perspectives on the issue of factory farming, debating whether factory farming is economically beneficial, ethical, or harmful to human health or the environment, and considering the future of the industry.

Merchants of Grain

Merchants of Grain Book Cover

Morgan, Dan
Penguin 1982        Dewey Dec.    380

“The power and profits of the five giant companies at the center of the world’s food supply.” – book cover

The Department of Agriculture

Rasmussen, Wayne D. and Baker, Gladys L.
Praeger 1972        Dewey Dec.    630

A volume in the “Praeger Library of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies”. The books in this series “describe the origin, development, function, methods, and structure of specific departments or agencies and explain how far their activities extend and how they relate to other branches of the government and to the public.”

Farm: A Year in the Life of an American Farmer

Rhodes, Richard
Simon and Schuster 1990        Dewey Dec.    630

Chronicles a year in the life of Tom and Sally Bauer of Crevecoeur County, Missouri, who struggle to build up their 1,000 acre Missouri farm, harvesting corn, birthing calves, planting wheat, coping with the vagaries of nature and government regulations. Required of them are ancient skills (an attunement to the weather, animals, crops, and land) as well as a mastery of modern technology, from high-tech machinery to genetics and sophisticated chemicals.–From publisher’s description

Facts for Farmers: Also for the Family Circle: a variety of rich materials for all land-owners, about domestic animals and domestic economy; …

Farm buildings; gardens, orchards, and vineyards; and all farm crops, tools, fences, fertilization, draining, and irrigation. With an appendix on the diseases and cures of domestic animals. Illustrated with steel engravings

– Volume 2

Robinson, Solon
NY: Johnson 1868        Dewey Dec.    630

Some chapters, and sections within them, are:
-Domestic Animals: Swine, Cows, Beeves, Feeding Cattle, Sheep Husbandry, Horses and Mules, Poultry.
-Small Animals and Insects: Bees, Birds, Entomological, Wild and Tame Animals.
-The Farmery: Farm Houses, Cellars, Chimneys and Ice-Houses, Barn, Corn Cribs, Piggeries, Smoke-house.
-Domestic Economy: The Food Question, Bread, Domestic Wines, Cider, Preserves, the Dairy.
-Garden and its Fruits: Vegetables, Flower Garden, Lawns, Hot-beds, Small Fruits.
-The Orchard: Propagation, Planting, Pruning, Grafting, Apple and Peach Trees, Cherries, Plums, Nectarines, Apricots.
-The Vineyard: How to plant and cultivate vines, Culture of grapes for wines.
-Cerealia: Wheat, Rye, Oats, Barley, Millet, Buckwheat, Indian Corn.
-Root Crops and Sugar Crops: Potatoes, Turnips, Beets, Carrots, Chinese sugar-cane, Maple-sugar making.
-Irrigation, Draining, Plowing, Farming Tools.
-Diseases and Cures of Domestic Animals.

Also see: Halsted, Byron D., Barn Plans and Outbuildings in Section 728 Residential & related buildings in Architecture – Public and Residential Buildings

Selected Articles from a Century Ago on Political & Social Issues

Farming for Pleasure and Profit: Dairy-Farming, Management of Cows, etc.

Roland, Arthur
Chapman & Hall 1891        Dewey Dec.    636

Encyclopedia of American Agricultural History

Schapsmeier, Edward L
Greenwood 1975        Dewey Dec.    630

Abolitionists — Agencies and commissions — Agricultural education — Agricultural historians — Agricultural research — Agriculturalists — Almanacs — Animals — Artists — Colonial leaders — Colonies and territories — Commissioners of agriculture — Commodity exchanges — Conservation — Crops and commodities — Ecology — Economic issues — Editors and publishers — Equipment and implements — Explorers and frontiersmen — Farm leaders — Farming — Food — Horticulture — Ideologies and beliefs — Immigration — Indians — Inventors — Journals and Papers — Legislation — Music — Naturalists — Organizations — Pests, diseases, and chemicals — Pioneer and rural life — Political figures — Political movements — Political parties — Presidents — Proposals and programs — Public lands — Ranching — Regions — Religion — Rural revolts — Science and technology — Secretaries of agriculture — Slavery — Stamps — Supreme Court decisions — Tariffs and trade — Terms — Transportation — Utopian societies — Writers

Domesticated Animals: Their Relation to Man and to his Advancement in Civilization

Shaler, N. S.
Scribner 1895        Dewey Dec.    636

We have seldom seen animals so fairly treated and have never known them to be more reliably characterized.
– – A.L.A. Catalog 1904

Dairy Farming for Beginners

Shepherd, J.B.
U.S. Dept of Agriculture 1929        Dewey Dec.    636

A Small Farm in Maine: How One Couple Built a Self-Sustaining Life in the Country

Silber, Terry
Houghton Mifflin 1988        Dewey Dec.   630

The Fat of the Land; The Story of an American Farm

Streeter, John Williams
Macmillan 1904        Dewey Dec.    630

At the age of 60 a doctor is forced by health to retire from medicine, so he and his wife decide to pursue a life-long dream by becoming commercial farmers. In this book he describes how they made the dream reality; beginning with a search for land to buy, constructing buildings, hiring help, getting the operation underway, and carrying on the business.

See also: McCune, Julia, ed., Mary Austin Wallace: Her Diary, 1862: A Michigan Soldier’s Wife Runs Their Farm in Biographies & Memoirs in Michigan History

The Farm: or a New and Entertaining Account of Rural Scenes and Pursuits …

With the Toils, Pleasures and Productions of Farming. For Young Readers in the Town and Country

Taylor, Jefferys
Lippincott 1861        Dewey Dec.    630

First published in 1841, the book describes processes and tasks, crops, livestock, financial aspects etc. of farming.
Chapters and some of the topics are: – The Farm-house (Farming Buildings, Granaries, Stables and Hay-barns, Names of Fields), – Tillage (Plough, Ploughman, Harrow, Manure, Draining Land, Destruction of Vermin), – Produce of the Farm (Wheat, Barley, Rye), – Pulse Crops &c. (Peas and Beans, Cow Cabbages, Saffron, Coriander), – Hops (Hop-harvest), – Hemp, Flax, and Teasels (Hemp, Linseed, Straw, Haulm), – Live Stock (Oxen, Sheep-shearing, Hogs, Horses), – Dairy and Poultry Yard (Milk, The Churn, Cheese, Turkeys, Geese), – Hay-making (Mowing, Stacking the Hay), – Hay-binding and Selling (Disposal of the Hay), – Grain Harvest (Reaping, Harvest Season), – Threshing and Dressing Grain ( Winnowing, Dealers, the Grain Mill), – The Potatoe Crops, – Turnips, – Grass, – Herbage Plants (Clover, Saintfoin), – Dealing and Money Matters (Rent, Tithes, Wages, A Farmer’s Comforts)

American Fruit Culturist

Thomas, J. J.
Wood 1903        Dewey Dec.    631.3

Contains most available accounts of varieties of fruits.- A.L.A. Catalog 1904

The Young Farmer’s Manual

Detailing the Manipulations of the Farm in a plain and Intelligible Manner. With practical directions for laying out a farm and erecting buildings, fences, and farm gates. Embracing also the young farmer’s workshop: giving full directions for the selection of good farm and shop tools, their use and manufacture, with numerous original illustrations of fences, gates, tools, etc., and for performing nearly every branch of farming operations

Todd, Sereno Edwards
Saxton, Barker 1860        Dewey Dec.    631

A History of Agricultural Education in the United States 1785-1925

True, Alfred Charles
U.S. Govt Printing Office 1929        Dewey Dec.    630

Encyclopedia Of Agriculture And Food Systems

Van Alfen, Neal K.
Academic Press 2014


Westfall, Patricia Tichenor
Avon 1991        Dewey Dec.    630

“A gentle giant of a book, a warm, witty, understated and painfully honest meditation on marriage, the uses of land and the ways in which perceptions and expectations divide people from each other” Review on book cover.


Forestry Collection

Over 600 free online modern books on “Forestry”. If you wish to narrow the search, find “Topics & Subjects” in the left column and click on “More”. Be patient as the page loads.

Adventures in Conservation with Franklin D. Roosevelt

Brant, Irving
Northland 1989        Dewey Dec.    973.91

A Brief History of Forestry in Europe, the United States and other Countries

Fernow, Bernhard Eduard
Univ. of Toronto 1911        Dewey Dec.    634.9

First published in 1907 as a texthook for forestry schools, to which the chapter on forestry in the United States (39p.) was added in 1909. Though “merely a compilation of facts gathered mostly from other compilations, official documents and journals,” and lacking an index, its authority is unquestionable. – A.L.A. Catalog 1904-1911

Roosevelt’s Forest Army: A History of the Civilian Conservation Corps, 1933-1942

Merrill, Perry H.
Merrill 1981        Dewey Dec.    634.9

A Primer of Forestry

– Volume 2

Pinchot, Gifford
Washington: GPO 1899-1905        Dewey Dec.    634.9

The author was one of America’s first professional foresters, and in 1898 became chief of the U.S. Division of Forestry, which was soon moved to the Department of Agriculture and renamed the U.S. Forest Service. Pinchot was an early leader in the Conservation movement, and also served twice as Governor of Pennsylvania.

Volume 1- The Forest
Volume 2 – Practical Forestry
For beginners in forestry, agricultural students, woodland owners, and others desiring a general knowledge of the nature of the art. – A.L.A. Catalog 1904

Century Past Library