Having grown up in the country and having both sets of grandparents living on farms, I have always loved books about gardening, animals, and homesteading. When I was about in my early 20's I discovered the Foxfire Books.
The Foxfire project was the brainchild of Eliot Wigginton, a high school teacher at Rabun Gap High School in Georgia in 1966. His students would interview the older folks in their region about the "old time" ways and how they grew up. This progressed into a magazine that was published by the students, then became a series of books beginning in 1972. There are now 12 of these books.
As you can tell from the photo of my copy of Foxfire One, it has been one very well used book! There is a wealth of information in every book. Everything you would want to know about self-sufficient living. There are chapters on gardening, how to cane a chair, how to build a log cabin, make soap, recipes, plant lore, you name it! There are also some "mini" biographies of some of the people they interviewed and they are so interesting to read. It continues to amaze me how these people thrived and lived with only their natural resources and very little to no money.
One of my favorite chapters in this book is Home Remedies. Some of these I am pretty sure I WOULD NOT do, but they make for interesting reading:
Bleeding - Place a spider web across the wound.
Chest congestion - Wear a flannel shirt with turpentine and lard on it all winter.
Colds- Drink whiskey and honey mixed. (We did this when I was little!)
Cramps - Turn you shoes upside down before going to bed.
Croup- Render out some mutton tallow, add beeswax and place it on the back underneath the victims shirt.
Earache - Roast cabbage stalks and squeeze the juice into the ear.
Sty- Run the tip of a black cats tail over it.
Bee Sting - Put moist tobacco on it. (This works, we did this when I was little too.)
Nosebleed - Hang scissors, points up, on your neck.
Sore Throat - Take a sock you have worn inside a boot for almost a week so that it has a bad odor and tie it around your neck.
Warts - Steal a neighbors dishrag. Wipe it across the wart then bury it in the woods.
The one I find most interesting is for Burns - Find a person who has never seen their father and have them blow on it. My Grandmother told me when she was little that her mother would take her many times to blow on burns, as my grandmothers father died before she was born. She would also be called to blow in babies mouths when they had thrush.
I highly reccomend these books and I have found that most are available at our local library and they are also still in print, so check out Amazon!