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Solar Homes & Solar Collectors

Solar energy is our birthright like the air we breathe or the water we drink. Solar Home Plans and affordable Solar Hot Water Plans are the gateway into a “Solar Age” of energy independence. Fossil fuels are no longer necessary to keep the wheels of civilization turning. Build your own solar heating system with an MTD Solar Collector Kit. Explore the Strawberry Fields Book Store for more information. Alternative energies like solar energy will increase in value as fossil fuel prices escalate. Solar collectors, solar hot water systems, heat storage vaults, photovoltaic electricity, solar panels, solar greenhouses and solar house plans will become more important in this century. According to Buckminster Fuller “We have wondered too far from the roots.” An energy crisis can only be avoided only if we learn to rely on a diffuse, sustainable resource like the sun. .

http://www.jc-solarhomes.com/

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Have Wood Will Travel – Complete Plans for the Keith Gasifier

waynekeithWayne Keith has built 5 trucks that run on wood. Each model is slightly more improved than the last. This V8 truck is the 5th generation. It has a series of vacuum gauges that provide information on performance of each part of the gasifier. This truck gets about 1 mile per pound of wood. Wayne has written his entire gasification experience into this book! Complete plans for the Keith gasifier include photos, diagrams, and detailed explanations of every step of the way.

Wayne Keith has spent a lot of time learning how woodgas works. He can answer all your questions and give detailed advice. We have a detailed video tutorial and some written material supporting it. Wayne documented his latest build in depth with video footage, and we’ve posted instructional videos from start to finish. You can follow along with Wayne, from selecting the materials all the way through firing up the truck the first time. Lots of folks have started building, some have completed trucks already. They are actively discussing their projects on the Premium-only Builders’ Discussion forum. Here you can see what folks like you have done and ask questions about the Keith gasifier. There’s also the Ask Wayne and Beta forums. Plus, all premium members get Wayne’s book FREE!

http://driveonwood.com/store

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Introducing Easy DIY Chicken Coop Plans

“Who Else Wants the Easy Plans to Build an Attractive & Affordable Long Lasting ‘Predator-Safe’ Chicken Coop from Home That Your Backyard Chickens Love To Lay Eggs In…”

Buying your chicken coop new from the store will usually cost $500.00 upwards! and all you’ll often get is a flat-pack coop that you have to build yourself anyway, you just end up paying for overpriced materials, no fun!

Building your own chicken coop from home is by far the most cost effective solution, not to mention the most rewarding and fun, however…

you need to research and account for the right materials and measurements, nesting boxes, perches and entertainment, lighting, positioning, ventilation, waste collection and of course protection from the elements and deadly predators…

…but planning and doing it all yourself can seem just too overwhelming

Fortunately there’s an easy, cost-effective solution to build your own attractive, affordable & secure outdoor chicken coop from home in mere hours…

If you’re serious about keeping free range backyard chickens, be it out in the countryside, in the suburbs or in the city, you’re about to discover a goldmine…

Check out the Chicken Kit today!

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New Rocket Mass Heater Plans

Hermon HeaterHermon Heater Plans
All-Brick Rocket Mass Heater. Walls are 4.5″ thick. Wood box / air intake opens @ 4.5″ by 9″, same for burn tube, heat riser & initial exhaust. 10 Bricks per layer in the heater, 16 layers high. Around 180 brick in this heater. One bag of masonry heater mortar. Absorbs lots of heat and gives it out for hours after heater shut down. Cad drawings done with Google Sketchup. Electronic delivery $40.

http://www.green-trust.org/products/

Visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rocketmass for discussion of Rocket Mass Heaters and Rocket Stoves.

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Freecycling and NY BackHome

FreeCycle

The Potsdam NY Freecycle Network is open to all who want to “recycle” that special something rather than throw it away. Whether it’s a chair, a fax machine, piano or an old door, feel free to post it. Or maybe you’re looking to acquire something yourself! Nonprofit groups are also welcome to participate too!

One constraint: everything posted must be free. This network is brought to you by The Freecycle Network, a nonprofit organization and a movement of people interested in keeping good stuff out of landfills. Check out freecycle.org for other cities and info on the movement! E-mail us for questions or improvement ideas!

BackHome New York Chapter

We are the NY chapter of BackHome in America. A loose confederation of homesteaders, headed up by Bruce Kilgore.

Focus… simplicity, sustainable agriculture, alternate energy and building methods, autonomy and independance.

There are chapters through out the nation. If you want to see others go to our chapters page.

David Lee’s Build It Yourself Plans and Recycled JUNKYARD SCRAP

If you like to work with metal, this is the WEB site you’ve been looking for.

Everything shown here has been fabricated using the plans, booklets and templates.

You can make anything shown here from scrap steel at a fraction of what it would cost to buy in a retail store if you even could find it in a retail store.

You’re invited to browse through the pages on this site. The plans contained herein were collected from FREE PLANS WEB sites throughout the Internet. To download, first select the classification, then click the plan title, wait for the .pdf to load and then click the “Save a Copy” radio button.

BACKWOODS HOME MAGAZINE READERS

For readers of BACKWOODS HOME MAGAZINE(online or off), practical ideas for self-reliant living.

This list is for people who enjoy BHM and want to have a list to discuss topics, share ideas, recipes, or anything else from the mag. For those unfamiliar with the mag. it is for, self-sufficient living, personal independence(i.e. politics, gardening & true country living, and other topics relating to self-sufficiency)with a Libertarian atmosphere.

All are welcome who LOVE TRUE FREEDOM & INDEPENDENCE!!

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Build a Better Greenhouse

http://www.EasiestGarden.com/greenhouse – Did you ever want a good quality greenhouse? Tired of hauling your wife’s plants into the house each fall or tripping over them in the garage all winter? Or perhaps you want to extend your growing season, start plants several months ahead of the season, or just want to experiment with some of our hydroponic gardening systems?

Well, this DVD makes it not only possible – but easy, fun, and cheap. Building a better greenhouse is something that has needed to be done for a long time. Most small greenhouses (also called hobby houses) are either outrageously expensive, or incredibly low quality – sometimes both! But with this plans-and-DVD set you will learn how to build a better greenhouse – a professional-quality greenhouse at a price that can’t be matched by anyone.

First we lay down professional-grade weedblock for a floor – this is a special plastic fabric that blocks weeds, but allows water to penetrate. Then we take 1-3/8 galvanized tubing – the toprail off of chainlink fence, so you know it’s going to last for decades! – and we teach you how to bend this in three places so it’s shaped like a house.

Then we show you how to build the base and the ends out of treated, 30-year ground contact lumber, and stretch professional quality greenhouse plastic over it – and stretch it without wrinkles.

We teach you how to build the door for the greenhouse, install a fan, thermostat, and shutter, where to get all the materials, and how to put them all together. This plans-and-DVD set contains step-by-step instructions showing you every process. You don’t need any special skills – if you can use a vise, drill, circular saw, and hammer, you’re in business!

The key to a top quality greenhouse is top-quality materials. We buy most of our materials from the same place that the huge greenhouse growers do, and that’s what makes this greenhouse different. We tell you where you can buy the materials you need locally, or we offer a kit that contains all the items you need – everything except the wood, metal, fan/thermostat, and shutter!

The greenhouse structure should last you at least 30 years – I’ve had one up for over 10 years myself. Periodically – every 4-6 years under normal conditions – you’ll need to replace the plastic, but that’s a very simple process – one you’ll know how to do before you finish the greenhouse – and a very small expense. And the best part of that is, when you’re done you have what looks like a new greenhouse – all shiny new plastic for another 4-6 years.

And did I mention that this greenhouse is AFFORDABLE? The last greenhouse I built cost me less than $600 including all the materials – that includes the price of our Build-Your-Own Greenhouse Kit and this DVD!

The greenhouse in the video is 10′ wide and 15′ long, but you can easily make it longer, wider, or taller – of those, it’s easiest to make it longer. Generally doubling the length only adds about 50% to the price – so it’s easy to make a greenhouse large enough for that Ficus that takes up half the front porch!

And the best part of all is that you can use this as a small business – for over 12 years now I’ve been building and installing these greenhouses in my local area, at very competitive prices – and yet at a very good profit, too.

By buying the materials in bulk you can cut your costs down to as little as $400 per greenhouse, and with a suggested MSRP of $999 delivered and installed – a price less than half of any other similarly-sized greenhouse available on the market – you can make a nice side income.

So if you want to have a good greenhouse – a beautiful, upscale greenhouse, one of such high quality that your children can enjoy it years from now – go to our website buy this plans and DVD set. We’re sure you’ll like it – we have.

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Sun Ovens – A different approach

As populations increase and forests and fossil fuels disappear, the need for an alternative method of cooking around the world is intensifying. SUN OVENS International is committed to providing an alternative.

SUN OVENS International takes a different approach. We have taken a concept that has been around for centuries, and have combined it with more improved materials to make the most effective solar cooking devices in the world. The SUN OVEN® has been designed to overcome most of the cultural barriers that have restricted the widespread use of the sun for cooking.

The SUN OVEN is often compared with box cookers made out of aluminum foil and cardboard (homemade boxes of various sizes and shapes). See http://solarcooking.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Solar_cooker_plans for more details on DIY models. While the energy conversion principles are the same, the materials utilized in manufacturing SUN OVENS® have been carefully researched to include the most efficient materials available. In order to capture the maximum amount of energy, achieve the highest possible temperature, and retain the greatest amount of heat, while minimizing the weight, the materials utilized have been selected based on efficiency and quality. SUN OVENS International is determined to disseminate solar appliances that truly meet people’s needs rather than distributing perpetuating cookers that work only under the most ideal conditions.

The initial price of a GLOBAL SUN OVENS® is higher, but due to its long life, ability to cook on partly cloudy days and allowing food to stay warm for hours, the cost per meal is lower than any other solar cooking device.

Includes:

GLOBAL SUN OVEN® with:
Built in thermometer
Attached one piece collapsible reflectors
Spill-proof levelator
Self-contained focusing leg

Reaches temperatures 360 to 400F. Weighs 21 pounds, opens and folds up in seconds and comes with a carrying handle.

See your purchase, and checkout:

Global Sun Oven $239:


Shipping (continental USA) $35:

Shipping (Alaska / Hawaii) $80:

Shipping (Canada) $70:

Morning Hill Solar Cookery Book (Vegetarian Cookbook) $15*:

The Solar Chef (Southwestern Recipe Cookbook) $15*:

A Month of SUNdays (Cookbook) $15*:

* Cookbook Shipping (if ordered without oven) $4:

Round 3-qt Enamelware Pot $11**:

4-qt Enamelware Pot w/Steamer Insert $16**:

Two Loaf Pans (Pans may not be ordered without oven purchase) $10:

Two Cookie Sheet/Brownie Pans $13***:

Water Pasteurizing Indicator (WAPI) $8:

** A combination of up to two 3-qt pots or one 3-qt and one 4-qt pot can fit inside the oven without increasing the cost of shipping. Each additional pot will cost $13.00 to ship.

Additional pot shipping $13:

*** A combination of up to two 3-qt pots & one set of two cookie sheets/brownie pans OR one 3-qt, one 4-qt pot & one set of two cookie sheets/brownie pans can fit inside the oven without increasing the cost of shipping. Each additional set will cost $11 to ship.

Additional two cookie sheets/brownie pans shipping $11:

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How to Make and Use The BYU Solar Cooker/Cooler

How to Make and Use The BYU Solar Cooker/Cooler

by Steven E. Jones, Professor of Physics at Brigham Young University (BYU), with Colter Paulson, Jason Chesley, Jacob Fugal, Derek Hullinger, Jamie Winterton, Jeannette Lawler, and Seth, David, Nathan, and Danelle Jones.

Introduction

A few years ago, I woke up to the fact that half of the world’s peoples must burn wood or dried dung in order to cook their food. It came as quite a shock to me, especially as I learned of the illnesses caused by breathing smoke day in and day out, and the environmental impacts of deforestation -not to mention the time spent by people (mostly women) gathering sticks and dung to cook their food. And yet, many of these billions of people live near the equator, where sunshine is abundant and free. Ergo…

As a University Professor of Physics with a background in energy usage, I set out to develop a means of cooking food and sterilizing water using the free energy of the sun. http://solarcooking.org/plans/funnel.htm

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The Ultimate in Human Power

Want to be able to produce your own power for very little money? David Butcher has videos showing how he can power a washing machine, a bread maker, and more with the power of the human body. For less than $250, you can run lights, a tv, radio, and more (but not all at once maybe), and get your exercise at the same time. Stay healthy, and save money. What a deal!

“Power From The People!”

http://www.los-gatos.ca.us/davidbu/pedgen/plans.html

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Cultivating a Better Food System in 2013

by Danielle Nierenberg and Ellen Gustafson, Food Tank: The Food Think Tank (www.FoodTank.org)

Ellen Gustafson

Ellen Gustafson

As we start 2013, many people will be thinking about plans and promises to improve their diet and health. But we think a broader collection of farmers, policy-makers, and eaters need new, bigger resolutions for fixing the food system – real changes with long-term impacts in fields, boardrooms, and on plates all over the world. These are resolutions that the world can’t afford to break with nearly one billion still hungry and more than one billion suffering from the effects of being overweight and obese. We have the tools—let’s use them in 2013!

Growing in Cities:  Food production doesn’t only happen in fields or factories. Nearly one billion people worldwide produce food in cities. In Kibera, the largest slum in Africa, farmers are growing seeds of indigenous vegetables and selling them to rural farmers. At Bell Book & Candle restaurant in New York, customers are served rosemary, cherry tomatoes, romaine, and other produce grown from the restaurant’s aeroponic rooftop garden.

Creating Better Access:  People’s Grocery in Oakland and Fresh Moves in Chicago bring mobile grocery stores to food deserts giving low-income consumers opportunities to make healthy food choices. Instead of chips and soda, they provide customers with affordable organic produce, not typically available in their communities.

Eaters Demanding Healthier Food: Food writer Michael Pollan advises not to eat anything that your grandparents wouldn’t recognize. Try eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole foods without preservatives and other additives.

Cooking More: Home economics classes have declined in schools in the United Kingdom and the U.S. and young people lack basic cooking skills.  Top Chefs Jamie Oliver, Alice Waters, and Bill Telepan are working with schools to teach kids how to cook healthy, nutritious foods.

Creating Conviviality: According to the Hartman Group, nearly half of all adults in the U.S. eat meals alone. Sharing a meal with family and friends can foster community and conversation. Recent studies suggest that children who eat meals with their families are typically happier and more stable than those who do not.

Focus on Vegetables: Nearly two billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies worldwide, leading to poor development. The World Vegetable Center, however, is helping farmers grow high-value, nutrient rich vegetables in Africa and Asia, improving health and increasing incomes.

Danielle Nierenberg

Danielle Nierenberg

Preventing Waste:  Roughly one-third of all food is wasted—in fields, during transport, in storage, and in homes. But there are easy, inexpensive ways to prevent waste. Initiatives like Love Food, Hate Waste offer consumers tips about portion control and recipes for leftovers, while farmers in Bolivia are using solar-powered driers to preserve foods.

Engaging Youth: Making farming both intellectually and economically stimulating will help make the food system an attractive career option for youth. Across sub-Saharan Africa, cell phones and the internet are connecting farmers to information about weather and markets; in the U.S., Food Corps is teaching students how to grow and cook food, preparing them for a lifetime of healthy eating.

Protecting Workers: Farm and food workers across the world are fighting for better pay and working conditions. In Zimbabwe, the General Agricultural and Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ), protects laborers from abuse. In the U.S., the Coalition of Immokalee Workers successfully persuaded Trader Joe’s and Chipotle to pay the premium of a penny-per-pound to Florida tomato pickers.

Acknowledging the Importance of Farmers: Farmers aren’t just farmers, they’re business-women and men, stewards of the land, and educators, sharing knowledge in their communities. Slow Food International works with farmers all over the world, helping recognize their importance to preserve biodiversity and culture.

Recognizing the Role of Governments:  Nations must implement policies that give everyone access to safe, affordable, healthy food. In Ghana and Brazil, government action, including national school feeding programs and increased support for sustainable agricultural production, greatly reduced the number of hungry people.

Changing the Metrics: Governments, NGOs, and funders have focused on increasing production and improving yields, rather than improving nutrition and protecting the environment. Changing the metrics, and focusing more on quality, will improve public and environmental health, and livelihoods.

Fixing the Broken Food System: Agriculture can be the solution to some of the world’s most pressing challenges—including unemployment, obesity, and climate change. These innovations simply need more research, more investment, and ultimately more funding.

Danielle Nierenberg and Ellen Gustafson are the co-founders of Food Tank: The Food Think Tank (www.FoodTank.org). Danielle is based in Chicago, IL and Ellen is based in San Diego, CA.

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