Planning an off-grid solar system.

Estimating Energy Generated by your PV System Using the equation below, you can estimate the annual electricity production and electric bill savings for a grid-connected home solar electric system with a net metering arrangement. Determine the PV system’s size in kilowatts (kW). A typical range is from 1 to 5 kW. This value is the… Read more »

Keeping a few chickens

Minimum Space Requirements (m2/bird) Type of Bird Inside Outside Bantam Chickens 0.1 0.4 Laying Hens 0.15 0.8 Large Chickens 0.2 1.0 ……

Straw bale gardening

It’s time to devote some time to learning (and practicing) straw bale gardening. I’ve been aware of this technique/system for a while but have not paid much more attention. Here’s a great starting point, an article from The Dirt I Occupy “The Amazing Straw Bale Garden“. And another from No Dig Vegetable Garden. Here’s an… Read more »

Breeding Guinea Pigs For Meat

The guinea pig (Cavia porcellus) is called cuy, cobayo or curi in Spanish. This animal is, just like the llama and alpaca, a pre-Colombian domestic animal kept in the Andean region. Even today its distribution coincides with the area of influence of the ancient Inca Empire. I’m considering raising guinea pigs as an alternative to… Read more »

Masonry heaters & stoves

GeoPathfinder Many people currently cook in a microwave oven. It’s called “micro” because the high-frequency radio energy used to jiggle the food’s water molecules has a very short wavelength. We call our stove the macrowave because, even though it utilizes radiated infrared energy (heat) which has a much higher frequency and even shorter wavelength, the… Read more »

A collection of straw bale resources

Straw bale building guidelines for wet and humid climates Climate and Straw bale construction Five tips for keeping straw bale walls dry in a wet climate Yes you can! Build with Strawbale in Wet Climates Moisture and straw bale walls. Sun Plans Strawdio Template Straw Bale Futures Passive Solar Design Lime paint, lime wash and… Read more »


This book describes a way of making compost, i.e. humus, which is simply, labour saving (no turning) and quick, both in ripening the compost and in getting results in the soil. It is adaptible to all conditions and to every size and type of garden, allotment or farm, the process being based on nature’s own methods.

Tasty ways to enjoy your tomatoes all year round

Read the original article “5 Tasty Ways to Eat Your Tomato Harvest All Year” on Slow Roasted Tomato Sauce Marinara sauce, it can make or break any Italian dish. Don’t worry, this recipe is sure to be a family favorite. The tomatoes come out tasting sun-dried and is it so simple to make. You… Read more »

Checking straw bale wall moisture levels & all things monitoring

I have the opportunity to add “smart” technology to my house as I’m building. I’m considering using either, or both, arduino boards & Raspberry Pi computers as the main processors to which I’ll attach various sensors and switches. Primary considerations will be power consumption, heat production & cooling, and reliability. Both Arduino and Raspberry Pi… Read more »

Rainwater harvesting calculator.

One millimeter of rain on one square metre of roof equals one litre

  • A 1-acre self-sufficient small-holding

    We’re shopping for land in Hungary and while prices are relatively low, when compared to those in Scotland, it’s possible that our budget will only stretch to a 1-, or 2-acre plot.

    Read More
    Posted on July 20, 2011 by
  • No Knead Bread

    A simple bread that requires no kneading. It looks almost too good to be true – this method makes what is often referred to as “artisan breads”, the kind that cost a small fortune in the specialty bakeries. Who knew how easy these breads were to make? Read the article

    Read More
    Posted on May 30, 2011 by
  • How to grow …

    Quinoa How to grow quinoa Quinoa, pronounced “keen-wa”, and its seeds are high in protein which makes it a nutritious grain to grow. The protein is considered a “complete” protein, a rarity in the plant world. It’s leaves are also edible. This makes quinoa a popular food among vegans and vegetarians. Read the article Amaranth… Read more »

    Read More
    Posted on May 19, 2011 by
  • Optimum orientation of solar panels

    To get the most from solar panels you need to point them in the direction that captures the most sun. But there are a number of variables in figuring out the best direction. This page is designed to help you find the best placement for your solar panels in your situation.

    Read More
    Posted on February 1, 2011 by
  • Heat your home using energy from the sun

    Radiant floor heat has become increasingly popular and it’s easy to understand why. This type of heating system works by pumping hot water – or water and propylene glycol (antifreeze) – through a system of tubing under the floor. This means houses using this heating system get warmer from the floor up. In the winter there are no cold floors underfoot – instead the floor is the warmest part of the home.

    Read More
    Posted on January 19, 2011 by
  • Nashville’s First Straw Bale House

    Local USGBC members and families build Nashville’s first straw-bale house The owners of the house, Bob and Irma Bernstein, worked with general contractor Ryan Nichols to create this eco-friendly structure that not only draws upon pioneer tradition, but incorporates proven ideas that pre-date the founding of the New World. Straw, used as insulation and then… Read more »

    Read More
    Posted on January 18, 2011 by
  • A simple off-grid electricity system

    Prepare to evaluate the current system Buy a multimeter. A £10 – 15 will do. Check the current system Check for 10.5 – 15 volts supply from the current system components. Buy new system components a 300W DC Inverter, a 700VA Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). This should have it’s own battery, a 12V DC inline… Read more »

    Read More
    Posted on January 13, 2011 by
  • Parallel Chord Pallet Trusses

    I’m becoming more and more enthusiastic about re-using pallets. If you have access to small diameter trees and wood pallets, and live in an area not restricted by building codes, then this truss design is one good low cost roof option. Small trees are rapidly renewable, and pallets are plentiful and often available for free…. Read more »

    Read More
    Posted on December 23, 2010 by
  • Growing Hops

    Hops growing information resources I’m planning to grow hops, along with vines and many other plants and vegetables. I’d like to have a go at making my own beer and as hops grow wild in Hungary I thought why not formalise and control my own.   Beer Legends Hops Varieties Hoppris Hops varieties Hops.Sell.Eu Hops… Read more »

    Read More
    Posted on September 27, 2010 by
  • How to make cider

    Read More
    Posted on September 14, 2010 by
  • Organic Natural Beekeeping

    Happy Warré Hives Johan Kok makes and sells quality Warré hives to order and ship to mainland UK. Warré hives are a natural and bee-friendly way of keeping happy bees with a minimum inteference. Beekeeping Naturally

    Read More
    Posted on August 6, 2010 by
  • Water, energy, waste

    BuildIt Solar Water

    Read More
    Posted on August 5, 2010 by