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

  • Automated Rain Barrel Irrigation Project

    Something to read later … Irrigating a small garden is a relatively relaxing and sometimes therapeutic activity (well if you are a botany/biology nerd [or really in need of a hobby]) but going away for any length of time can present a problem. The simple solution of course is to purchase a hose-bib/timer package from… Read more »

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    Posted on March 29, 2010 by
  • Building a Small "Starter" Straw Bale Home or Guest House

    Following the full design and build process for a small (480 sq. ft. External/312 sq. ft. Internal) “starter” straw bale house using a small budget. Build a small straw bale house.

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    Posted on February 16, 2010 by
  • Using Passive Solar Energy to heat your straw bale home.

    Passive Solar Energy Passive Solar Energy as a free heat source for your straw bale house. Read the article A rule of thumb for installed window area East side of the house 4%, west side 2%, north side 4%, and south side 7-12%. So if you had a floor plan of 1000 square feet, on… Read more »

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    Posted on February 16, 2010 by
  • Website: House of Bales

    A strawbale and mud-brick eco-house built near Adelaide, Australia. These people have very similar ideas to us. House of Bales

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    Posted on December 18, 2009 by
  • DIY Solar cooker

    CooKit DIY Solar Cooker

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    Posted on November 4, 2009 by
  • Composting Toilet Systems

    Here’s a list of composting toilet system articles & resources. Composting toilets Composting toilets Composting toilet (Wikipedia) Download the Humanure Handbook

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    Posted on September 28, 2009 by
  • Repel Mosquitoes

    The first line of defense against mosquitos is to seal their point of entry. Mosquitos are most active in the early morning and early evening. They seek areas of still air because they are hampered by breezes. Close windows and doors on the side of your house which are opposite the breeze. Then try: The… Read more »

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    Posted on September 9, 2009 by
  • Make your own yoghurt

    We’ve been making our own yoghurt for a few weeks and it’s been mostly successful however we’re still learning and have not yet perfected our process – this latest batch didn’t ferment as, I suspect, I allowed it to cool too quickly. Here are a few resources that are helpful if you wish to make… Read more »

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    Posted on September 3, 2009 by
  • Green Building Forum

    A discussion forum for issues related to ‘green’ building, renewable energy, the environment and related subjects. Green Building Forum

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    Posted on August 15, 2009 by
  • Solar Haven Strawbale House Plans

    New Straw Bale House at Solar Haven: design details, lots of pictures, and budget figures. New Strawbale House Plans

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    Posted on July 28, 2009 by
  • FreeRice

    FreeRice Give free rice to hungry people by playing a simple word game.

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    Posted on June 28, 2009 by