Friday, December 16, 2011
One of the books we've been referencing a lot this year is Self-Sufficiency for the 21st Century. It's a perfect companion, and inspired by The Self-Sufficient Life, a book we looked at in August. While the Self-Sufficient Life is an amazing guide to living a simpler life, we live in a time where we can make use of technology to help as well. And that's where Self-Sufficiency for the 21st Century picks up.
I find that a lot of our modern technology tends to be more of a distraction than a true necessity. It makes me sometimes dream of living a hundred years ago, on a homestead in the British countryside, milking a cow each morning. But then I quickly realize that for every annoying piece of technology, there's a very helpful piece as well.
Self-Sufficiency for the 21st Century has lots of basic plans, like the ones we used to build our smoker, but it also has many of other projects that incorporate modern tools and techniques to keep you off the grid. The heat sink for a greenhouse with a solar-powered circulation system is something we're going to to integrate into the next, more permanent greenhouse we build.
Plans for next year, ones we hoped to make this year but were a little too busy, include the root cellar and the solar dryer. The charcoal clamp is another use for an old steel drum to make charcoal for the barbecue, our exclusive outdoor cooking fuel.
There is a bit of overlap in some of the other homesteading books we have, but there are lots of unique projects that make it a valuable resource, in fact, our copy of the book is all wrinkled from spending time outside.
Take a look at the videos below that I found via the publisher's site. Dick and James, a father and son team, seem to be doing everything right.