Those of us wanting to practice self-sufficiency, to grow our own food, and generally live a low-tech lifestyle, will find Practical Projects for Self-Sufficiency a good guidebook. This is a book that’s not only chock full of ideas for living a low-tech self-sufficient lifestyle, growing your own food and all the rest, but it shows you how to build tools for that lifestyle.
The book has 25 chapters, each showing you how to make one object meant to help you live more self-sufficiently. Some projects are chicken coop construction, herb drying trays, composting bins, potato growing bins, solar ovens, and bee hives.
Each project has well written text, and abundant clear pictures, guiding you through the construction. Along the way you learn woodworking techniques, as each project is built from scratch out of sturdily thick wood.
Most of the projects are practical and well thought out, while a couple are done differently than what we have in our household. An example is the project to build a “manual clotheswasher”. The idea is instead of a washing machine, you would put clothes, soap and water into a bucket, and pump the clothes by hand. In our household we have a simple bucket, and a plunger to pump the clothes. The project in the book is more elaborate, with a long lever presumably so your arm doesn’t get tired pumping the clothes.
In other words, while we disagree with some of the solutions in the book, each of the projects does solve the problem being presented. Each project has the seed of a great solution, and you learn exactly how to construct the solution. Learning the woodworking techniques shown here will be very valuable down the road, as you try to build other projects.
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