A Practical Guide for Permaculturists Living Free

Archive for July, 2013

Solar Cooker Building

This might be one of the easyest way to make a proper solar cooker! Thumbs up New England Permies…

Building a New England Homestead

My solar cooker was easy enough to build, that is, if I did it right.  All there is to my new cooker is two cardboard boxes plus scrap cardboard, tin foil, duct tape, glass or plastic, and newspaper.

You take the first (smaller) box and cover it inside and out with aluminum foil.  Do this first because you have to wait for the glue to dry.

Cooking chamber with tin foil

This smaller box is going to be your cooking chamber, so be sure that your pot or pan will fit in nicely.  There should not be too much space between the top of the box and the top of the pan as this will waste heat.  The pan should be black to help absorb sunlight.  A short fat pan is better than a tall skinny pan, greater surface area directed at the sun helps absorb more sunlight also.


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Making Ice in the Desert: Yakhchal

Making Ice in the Desert was always possible!

This is one of the best post I have found on Yakhchal. Around 400BC, the Persian empire were making ice and preserving it through the hot summers…. Thanks to Graham McKay for putting all this info together and there are a few good links to read on at the end of his post.

If anyone knows of smaller modern version of this system please let us know how to build, thanks!!!

Refrigeration Without Electricity


Zeer Pots or “pot in pot” refrigeration, is an old technique reinvented by Mohammed Bah Abba of northern Nigeria. It is a refrigerator than runs without electricity. “A key reason for the pot-in-pot’s success is the lack of electricity in most of the northern rural communities, for without electricity there can be no refrigeration.”

There is evidence of many different evaporative cooling system throughout the world, some 3000BC.

Here´s how it works and how you can make one.

You take a smaller pot and put it inside a larger pot. Fill the space in between the two pots with wet sand. Cover the pots with a wet cloth. When the water evaporates, it pulls the heat out with it. This simple alternative refrigeration unit uses basic laws of physics to keep the inner vessel cool.

Explanation on wiki

Supplies needed:

  • 2 clay pots that are able to nest inside of each other (round pots work best). They need to be clay/earthenware and MUST be unglazed.
  • Sand– enough to fill in the space between the 2 pots
  • A piece of burlap or thick blanket

How to on wiki

More on Zeer…..