A Practical Guide for Permaculturists Living Free

Author Archive

How To Build a Bicycle Powered Washing Machine

There are many ways to build yourself a pedal powered washing machine.  The first one we saw was simply a bicycle attached to the washing machine where the pedals do the work of the motor.  In other words you make the machine turn by pedaling.

What you need:

Bicycle
Washing machine
Some hardware
Maybe some welding

 

Here is a video that explains it a little:

 

And for the improved version:

We can list a whole bunch of websites and examples but here is a few that we like:

http://outils-autonomie.jimdo.com/lave-linge-à-pédales/  

http://www.designboom.com/design/pedal-powered-washing-machine/

http://www.dacres.org

With a little imagination and some ingenuity this is an easy project.

 

As soon as we have land secured we will start really making all the things we’ve posted about on the site!!!  For now see what the community is going to look like: The Catalyst

Until next time…

 

 

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Herbs: Basil Clones

We just found out that basil clippings re grow roots very easily.

1-Cut off the top few inches (6 to 10 cm) of the the stem.
2-Soak the bottom half of your clippings in a glass of water.
3-After a few days you should start seeing roots forming.
4-Wait another few days to let them grow a couple inches (3 or 4 cm).
5-Carefully plant your rooted clippings in the dirt and voila, you have clones!!!

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Basil is commonly used fresh in cooked recipes. In general, it is added at the last moment, as cooking quickly destroys the flavor.

The fresh herb can be kept for a short time in plastic bags in the refrigerator, or for a longer period in the freezer, after being blanched quickly in boiling water.

The dried herb also loses most of its flavor, and what little flavor remains tastes very different, with a weak coumarin flavor, like hay.

The parts of the plant that grow above the ground are used to make medicine.

Basil is used for stomach spasms, loss of appetite, intestinal gas, kidney conditions, fluid retention, head colds, warts, and worm infections. It is also used to treat snake and insect bites.

Women sometimes use basil before and after childbirth to promote blood circulation, and also to start the flow of breast milk.

Some people use it as a gargle.

Permaculture:
Basil is known to repel thrips, flies and mosquitoes, protecting companion-planted tomatoes from these pests, as well as from milkweed bugs, hornworms and aphids. Basil also acts as a natural fungicide.


Homemade Folding Lounge Chair…..Time to take a Break!

Sometimes while building your homestead or prepping your home for whatever it is the future has in mind, we still have to think about relaxing. This here is another piece of a DIY book called The Home Lover’s Encyclopedia.

With a bit of your imagination you could come up with loads of improvements and reinforcements or make it as it says to make it. Either way you will have a nice folding lounge chair to relax on.

Enjoy!!!

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Build a Forge

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Continued from the next page:
…red heat, generally known as a cherry red, it is in a fit state to work.

Sorry about the picture quality….

Got this off an old illustrated DIY book called The Home-Lovers Encyclopedia with tons of stuff from making a chicken coop to making a proper lounge chair! Look for it online from the UK.

The plan is pretty simple for the forge, as long as you know how to work metal a bit. All it shows is how to make the forge. I will find other plans for the bellow or a hand cranked fly-wheel blower and post it up at some point.


Build a Solar Dehydrator

Just found this lovely blog from the UK. I’ve been wanting to dehydrate food but I don’t want an electric dehydrator….here it is, if you’re handy you’ll figure it out. These aren’t exactly plans, but you will see how it is built and can make your own from that…click here for the pics and a few measurements!

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The Liebster Blog Award!!!!

So we have been nominated for the Liebster Blog Award by the lovely New England Permaculture Homestead.  Thank you New England Permies!!!  For today we’re going to take a quick tour of what the Award is all about.

20140301-222147.jpgAs far as we can tell the award is sort of like a chain letter for bloggers.  The goal is to bring attention to blogs that haven’t been discovered. To accept the award one must nominate 5 bloggers with no more than 200 followers, thank the person who nominated them, link that person’s blog to their own and answer a few question.  As for the origin of the Liebster Blog Award it seems to be still young.  We searched online for the origin and didn’t find too much prior to 2010.  It seems that rules have also changed here and there….

Here are the rules we were given:

  • Thank the person who nominated you for the award and add a link to their blog.
  • Display the award on your blog
  • Provide a few facts about yourself (we used a link to my “about” page)
  • Answer a few questions provided by your nominator. You will need to create a list of questions for your nominees as well. You can use the ones we’ve passed along, or make up your own:
    1. What inspired you to begin blogging?
    2. What do you enjoy most about it?
    3. What do you hope others will gain from reading your blog?
    4. How important is it to you to receive likes, comments and more followers?
  • Nominate at least five bloggers who are relatively new or have a small number of followers. (Not all blogs post the number of followers, but you can usually look in their archives and tell when they started blogging.) It’s my understanding that the award is intended for newer bloggers to encourage them in their endeavor. Be sure to add a link to their blog so your readers will be able to go and see what they’re up to.
  • List a set of rules on your blog.
  • Inform each of your nominees that they have been nominated and let them know they need to see your posting of the rules on your blog.
  • You can search the internet for more information about the Leibster Blog Award. You’ll find many variations on the rules. What I have here is pretty basic. You can also search “images” for the award and pick out the design you like best to post on your blog. I hope this award will be as much of an encouragement to all of you as it was to me. To each of you, keep inspiring and blog on!

 

Here it goes…

Thanks again to New England Permaculture for nominating us!!!

We’re an artist collective looking to live sustainably as much as wee can, learn and teach new skills in a permaculture state of mind.  In the OffGridders blog you should find all easy to do and cheap ways to get off the grid through step by step blue prints and photos.

I think I started blogging because I wanted to have access to the information we’re posting from anywhere on the planet…  And share the knowledge we’re finding.

What I enjoy most about blogging must be the idea of spreading my interests and interacting and connecting with like minded people.

I hope to inspire people in getting themselves on a sustainable way of life and show that we don’t need to be millionaires to live in such way that stops raping our planet.

it’s important for me to learn and share the skills needed to live off the grid on a small budget, if the people want to follow and like the blog it’s up to them….numbers aren’t what’s important but we should spread this thing, the more people live sustainably the more our planet will let us stay on it!

The Five Blogs I choose to nominate are:

Free Range Quest

Stay At Home Hippy

Fate Pacifica

Gardening Diary

Grow Your Grub

 

Thanks all for reading ’till the end….!

 


We Need Help and Partners: Lets Make A Sustainable Community

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Photo taken at Envision Festival 2011

I’m a traveler, I’ve been around the globe a couple times.  I’ve lived in the country but mostly in big cities (New York, Paris, Barcelona, Bogota, London…).  I work with my hands and know a little bit about everything I touch, I like to learn and I work hard…too hard sometimes but my dreams come true!

I finally found the love of my life, we’ve been married a year and some, been together 5 years or so.  She is a traveler as well and we plan on bringing up our children around self sustainable communities, the festival world and traveling.  Our philosophy on schools teeters from life school for reading, writing, and maths, the rest will from experience and living closer to nature (We will never know how much of what is written in history books is even true) to home school or entering them into the school system at least in the beginning, so they could make a choice later.

Something that always has stuck with me is that there seems to be something royally wrong in the world, if we have to work for someone else our whole lives.  For what?  They seem to tell us, go to school, get good grades so you can get into a good college so that you can get a high paying job!  Ok true, that is a descent path to a high paying job, but that job seems to be only so that we can pay higher taxes, consume more “things” that are taxed several times, to live a so called comfortable life that leaves us with not much left.  So we keep working because now we have high bills for a lot of these “things”.  I don’t know, if you don’t see that we kind of have become slaves, it’s ok we don’t have to agree on everything.  I can admit that I am a slave of the medical insurance most of the time.

To start our free living, we started looking for land to establish a sort of art collective/community around what would become a learning center for three different aspects of life we believe are most important for us:
1. Art
2. Mind and Body (the physical and none-physical)
3. DIY Sustainability

These three points are very broad, I had to come up with a named category to bunch everything we want to be around into just three sections.

  • The arts are for anything one could consider art, from oil paint to writing to welding to theatre or music and so on…
  • Mind and Body is yoga, multiple dimension theories, tai-chi, lucid dreaming, massage, capoeira….
  • DIY Sustainability is for all things sustainable, permaculture, natural, up-cycling and more…

For now the Idea is to be in the woods within 2hours of New York City, off the water/sewage/electric/gas…grid creating a platform for learning and teaching the skills mentioned above, growing our own food and living as free and moneyless as possible. As the winter sets in, and this little something that’s always in the back of my mind about leaving the US gets louder, I’m thinking Spain, Portugal or Latin America.

The way I’ve imagined this place is everyone involved gets a plot of land to live on. Your plot of land is yours to build what you wish as a small dwelling, as long as it is self sustainable, built with available materials and/or up-cycled materials.  The point is to get off the grid in a very affordable way, in order to show it to others. In this vision I have seen converted trucks and buses or motorhomes, tree houses, adobe homes, earthships, straw-bail houses, and workshops!

Anyway I could go on and on about this as the idea has been morphing in my head for about 8 years now…. but we have finally pushed the ball and it’s rolling!

Along with becoming off grid we want to take a caravan of people (like an old circus or carnival) around different continents learning and teaching free living skills, from time to time, perhaps in the festival season.

If you’re interested in more info and want to help us or join us in this adventure, this is where we are:
http://thepeoplescaravan.wordpress.com/
https://offgridders.wordpress.com/

Please get in touch, we’re looking for serious people who truly want to live a different way!

Thx, and please pass it on so the ball can keep rolling!!!!

Greg