My son is down to 10 days a month ..they work every other week and are laid off the other 2..or more..and it looks like it will be worse next mo..this has been the routine since oct for them.
as for shoestring..as long as you are having extra time on your hands..you might use it to "work" in other peoples gardens..and see if you can end up with some "free" things gifted to you for your own land.
another thing that we have done in our area..we live near state land..in the spring they grade the edges of the road out onto the road and then turn it back into the side..which digs up seedlings of trees and plants along the road..i have gone and pulled out of the graded and sometimes out of the woods them selves where there is no chance for the tree to grow to mature height..seedling of all kinds of plants..and put them in our yard..we got maples, cedar, white pine, white and black spruce, canadian hemlock that we used to create a screen of privacy in our front ..which now hides us from the road..
also divisions of course..You might also use the time if you have a truck to be hauling things into your property such as salvaged compost from compost areas, sawdust from sawmills, manure from farms..etc..
wonder if maybe one of the local greenhouses might not be hiring during this busy time too
Bloom where you are planted.
-Cycling & re-cycling energy: examples of this principle include seed saving (so you don't have to buy it each year), salvaging waste products (keep those eyes on Craig's list), and composting whatever you can (so you don't have to buy amendments for the garden)
-Obtaining a yield: in agriculture a yield is defined as your total output (in energy or money or bushels of produce, etc.) minus the costs associated with producing that output. Obtaining a yield (as opposed to just breaking even or putting in lots of work and not getting anything out) is really important. Since we're talking economics here, you can measure this in terms of money earned OR you can also look at it as money saved. If you invested $100 in high efficiency light bulbs for your house, you can figure out long it will take for them to pay themselves back. Beyond that point you have a yield (if we're strictly looking at dollars & cents). Other examples of obtaining a yield could be growing enough food to offset your grocery bill (or even have enough to sell or trade), earning a few bucks by teaching a skill you have at local classes, or choosing to bike instead of drive more often.
-Use biological resources: The beauty of biological resources is that they are inherently regenerative. Chickens can make more chickens and plum trees can make more plum trees. For the shoestring permaculturist, plant propagation skills are a great boon. Doing a permaculture planting can be really expensive if you choose to buy all the plants you intend to grow. However, instead of buying 50 gooseberries to plant, you can buy 2 and propagate them via cuttings until you have 50. In fact, if you have a small backyard nursery you can even recoup the initial cost of the original plant by selling a few of the clones you've propagated! To help acquire plant material I suggest dialing into the local horticulture scene so you meet people with whom you can trade plant material.
-Start small: Since you can often learn the same lesson from a $50 mistake that you can learn from a $500 mistake, it makes sense to start small and expand upon success. The handy thing about not having much money is that you are far less likely to disregard this principle! Many of the most impressive big projects I've seen have started with really small budgets. Growing Power (http://growingpower.org/), a two acre urban farm & CSA with a large aquaculture component in Milwaukee, WI started in Will Allen's backyard with 3-55 gallon drums of water with which he experimented. The Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee, WI (http://www.urbanecologycenter.org/) offers environmental education programs for inner city youth. They just completed a million dollar building complete with rainwater catchment, solar panels, & a rooftop garden. However, it all started when an impoverished grad student moved his RV into a city park (sans permission) and began offering environmental education for local school kids. The point is that starting small and doing good work leads to opportunities for expansion, yields, and products that you may not at first envision.
-Be creative: Folks without money actually have an advantage here. If you can't afford to accomplish your goal by throwing money at it, you have to get creative. Often this leads folks to come up with better, more well-thought-out solutions. Use the permaculture design methodologies to help your brain look at things differently. Methodologies include overlay mapping, design by exclusion, flow diagrams, zone/sector analysis, random assembly, 3-d modeling, looking to traditional cultures, and experimenting.
Anyway, I always like to keep in mind that Permaculture is a design system with broad application. Any design will have different opportunities and constraints. Some people have lots of money, but poor soils. Others will have great soils, but poor sun. Yet others will have lots of sun, but no money. The permaculture design process is applicable to all of these situations. They each just have different design parameters. When you pair these design parameters with your goals for the site, you have a design brief. From here you can begin to use the design principles & methodologies to figure out how to make things happen.
Feel free to let us know if you have trouble figuring out how to reach specific goals sans money. I'm sure you'll get a lot of suggestions to get you started.
Principal - Terra Phoenix Design
posted 11 years ago
If you have gardening knowledge working in other peoples garden is a great idea. My gardening was limited to a few pots of herbs here and there...until a friend decided she wanted a garden. She told me to make a garden on her land like it was my own..I provide most of the work, she will provide most of the money, and I get food out of the deal!
it can be so frustrating to have ideas that can't be pursued I have been in shoes where it didn't matter if something was free off craigslist or a .50 pack of seeds........i didn't have any money to fill my gas tank to go pick it up or I had to save my fuel for true essentials and emergencies. I'm betting you are near or in that situation.
you could plant nurse beds for suckers and seedlings. what can you make and sell off your land? braided designs with willow? did you know people will pay for moss or lichen covered rocks or shiney buffed ones for their landscape? do you have any rocks that have natural indentations for bird baths after a little chiseling? rocks that can be stacked/made into benches? as you can see rocks are at the top of my mind I see tons of trinket items inpeoples homes. wine jars filled with layers of beans etc....... an you know they actually paid for them.
though not thoroughly permaculture have you though about putting on some canning/preserving classes? if your home isn't a suitable place maybe a church or community kitchen would allow you to use theirs for a small fee. with the economy the way it is more people are looking into how to make the most of what they have even if only for the trendyness of it. use a free ad on craigslist and ask people to each bring one of the main ingredients of something that is in season. you could even have graduated classes planned. class one "how to make fruit preserves" class two " canning tomatoes" class three "pressure canning" etc...... most people have some trepidation about preserving their own food and might pay for a hands on experience.
"One cannot help an involuntary process. The point is not to disturb it. - Dr. Michel Odent
Location: North Central Michigan
posted 11 years ago
so many great ideas..another one popped up on my brain..how about writing short stories for a local newspaper or magazine on gardening or whatever other things you know about.
I totally agree with the permaculture ethics of starting small and not going where you cannot maintain..it just makes sense..that is one reason why I'm still so close to the house. I'm starting to spread out this year as the areas around my house are practically done other than some weeding and maintainence..but with fewer resources staying close in to the house saves money and energy.
Ron and I have been many times to a place where we lived on less than $6000 a year..one time $3000..it isn't easy..our income now is less than $20000 so things are tight here too..
let your fingers do your walking, or your internet, to save on gas. Please don't be afraid to check out commodities and food pantry programs if you need to and some places even energy bills can be paid for one month by some organizations like the red cross, we even get $9 off of our phone bill each month by applying for a lower income program.
sometimes the local social service agencies have good information and lists of resources.
also if you are a veteran you can often get health and medical care for free or reduced costs, a lot of people do not realize that. My husband gets his some of his medical that way.
don't forget foraging..a lot of the greens, berries and fungi that you can forage are not only very healthy, but also are a great saleable product should you get enough of them..we have sold morel mushrooms, and even night crawlers for cash in the past when we had no money.
sometimes lumber yards have throw out piles behind them of damaged lumber..that can be salvaged for building materials and even free pallets given away are often made of oak. If you can salvage scrap wood and a saw and hammer and a few nails you can make and sell birdfeeders and birdhouses, benches, boxes..etc.
if you have perennials..divide them and sell the divisions that you don't need
as Leah said, start cuttings..a lot of them right now is the best time to start them..you can even take cuttings off of simple things like tomato plants to make more..look up cutting propagation on line and see what you can come up with.
Myself i have enough basket making material growing on my property to weave this whole town..but..I don't know much about basket making..also thought about those rustic benches and arbors? even scap metal can be made into lawn ornaments and sold ..with a welder.
keep asking and we'll keep yapping
Bloom where you are planted.
Location: Pittsburgh PA
posted 11 years ago
Haha "permaculture with no money" is my life. Except I'm not the sharpest knife at it all yet.
Bittorrent "Intro to Permaculture" includes Mollison's 47+ hour "1983 PDC" -- wall to wall with ideas. The two Wisconsin cases above are neat. What skills do you have?
Get your gumption up and start them businesses. I'll probably start an "edible landscaping" service to employ myself soon. Maybe I should get into the "Permaculture Job-In-A-Box" racket though...
But hey I don't like to work -- 5 days a month is all I need where I live, with no gov't subsidies.
Managing any sort of lifestyle (permaculture or not) with no money has really been on my mind lately.
My dh has been laid off for 3 months. Fortunately he's found a new job & starts on Monday. Thank goodness! Consequently, I am very empathetic to all who are hurting in these tough times.
We have been fortunate to continue our health insurance thru COBRA and can only afford to stay on it because of the stimulus plan. I've been sick for a week, went to the Dr. today because I didn't want a repeat of last spring.
Last spring, I procrastinated going to the Dr. I don't like taking antibiotics & I try to avoid them. I kept trying alternatives, thinking I'd get well. Ended up with bronchitis/walking pneumonia & was sick for 3 months total. Finally got well after taking expensive antibiotics, which I couldn't have afforded without prescription drug coverage.
Somehow, I managed to make it into my late 30's, healthy & not worried about health insurance or how I'd afford the Dr.
Now I'm almost 50. Guess I should have thought about it more...woulda coulda shoulda!
Location: Western WA
posted 11 years ago
Thanks for all the ideas!
I am doing some yard work for a neighbor down the street. One of the things she wants removed is a bunch of healthy strawberry plants. They're in water in my red wagon right now. I hope to get them planted tomorrow.
She was lamenting that she wasn't up to growing much this year (she's fighting cancer and nearly bleeding to death from the surgery), esp carrots. Well, I've got some compost and extra carrot seeds, and she's got a raised bed with nothing in it, so I'll be planting carrots for her as soon as I can make the seed tapes. The seed tapes will prevent having to thin them -- she can just water them and harvest. Since I have more time right now, I am making seed tapes for the garden, cutting down on wasted seed and wasted time for thinning later.
My pickup has a broken transmission since the end of last May. Until my brother can do something about it, it's just a yard ornament. I am gritting my teeth about it, because I know of a dairy that composts its manure and sells it by the pickup load.
Every year, I raise plants for a local cat rescue's plant sale. I think I have enough to do my own sale on the highway close to home. So I have been starting and potting lilac suckers (double white, dark purple, lavender), Siberian iris, raspberries, and some other ornamentals. There are a couple of other women who are doing the same and we shall all work it together.
The poopy straw from the chickens' coop goes into the compost pile, and they've been doing a good job with the bugs. I hardly ever see any slugs anymore, and this place used to be the Slug Capital of the World.
I've got some tomatoes and peppers under lights in my laundry room, and I've been putting them outside during the day. In the next few days (weather permitting), I will be putting some of them in the ground and covering them with 5-gallon water bottles with the bottoms cut out. I put three good-sized rocks around each plant (inside the bottle) to absorb heat during the day. So I can usually get away with getting them into the ground around May 1, instead of waiting until after our last frost date (May 15).
Ten of the tomatoes are going to a friend who is paying me to start them for her. I'm trading others for some red raspberry plants (I already have some yellow ones).
I've posted some of the ornamental plants that came with the house on FreeCycle as you-digs, and have cleared the area north of the deck for planting (with the help of the chickens), and am thinking of planting salad stuff there.
A neighbor was discarding some sections of wood they had used for pot platforms, because they're rotten now. I remembered Bill Mollison advising to use that kind of stuff inside a herb spiral as a moisture sponge. I took them home in my trusty red wagon and piled them up. Still have to decide where to put the herb spiral.
Yes, gas is a problem! I live in a town of about 200 people, mostly a bedroom community. Most stuff is either 10-16 miles south or 18 miles north. My little car is wearing out, the suspension is shot, and it sure doesn't carry as much as the truck. I miss having that truck!
Selling stuff around here isn't much of an option because most people don't have much money. The two employment agencies have folded, and the cupboards are pretty bare at the local food bank. My brother is selling his truck for a riding lawnmower, two professional table saws and $900 in cash, IF the guy can get the cash. (NO, I don't want his truck -- shudders )
There is a lumberyard that makes cedar boards, and I got a 4x4-5' pallet load for a case of Pepsi. It's damp, but I can dry it out as I go. But I haven't needed a fire for a few days, so I might be able to save it.
Still looking, still putting feelers out, passing the word.
Thanks for the suggestions! If anyone has more, send 'em out!
You might make friends with people in the trades, and take scrap/demolition waste off their hands.
Gypsum (drywall) is really good for tomatoes, and as a water sponge. The float valve from a toilet can be used to keep your chicken trough, or a bottom-filled planter's reservoir, full. There are lots of options in this same vein.
Other types of work nearby might also produce things you'd find useful. Arborists are often eager to get rid of scrap wood. I bet the convenience store would be willing to part with coffee grounds and filters.
You might consider making charcoal if you happen upon more dry wood than you can otherwise use. Plans for gasifier stoves built from coffee cans and stove pipes are all over the internet, and most can be adapted to save charcoal after all the wood gas is gone.
"the qualities of these bacteria, like the heat of the sun, electricity, or the qualities of metals, are part of the storehouse of knowledge of all men. They are manifestations of the laws of nature, free to all men and reserved exclusively to none." SCOTUS, Funk Bros. Seed Co. v. Kale Inoculant Co.
You can be a "seed hunter." For example I am presently in the market for some wild collected black locust seeds (need about 2,000 of them.) I have cash for you if you can find them.
Also need Jujube/Ziziphus seeds
In terms of something sustainable, however, I will tell you that a specialty nursery business that sells over the internet may be a business that you can grow in time with potential customers that can include local counties, agriculturalists, and hobbiests. Depending on how your own property is zoned, you may wish to consider an earthworm/compost business. Worm castings can often be bought at farmers markets right alongside of the vegitables and other value added goods. Remember to advertise that worm castings are nature's perfect manure (in a sense), being ph neutral. A person sells worms and castings at the local farmers market and she's swamped with business..its quite amazing. She brings 10 big trash cans full of worm castings..she must be selling something.
if you are poor now you need to think of whats essential and so i think growing or trying to grow lots of potatoes might be that, Look uip "no dig potatoe tower" you get it if you look it up on google and on youtube it seems a way to mgrow potatoes in a small space only hiw earth is expensive i think something cheaper would be better and several smaller towers woudl give you a more continoues supply of potatoes. Maybe you can get them on food stamps. In the old days cabbage was a winter green stand by grown by all. I suppose now days we can grow broccoli and other things . the cutting are a good idea good but how long woudl it take to earn money out of them. It is true currant cuttings take easy just snip of the ends of bushes and put them in the ground but still they take a year or so so put them in lots of them but they wont tidy you over this year. I read a gardening book that said his nursery was based on six years cuttings. So start now and youll end up with a good little business, if you can wait that long. BIll mollisons water chestnuts look easy i don't know how he does them he does not really say in the videos, i have seen. That might be exoptic vegetable you could sell at a good price just go through permaculture videos an dget ideas fo rtragen plants. i read of a woman who brought aerofagias plants that grow hung up in the air and she said that she was brolke so she brought a hundred to start a buisness with them. i can't imagine suceeding at any buisness. How do you make money with a hundred plants?she ended up with a big buisness.
If you look up paul stamets book muycelium running on the internet and choose the one on it that is put in by google then you can read a lot of it and make mycelium mats that you can sell for people to clean up there problems with ppollution on their land. Mats of oyster mushrooms. if you try hard they might work and you would have something by the end of winter. if you get the knack it could be a really good buisiness, lots of people might want to try them out, You need wood chips or coffe grounds from a cafe, or carboard and a pound of oyster mushrooms, should be a dead cheap busines to start. i tried making things with wood they came out pretty, but very time consuming but if you have time you could make beautiful garden furniture, i should think and origninal. i thought of designs for garden furniture in pottery but you woud have to find a kiln to cook them in. You could make tiles to go on the outside of a concrete bird bath bench or that built up to make a bird bath sticking them together with concrete. I made a mud wall with soil, clay and sandy as mine is which is what you need a bit of straw and horse manure. Mud designs objects have lovely smooth rounded shapes, if you got good at it you could make things in gardens with it or on covered terraces away from the rain. Cob making is on you tube, put in cob buildign and youll probably get it. It must be so scarey being really short of cash. If you group together it could be easier to make things to make furniture and garden ornaments maybe you can make money teaching others to make things. It was much easier to try things out at art school than to do things on my own. Allso that way you can get together one car, and so on maybe someone has a concrrete mixer and someone else earth or nettles. all together you can buy a pottery kiln. It is just less sort of scarey trying to make what seems simple a bird bath or garden chair with others, when you run out of ideas another person has them. If you can stop them being negative, Who has leadrership qualities. I have brought a jujub tree this summer and it had a few fruit on it so i can send the seed in those t, to whoever, it only had a few though, the jub jub plants they sell in Spain come from france, i think, the french spent a lot of time in North Africa and like them and grow them. I saw some old japanese couple on CNN selling maple leaves to decorate japanes dishes i don't think they eat them, i have tried one and did not like it, maybe some varieties are better than others. agri rose macaskie.
posted 11 years ago
This economic crisis may or may not keep getting worse... but really, in a way, that may be a blessing for the earth and maybe also for permaculture, if not so much for us as individuals...
With additional free time, COMMUNITY NETWORKING may be a very powerful thing to invest time in...
A resource inventory for the block, the neighborhood? Who has what skills, what tools, what unused space do people have? what are individuals and families needs? Much can be accomplished when people pool resources! Barter and trade, rotating workparties to help each other out in tough times... Is there an unused lot for a community garden? Get the neighborhood involved.
Then there's always selling your skills at what you allready know. Sliding scale is good for that, so that people who are in a similar situation can learn without too much of a hit.
Also check the local health food markets...any niche products you can fill? Do they have local wheatgrass? Sprouts? Raw crackers? etc...
No gas/acess to vehicles? Maybe someone in your area has a bike to donate, bike trailers are not too hard to build or get on the cheap...goes quite a long ways unless your trying to sheetmulch the world. We're a family and we have no vehicle. ( feel free to contact me for bicycle tips)
I'm glad you brought up this topic because I can sure relate, and I think it will become ever increasingly relevant. Good luck!
PS dumpster colleges at the end of quarters and semesters. EBAY and Yard sales. You wouldnt belive what gets thrown out!
Location: North Central Michigan
posted 11 years ago
i was wondering if we can get an update on how the summer went, what your plans are for fall and winter and if the truck got fixed, basically..how did things go.
Bloom where you are planted.
posted 11 years ago
Brenda you said you had lots of willow for basket making, there are sort of little houses bill mollison makes for plants in Africa, you can see his houses to protect seedling from the sun and hot air in the youtube video, tap in "bill mollison" and press search and of the options that appear chose and tap on "dryland permaculture strategies part 2" and you will see his shelters for plants, probably you could make prettier ones in willow if your good at making pretty things, some people are just good at it, i am often a bit messy making htings and sell them. In basket making you soak th estuff you are going to make the baskets with a bit before using it to make it more supply. If you want to get interesting ideas for other things you can make for the garden with willow, and what i judge from on e of the videos from th elook of it to be arizonica branches, tap in "trellises" and start looking at some of the viedos they put up for your degustation under this heading and you'll soon find lots of ideas for making really pretty usefull and pretty garden items to sell. agri rose macaskie.
[shadow=red,left]We leave millions of kilometers of earth to lie fallow every year, heating up in the sun, naked soil that is dark and so absorbs energy, and it is also an accumulator of heat, leaving it bare we will heat up the world that can't cool itself down because greenhouse gasses reflect the energy escaping into outer space back towards the earth and so the heat can't escape. We can reduce green house gases making it easier for heat to escape and we can stop the earth from heating too much so there is less heat to lose[/shadow]
posted 11 years ago
I have another idea for helping to get buy for people hit by the crisis. i was watching the news last night on CNN and they talked of how there is an enormous rubbish problem in Egypt were they had killed the pigs for fear of swine flu, though it is said that really they were targeting the poor Christian population who owned the pigs and deal with the rubbish. The pigs ate all the kitchen scraps and so contributed to dealing with part of the rubbish problem. I don't mean that people who are looking for food for chickens or pigs should get hold of rubbish but i have thought that if people know people working in catering they could get the potato peelings and old lettuce leaves and cabbage leaves and sprouts and such to fed hens or pigs with. That would be cheaper and easier than growing food, using what was already grown and thrown away. Maybe it would be feed that had not been ecologically produced but it could make things easier for some. Normally a hen that gives eggs is as basic a stand by for the poor as are potatoes in hard times, as are goats that can feed on waste land and beside the road and perhaps with vegetables thrown out from restaurants schools and other catering businesses too. As i have said on other bits of these forums my grandmother cooked up potato peelings and the discarded leaves of vegetables and boiled them up in a tin bucket and fed them to the hens. she had an aga so cooking things was no problem. They could be cooked in a solaroven, making solar ovens is another idea for making money in these hard times. In my book on trees and their traditional uses Juan Oria de la Rueda y Salguero he mentions boiling up potatoes with the leaves of the oak quercus pyrenaica and straw for pigs, in winter they collected the fallen leaves of the tree, not to fatten them but to maintain them. It would not be necessary to cook up the vegetables for goats I suppose, maybe raw potatoes are bad for all animals. Maybe it is not really necessary to cook these things for other animals either, i don't know, my grandmothers and mother are dead so i can't ask them why she cooked them, might try asking my uncle. cooked food can be easier to digest and so more nutritious maybe hens need it cooked. Agri rose macaskie.
Like listening to horses idea of selling seedlings, i suppose that brings you in money quick, seedlings can grow pretty quickly and i know how i lack confidence producing my own so their must be a lot of people who want to buy the seedling instead of the seeds. I have just started trying to better my abilities with seeds and planted the seeds from out of some tomatoes and cucumbers and such just to learn with and some are coming on well. I have grown trees from seed but not veggies. its easier to handle a few seedlings than lots.
I suppose seed balls could be a good way of making money too. The idea of making them makes me feel lazy or at least wonder how to fit in time to make them and if i find something makes me feel lazy there must be others who feel the same as me, who would rather buy them.
Was it Gwen Lyn who talked of a freind sending her a card in which seeds were incorporated into the paper. I did not really understand what she was saying at first when i did it seemed a good idea. Would not that be easy to make? To make homemade paper don't you just put lots of paper or card to soak till it breaks down and then roll it out and dry it, i think, i have read about it somewhere as a sort of game for children. I beat you only have to put, "paper making" or "homemade paper making" into google to find out how. If your were doing it as a fun growing method the quality of the paper would not matter much. You could do a potatoe print of a heart or love on it, don't they say things grow better with positive words written on them, that water has better properties if you write love on the pipes that carry it, can't hurt to try that trick out.
I used to collect my own seed in some cases, I'd wait till the viola seed was just ripe, before the seed case catapulted it, the seeds out, so i could collect them, I had to observe the plants a bit to find out about their seeds but once done they can be collected. I started collecting some clover seed this summer and it was not to hard to do, if i had not been busy with so many other things i put first, i could have collected a lot. The artemisa seed, one of the ingrediants of Fukuokas seed balls for bettering soils not for growing rice and wheat crops is not ready yet. I cut down the plants this year I want the space they grow in but have not been able to really decide to pull them out so may be they are seeding late as a result of being cut down. I have started to plant plants that i want to allow to seed such as lettuces and leaks so i can collect the seeds of vegetables. I saw some flowering leaks they have a really strange botaniocal garden here with a pretty lay out and good trees and then instead of exotic plants beds of strawberries and such everybday things. So i learnt that leaks make specatacular big flowering plants. I also have a photo of flowering eygyptian onions, in a gardening book, their stems are a sculptural shape really nice to have in the garden. Maybe the asthetic is not seriouse, but if you deny a part of human nature it may spring up and hit you in an uncontrolled and destructive way. agri rose macaskie.
posted 11 years ago
I have an idea for making money that i have been meaning to write about for a week and more, i am getting cross with myself for not writting it. It is to make solar ovens to sell if you are good at carpentry and such and if not and want a cheap cooking method you can just make yourself messy ones out of card board.
I imagine they would sell for curiosity value because they are new, if for nothing else, though it seems that once hooked people reallly enjoy using them. Look at your nearest town and think how many people there are there. There are so many people alll over the world that selling things should be easy if they are products that aren't in every one dollar shop.
An example of a smart solar oven, made by a Canadian that would, i should think, sell well, is to be found if you put the words "solar oven - first issue", into youtube, it is by hipofalcon who is using it in winter in Canada, a cold place but apparently with clear skies. A design in cardboard that has ideas that could better hipofalcons design is made by, allseasoncooker and to be found in you tube under the title "the all season cooker".
There are more dangerouse types of cookers that would maybe work even in cold weather and less brilliant sunlight, ones with parabolic reflectors that concentrate the light they reflect on to one point, the bottom of the pot you are cooking or onto a line a certain distance from the long parabolic reflector, a line of sausages you wish to fry for example. These as well as being more powerfull and working with less sun, works to grill things. Parabolic solar cookers could burn things that weren't your sasages if you left them pointing in the wrong direction, they are dangerouse as fires too are, they need whatching i believe and storing where they aren't facing the sun and some burnable object, or fixed so they always look skyward were there is nothing but sky to burn.
If you want to see a variety of solar cookers and be convinced and understand a bit more about them, put into youtube "solar cooker project, National Geographic" to get a good introduction on them. and -: "Dan Rojas "green power science" who has millions of different projects for solar cooking. He seems to have enough money to buy endless bits and peices, maybe not a multimillionaire, nowdays they are billionaires but a person with enough spare to really experiment in a small way. He understands about science and is a good handy man. Maybe you can get lots of designs off him but some of the things he does with the sun include melting glass copper or setting light to concrete, that your normal houshold is not likely to want to do very often. He buys objects like fresnal lenses that work like big magnifying glasses, sort of plastic magnifying glass used around the lights of light houses for example and in filming and he buys mirrors and enomouse glass boxes that serve to keep the heat in that the relfectors shine on to the cooking pot.
- and, if you want to understand the ins and outs of box solar cookers, box cookers are the type hipofalcon makes and the safest so the best to make to sell, that are not likely to cause any fires, look at the many videos of solarcookingnut, she does not make exactly smart boxes that would sell like hipofalcon cooker made, in wood and metal, what she minds about is making cookers anyone could make with or without money and save themselves some electricity bills cooking with the sun instead of some more expensive type of energy. Though she does not teach you to make a smart box solar solar oven, her many examples of solar cookers teach you the ins and outs of them allows you to understand the principles of solar cooking better.
Articles on solar cookers in google are also a good way of getting to know them. Most of solarcookingnuts cookers are the cheap and praticle demonstration of google article cookers. She has additions of her own, at least i believe they are hers, like putting heavy bits of metal into the cookers to hold the heat in the oven if the sun goes behind the clouds.
MY experience trying to make solar cookers leads me to say that though the sides of the inside of the box in some cookers are lined with a reflective surface, aliminium foil, as are the reflectors, the concensuse seems to be that the surfaces in side the box of the box cookers should be black. Maybe her ovens reachj lower heats than other people bercause she put less reflctors on them.
If you are like me and the detective Monk, deciding which black paint to use might cause some heart searching, scared the smell of the paint will spoil or poison your meal. "DIY solar oven 60/40" youtube makes what seems to be a very efficient oven with a reflective inside to the oven box. Reflexive insides to the oven box are meant to reflect the heat back out of the oven thats why they are not considered as good as black insides to the box part of the cookers. i have thought that you could make the sides black by lining the boxes with black paper and that would solve the, what brand of paint is less dangerouse problem . i bought a pot of black barbacue painting paint.
I had a problem with the wind when i tried to use solar cookers. I suppose it woud be easy to make some sturdy wooden triangles to support the reflectores.I bet Paul Wheaton could make some really good ones. I have also thought one could make some triangular or rather irregular pyramidal cushions to put behind the reflectors to steady them, maybe full of hay. That would be quite an expense in material for the outside of the cushions. They would stand on their fat base, with the thin point of the triangle in the air to be placed behind the reflectors. May be you could make them cutting and sowing old fertiliser and feed sacks of woven plastic and that would not cost anthing.
I have found it really hard to learn to cut glass as a top and lid to the box part of box solar ovens. You can use turkey bags instead of glass to shut of the top of your solar oven but they don't sell them here in Spain in normal shops. I am going to be able to get them now, just before thanksgiving, in the american shop but i have had to wait a year for them. Turkey bags are an important part of lots of different solar oven designs. On the ones that are a sheet of aliminum folded so they have a back panel and the front bit turns up a bit and put on the ground the cooking pot placed on them it took me a while to realise the cooking pots were in a plastic bag, a turkey one. It also took me a while to realise they were not place directly on the plastic but on a small wire stand to keep them off the floor, the ground can absorbe the heat from the pots if they are placed directly on the ground and sometimes have another wire stand placed on top of them to hold out the plastic bag and stop it touching the cooking pot The cooking pots in box solar ovens are also placed on a wire stand though they are isolated from the ground by the cardboard box normaly several walls thick, they can still lose heat to the floor of the box.
If you are a woman, or a man who is not a handy man, it might take you a while to find out that you can buy sheets of aliminium and steel quite as easily as you can buy wood that can be usefull as reflectors for some solar cookers, except they rust, something that aluminium foil and mylar don't do. agri rose macaskie.
posted 11 years ago
I have another idea for earning money, for handy people, wind mills for energy.
I read or heard somewhere that though it costs a lot to make big windmills that serve the whole towns it is cheapish to make individual ones that serve a family and that if everyone who lives in a house with a garden has one, well that is a lot of the energy needs of a country provided for.
Making them has its difficulties there is a youtube video of one made by a boy who was at university studying engineering and his wind mill exploded one night or early morning he heard it make a lot of noise and looked out of the and saw it fly apart break and splinter, splinters going everywhere. I think thats how the story went, maybe he only heard it explode and saw the splinters when he went down in the morning. So the wind submits the wind mill to some pretty great forces, so maybe you should not make ones that are too powerfull, i have seen ones around that have not exploded so it must be possible to make safe ones. agri rose macaskie.