The Real Know How

How-Tos, Videos, Tutorials — Ramping Up for the 21st Century

Archive for the category “save money”

How to Make an Inexpensive Vertical Axis Wind Turbine Using Plastic Barrels

Jeff Berezin of Berezin Technologies shows us how to make a vertical axis, Savonius wind turbine using plastic barrels.

Make Your Own Zoetrope Wind Turbine

“The Zoetrope is a vertical-axis wind turbine made from common materials such as stove pipe, metal brackets, plastic sheet and a trailer hub. Many of the materials can be found at local hardware or home improvement stores, the rest can either be made at home or purchased online. The Zoetrope was commissioned by Washington (USA) resident and renewable energy supporter Mike Marohn to provide supplemental water heating.

Applied Sciences made the decision to open source the wind turbine and provide a freely available introduction to wind power, thereby allowing others to improve the design and functionality.”

View the construction guide, templates, videos and CAD drawings for the Zoetrope here.

Since it is a vertical axis wind turbine, the Zoetrope avoids many of the problems of the horizontal axis wind turbines we are more used to seeing such as noise, creating hazards for birds and so on.

Tempeh-making

This video with Jessica Baucom was great because she talks about how to make tempeh (a fermented bean cake) with all kinds of beans (not just soy) and explains in a simple way the critical points in making tempeh.

“Tempeh is a great source of protein (with zero cholesterol!) and easy to digest – it’s also a great meat substitute.”

Here Anna Antaki of the Weeping Duck Farm shows us her commercial tempeh making operation.

Both Anna and Jessica make their tempeh in plastic bags, but you can make it just as easily (without having to deal with plastic touching hot food) in pyrex dishes or cookie sheets. I’ve made it this way before and it came out fine, albeit with thicker white growth on the side of the tempeh not in touch with the dish. Traditionally, in Indonesia, where tempeh first originated they use large leaves, like banana leaves to package the tempeh.

Herbs – How to Make a Cream

Rickvanman talks about the purpose of an herbal cream and how to make them.

How to Make An Alcohol Tincture – Step by Step

John Gallagher of learningherbs.com and mountainroseherbs.com walks us through making an herbal alcohol tincture.

Growing Grain On Your Farm to Combat High Grain Prices

Learn about what Organic Dairy farmers in Vermont are doing to combat high grain prices by growing their own grains.

Dead Simple, Cheap, Solar Food Dehydration

These methods probably wouldn’t work in Seattle or Vancouver, but if you have a sunny, dry climate these look like great, inexpensive ways to dry food.

Treatments for Exterior Earthbag Walls

There seem to be a number of ways to cover your completed earthbag “skeleton.”

Cement plastering in a hot, humid climate:

Cement over chicken wire in another hot climate:

Papercrete (ash, mud, newspaper)

Cob finished with paint and linseed oil

Make A Fridge Root Cellar

Step by step instructions for making a root cellar for under $10 using a worn out refrigerator from Mark and Anna who homestead in Virginia. You can read more about them and their other projects at their blog thewaldeneffect.org.

Using a Temperature Controller to Save On Kitchen-related Electricity Costs

I was pretty blown away by this project.

Mikey and Wendy live on an off-grid, homestead in New Mexico (see their Holy Scrap Homestead blog). As such, they were looking for more efficiency from their appliances. Mikey has come up with a temperature controller that has allowed them convert a small chest freezer into a refrigerator and so downsize from their full-size fridge that cost them a lot in energy and was underutilized.

The temperature controller can also be used to regulate temperature for stuff like tempeh and yoghurt making, incubation, heat pads, raising bread dough, and controlling the temperature on simple crockpots and on hot plates for tasks like candy-making. There are a lot of possible uses.

The design and instructions on how to build it are “open source” in other words, free, off his website but he also sells kits to build it yourself and already completed units from there, as well.

Here is Mikey talking about the controller and what he was able to do with it. BTW, I don’t know Mikey or Wendy and they haven’t asked me to blog this. Just stumbled across this and thought it should be shared.

Here’s Wendy making yoghurt using the device:

Wendy using the temperature controller to make tempeh:

Mikey raising bread dough.

Besides the temperature controller, Mikey has other useful open source projects.

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