Complete plans, instructions, and color photos show precisely how to make 30 original projects to help you live a more self-sufficient lifestyle. Have you ever wanted to build your own chicken coop, cider press, or herb-drying rack? How about a clever two-bin composter, horse-blanket washing machine, or genuine Langstroth beehive? In Practical Projects for Self-Sufficiency, you'll find these projects and a couple of dozen more to help you develop and grow your self-reliant lifestyle. Where most self-sufficiency books give you pages of words and a couple of small drawings for an explanation, this book shows you exactly how to do things, employing beautiful photos and complete plans in the best Cool Springs Press tradition. The book's projects are organized into four categories: Food Prep & Preservation, Homestead, Garden, and Animals. Within these categories we've carefully chosen a broad range of popular projects, often with a creative touch or two to make them easier to build or more efficient to use. A simple brooder box for chicks, a jumbo cold frame, a basic loom, a large-capacity soil sifter that won't give you a backache, fencing, trellises, and even a solar oven are included in the list of dynamic project plans. So whether you're a longtime do-it-yourselfer looking to complete your skill set or a newcomer taking your first step toward sustainability, Practical Projects for Self-Sufficiency is the book to get you there.
Chris Peterson is a veteran home improvement and design author. Among the many books he has written are 5-Gallon Bucket Book, Building with Secondhand Stuff, Manskills, four books in the Ideas You Can Use series, and many books in Cool Springs Press's BLACK+DECKER Complete Guide series. He has also co-authored numerous home design books with noted media celebrities. He lives in Ashland, Oregon.
Philip Schmidt (Golden, CO) is an avid environmentalist and a home improvement expert who has written many successful DIY books, including Build Your Kids a Treehouse, The Complete Guide to Patiosand The Complete Guide to Contemporary Sheds.. He lives in Golden, CO
"If you are one of the many backyard farmers, this book has 30 projects to help you enjoy the fruits of your labors. Peterson (Building with Secondhand Stuff) and Schmidt (The Complete Guide to Greenhouses & Garden Projects) lend their considerable expertise to these plans. Clear, step-by-step instructions are paired with large photos. The projects are very doable, even for beginners. Sections cover food prep and storage, outdoor building projects, and small animal enclosures. However, this collection has odd choices. Some projects really stand out, such as the cider press, manual laundry washer, solar still, loom, and strawberry planter with mesh cover, but others appear less related€”doggy-door installation, kit shed, fire pit, etc. The designs related to raising bees or chickens are better covered by specialized books, such as Kim Flottum's Backyard Beekeeper or Storey Publishing's The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals. VERDICT This is a well-organized book with great instructions, but unless one is hunting actively for these particular projects, it falls a little flat. Recommended where variety is desired." €” Library Journal