As a homeowner and vegetable gardener, I have an interest in greenhouses and cold frames. I wanted to know more about them, so I picked up a copy of Projects to Get You Off the Grid edited by Noah Weinstein, copyrighted in 2013, which had a photo of a do-it-yourself greenhouse on the cover along with photos of do-it-yourself chicken coops, solar panels, and more. These projects are all from Instructables.com, the most project-sharing community on the Internet. Instructables has over 80,000 projects covering all subjects.
I was blown away by the ingenuity of the authors of these projects. Each project is written and photographed by the builder of the project. Here is a list of the projects in the book, some of which are authored by women:
- Backyard chicken Coop
- Clipping chicken wings
- Chicken tractor for the city dweller
- Chicken barrow
- Wine barrel rain water collector
- Roughneck (plastic trash can) rain barrel
- Green solar-powered water barrel
- Rainwater collection and distribution system
- 1000 watt wind turbine
- Wind turbine
- Chispito wind generator
- Thermoelectric lamp
- 60 watt solar panel
- Solar power system
- PV solar panels
- Solar lawn mower
- Solar-powered fountain/herb garden
- Solar PV tracker
- Greenhouse from old windows
- Bioreactor from recycled water bottles
Most projects have several entries. So, for example, there are four different rain barrel projects in this book, each one more elaborate than the next. Unfortunately for me, there was only one greenhouse project. Still, these do-it-yourself experts’ stories can give you great ideas! The editor suggests you visit the Instructables’ online page where you will find more images, links, multimedia attachments, and downloadable material to help you. Other available volumes are: Extraordinary Projects for Ordinary People and How to Do Absolutely Everything.
Projects to Get You Off the Grid is nothing if not fascinating! The do-it-yourselfers write about their mistakes too so that you don’t make the same ones. They list the tools and materials you need for each project. Some also show them in a photo or diagram. Some of these projects took the authors several years to build because they scavenged for discarded and scrapped materials! This was the case for the greenhouse.
I just love people who use their ingenuity to create something useful or to solve a problem. Anyone who has success with projects like these has a feeling of satisfaction and pride. Each completed project is a good self-esteem booster. And anything that boosts your self esteem is good for your health.
***** 5 stars