Happy Homesteading On & Off the Grid

Sister Mag on Flipboard: Homestead Dreams | Homesteading On & Off the Grid

If Researchers are Right, This Rock Will Make Solar Power Cheaper than Coal

In 2007, a student at the University of Tokyo brought a lump of a grey, sparkly mineral to his professor Tsutomu Miyasaka, with the hope that this material might have potential to make cheap and efficient solar cells. But it only converted 4 perce…


Fire on the mountain | Foothill farm, St. Ignatius, MT


World’s First Dual Purpose Solar System Generates Electricity & Heat

This integrated rooftop solar system could be the future of solar energy. Combining PV and thermal systems creates a dual purpose solar roof which produces electricity and heat for the building. Though it’s in testing phase and not yet on the commercial market, this solar system hold great promise for the future of clean renewable energy.

The rooftop array combines thin-film solar photovoltaic (PV) panels with a solar thermal duct system that warms and cools the air. The top layer produces electricity from the sun just as a normal PV panel would, while heat is trapped between the layers and distributed to the home. SOURCE: Inhabitat

If you’re going to install a solar system on your home, it makes sense to combine multiple technologies which compliment one another. The logistical genius of this solar roof is a no-brainer for the distinguishing off gridder who wants more bang for their solar dollar.


Make a Biogas Generator to Produce Your Own Natural Gas

Transform grass clippings, food waste and livestock manure into renewable biogas energy with a homemade biogas generator.

By Paul Scheckel

Photo by Isaac Marquez


Turn an Old Camper into a Recycled Hen House

A thrifty homesteader from Oregon transformed an old, junky camper into a snug hen house.

By Karen Denman 

via Kirsten Dirksen  Jul 12, 2014

After working for years in Afghanistan, Jim Frasche began developing an aquaponics greenhouse in Colorado for communities in both Denver and Kabul (similar high altitude, cold climate regions) where local food wasn’t always readily accessible.

He sells his 500-square-foot aquaponics greenhouse for $25,000 (via Turnkey Aquaponics), but this is an income-producing garden. “Based on allocating a certain square footage of productivity to growing cash crops which you would sell to restaurants or food wholesalers you can cash flow a structure like this in about 2 years while still feeding a family of four.”

The price may be steep, but Frasche explains the idea is to qualify for a loan based on the payback period of the greenhouse.

Turnkey Aquaponics: http://www.fishngreens.com/

* Filmed by Johnny Sanphillippo — more of his stories about urbanism, adaptation & resilience: http://granolashotgun.com/