Monday, April 20, 2015

Review - Practical Projects for Self-Sufficiency by Chris Peterson and Philip Schmidt

Have you ever noticed how completing a do-it-yourself (DIY) project is so much more rewarding than buying something already made?

There is, of course, a real sense of pride; moreover, it gives us the opportunity to choose earth-friendly materials and build an item which will last. It also feels liberating to know that we can sustain our lives without depending on the "big box stores".

Since buying our property last year, we've taken on many DIY projects. With some of them, like the blue bird nesting boxes, we needed information so that we'd build something suitable for the preferences of these beautiful birds.

We turned to the Internet for instructions and while we found several sites offering how-to tutorials, they often left out key information, like where to hang the box so that the birds would be protected from predators.

The other drawback to online information is that it's not always easy to carry a computer to the work area for easy reference.

Review - Practical Projects for Self-Sufficiency by Chris Peterson and Philip Schmidt

I was invited to read Practical Projects for Self-Sufficiency by Chris Peterson and Philip Schmidt.

This book is a DIYers dream and includes something for everyone.

Interested in growing potatoes? You'll find excellent instructions for building a Potato-Growing Box.

Perhaps you want to wash clothes, without electricity, and without having to use a tiresome wash board. The Manual Laundry Washer is easy to build, easy to use, and will save money and the environment.

There are projects for raising chickens, growing critter-proof strawberries, and even one which repurposes a clothesline support to serve as a trellis (a brilliant idea).

Each project begins with a photo of the finished item and a few paragraphs about why it's a worthwhile endeavor. Materials and tools are listed and, if required, a lumber cutting list. Next are the step-by-step instructions. Each step includes a numbered photo along with written instructions.

Most of the projects include additional tips and information. For example, in the section about building a Teepee Trellis I learned about plant varieties which benefit from growing vertically ... some of them might surprise you. The instructions for building a Frame Loom include common weaving terms and a bit about using the loom.

Cool Springs Press has graciously given me permission to share an excerpt of the book with you. It's a great way to use the abundant variety of apples in the fall. Click the following link to read this tutorial:


My Thoughts

Practical Projects for Self-Sufficiency offers a variety of projects which are appropriate for everyone. Whether you live in a small space or have a lot of property, you'll find something which fits your needs.

The book measures approximately 8-1/2" x 11" ... the size of a standard piece of printing paper. I mention the size because if you've ever tried to reference a small instruction booklet, then you know that they are hard to use while working. The large pages of this book make it easy to follow along at a glance.

The instructions are complete, including everything you'll need to know to successfully finish the project.

I highly recommend this book ... it encourages readers to lead a more sustainable lifestyle and offers great ideas which are practical for today's world.

If you'd like a copy of this book, please click HERE for purchasing information.

I received a copy of "Practical Projects for Self-Sufficiency" in order to write this review. I received no other compensation. All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone and reflect my honest opinion of the material reviewed.

Image and excerpt courtesy of Cool Springs Press