Primitive Grain Storage Technique

When thinking about technology, I like to play with the idea of what is the absolute minimum you need to get the job done.  This may be because I’m not very handy at building things, but yet have survivalist tendencies. So while I’m pretty sure I’ll never actually have any need for these skills, it’s fun to think about how I’d get by in a DIY world. So I was delighted when I ran across this minimalist grain storage...

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It’s official: I’m a Ham

...about what’s going on “under the hood.” I wish I had discovered amateur radio when I was younger–I might have struggled with math less had I had a hobby to motivate studying. My interest in appropriate technology was another reason. There is a ham I met online who is constructing a website that will be of interest to readers of this blog–he was inspired by John Michael Greer’s writing on ham radio. I’ll s...

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A Year After the Age of Limits: Mr. Homegrown’s Take

...he positive side, it was a pleasure to hang out with and talk to John Michael Greer. Throughout the conference he held court outside the tent and discussed many of my favorite topics: organic gardening, Ham radio, appropriate technology, fraternal societies and even letterpress printing. When a talk or activity annoyed me, I’d walk out and find Greer. What I would have liked to have seen at the Age of Limits was a wider range of voices. A f...

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The Elysium Delusion

...en spending enough time looking down at our feet. The fact is that earth is a paradise, space is a vacuum and Mars is a hell. We have to work with what we have. In my cranky opinion, the future is in down-to-earth appropriate technology, not space stations.We need to plant gardens here on earth not in the vacuum of space. I’ll note that the farms in these space colonies look an awful lot like the dystopian factory farms we have down on eart...

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Time for some comments . . .

Photo by Andreas Gursky. We had thought that we’d just have a few posts about the Age of Limits conference and get back to the appropriate technology and home economics posts that are the norm at Root Simple. But, judging from the comments and emails we’ve been getting, it seems we’ve brought up a topic that needs deeper exploration, so we’re going to do a few more posts related to the Triple Headed Hydra of Despair: Cl...

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A Parvati Solar Cooker

Damn, is solar cooking easy! Put some rice in a pot, place the pot in this simple panel cooker, made with cardboard and aluminum foil, stick it out in the sun and two hours later you have lunch. We built our “Parvati” solar cooker with plans designed by Shobha Ravindra Pardeshi that can be found here. Pardeshi, who runs an “appropriate technology” company with her husband in India has another design for a similar dish-sha...

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Build a Solar Dehydrator

...ral years ago and have used it each season for tomatoes, figs and for making dried zucchini chips. You can find plans for this “Appalachian Dehydrator”, designed by Appalachian State University’s Appropriate Technology Program, in the February/March 1997 issue of Home Power Magazine. The February/March 1999 issue of Home Power features a refinement of this plan, but we just built the original design and it works fine. The origin...

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Steve Solomon’s Soil and Health e-Library

...I. Rodale and Ehrenfried Pfeiffer. The “Homesteading” part of the library contains tomes dating from the 1700s (William Ellis’ The Country Housewife’s Family Companion), all the way to the appropriate technology movement of the 1970s (Gene Logsdon’s Getting Food From Water: A guide to Backyard Aquaculture).  So go load up those e-readers. Or maybe print them out in case we have a revolution....

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Post Petroleum Lecture

...sed the last lecture, raw milk outlaw and dairyman Mark McAfee, missed an engaging, and provocative afternoon. So don’t miss this next one! From Khan’s announcement: Albert Bates is a permaculture and appropriate technology instructor at the Eco village Training Center at The Farm community in Summertown, Tennessee, inventor of solar cars, pedal flour sifters and cylindrical tofu presses, and author of eleven books, including Shutdow...

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Getting my Ham Radio License

...8217;m deep in the cultural dumpster I often run into fellow scavenger John Michael Greer, a.k.a. the Archdruid. When I met him at the Age of Limits conference he held court on some of my favorite forgotten ideas: appropriate technology, fraternal societies and Ham radio. A Ham himself, Greer recommended I read an amazingly odd book, Instruments of Amplification, which actually has directions for building your own transistors from junk. I’l...

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