I’ve written several articles related to homesteading over the years, six of which I introduce here in this brief summary. I generally take a highly technical approach to homesteading (go figure—I trained as a mechanical engineer); however the last two articles in this summary relate to economic and social issues that intersect homesteading:
Describes a simple hydroponic grower design I’ve successfully used with strawberries. It is manually operated and gravity fed. The advantage is its simplicity, there are no sensors or pumps to power and coordinate. But therein also lies the disadvantage: In my opinion, scaling hydroponic food production to a level appropriate for homesteading will require computer control. Here is the article:
While I mostly buy hydroponic nutrient solution, I’d like to experiment with using earthworm manure or compost tea. I’d also like to experiment with ocean water (perhaps with the salt content diluted a bit).
Designing Geodesic Living Structures
Geodesic dome-based housing and storage proves popular among homesteaders, but the mathematics involved in these designs makes them difficult for architects and engineers to work with. To simplify that, I wrote a computer program that computes the framework (angles, face dimensions, and beam lengths) for such structures:
To see where this work is going, my “Homesteading” Pinterest board (see below) displays some beautiful house designs that employ this mathematics.
Designing a Battery Array (e.g. for Solar and Wind Power Generation)
This article describes a battery array I designed for a camping problem, but the method can scale up to address homestead design:
RV Hacks for Homesteading
A lot of homesteading starts in an RV, as per my experience. Here I describe applying engineering thinking to RV living:
I need to write a follow-up to this post to describe the modifications I’ve made to my RV since writing it, modifications that improve the full-time livability of the vehicle.
Economic and Social Articles Related to Homesteading
On Voluntary Frugality
I wrote the following brief argument for voluntary frugality as an anarchist principle. Always thought that homesteading largely fits the paradigm. (I’m not saying I practice voluntary frugality very well!):
Yes, I actually did this:
Optimism and Keeping the Dream Alive
I’m extremely optimistic about homesteading as a viable lifestyle and as a thrilling engineering challenge. To nurture and demonstrate my enthusiasm, I maintain an “intent” board on Pinterest that I review at frequently to orient myself for the long game as I face daily distractions: