The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Things I'll be learning in the near future

practical electrics1. How to make my own music.

2. How to tell a story with animation.

3. How to make our own electricity.

4. How to be more in touch with nature.

5. How to fly a powered parachute cross country.

6. How to grow more of our own food.

7. How to meet people as weird as myself.

8. How to sail a boat to Mexico.

9. How to make a Hobbit cave.    10. How to be an alchemist.

I would also like to know who really shot JFK, what really happened on September 11th 2001, and why Huckleberry never seems to be satisfied.

Image credit goes to for sharing the secret of perpetual motion.

Anna Hess's books
Want more in-depth information? Browse through our books.

Or explore more posts by date or by subject.

About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

Want to be notified when new comments are posted on this page? Click on the RSS button after you add a comment to subscribe to the comment feed, or simply check the box beside "email replies to me" while writing your comment.

Here is a great source for free books You can search by title or author. Sometimes I just roam through the catalog. Here is one for you-- The Boy Mechanic: Volume 1 by Popular Mechanics Co., another go to and scroll down to electricity. Many times the subject is part of the title which makes finding specific subjects easier. Knowing authors names is the biggest help, but just browsing finds many things.

Pick a letter under title or author and start scrolling, you'll be amazed at what is there.

Comment by vester Fri Nov 5 19:00:44 2010
I've really enjoyed browsing books on there. My only trouble is that I can't seem to tempt myself to really read whole books online. Maybe one of these days I'll get a kindle or something similar, or (hopefully), they'll come up with something more book-like for luddites like me. :-)
Comment by anna Fri Nov 5 22:02:14 2010

Have a look at Lister-CS derived low-rpm diesel engines powering an AC generator. Most of them can run on vegetable oil. Several companies in India and China are building clones. Search for "listeroid engines" and you'll get a lot of relevant links.

One could envision a scenario where you could grow enough oil seed to power the generator year round. Of course you'd have to figure in the power needs of an electrically driven oil expeller. According to this article, a listeroid engine driving a generator will consume about 1/4 of a gallon of oil per hour when delivering 2000 W of electricity.

This would be a carbon-neutral power solution. In essence you'd be using stored solar power. I'm not sure what the total efficiency would be like; I don't have a clue about how much acrage you'd need to grow enough oilseed.

But you can run the engine when the sun doesn't shine, and you could pump the coolant water a radiator in the house to help heat it in the winter.

Comment by Roland_Smith Sat Nov 6 03:41:12 2010
Right now, Mark's primary interest is pedal-power, although chances are he'll expand out as time goes on. Thanks for the info!
Comment by anna Sat Nov 6 20:12:48 2010

profile counter myspace

Powered by Branchable Wiki Hosting.

Required disclosures:

As an Amazon Associate, I earn a few pennies every time you buy something using one of my affiliate links. Don't worry, though --- I only recommend products I thoroughly stand behind!

Also, this site has Google ads on it. Third party vendors, including Google, use cookies to serve ads based on a user's prior visits to a website. Google's use of advertising cookies enables it and its partners to serve ads to users based on their visit to various sites. You can opt out of personalized advertising by visiting this site.