Resource Library

This is a constantly growing repository of resources gathered from around the internet. Each one is in some way related to our efforts to create strategies to feed, clothe, house, and transport ourselves in a post-fossil-fuel world. If you have resources you’d like to contribute, please contact us.

Notes on resources in the library:

The information provided is current to the best of our knowledge. If a link is broken, please notify us. All of the resources below are either in the public domain, creative commons, or copyright of the publisher. Only public domain and appropriate creative commons works are stored remotely by the institute. Copyrighted information is linked, not distributed or stored.

Typical entries are given in the following format: Title (Author, Year) [Type]

The following notes are added to entries:

* Physical copy available for viewing at the institute.
¹ Digital copy also available at the institute.

1 Feed

As humans have been feeding themselves for longer than any other activity and it is the most vital to survival, this section is the most diverse. Human subsistence has changed from largely vegetarian gathering to mixed hunting and gathering followed by a transition to plant and animal domestication. The way in which people have fed themselves is so varied that many fossil-fuel-free solutions are available and we are only able to scratch the surface here.


1.1 Water

Coming soon.

1.2 Plants

The Greening of America (Reich, 1970) [BOOK]*
The Conversion to Sustainable Agriculture: Principles, Processes, and Practices (Gleissman and Rosemeyer, 2010) [PDF]¹
Organic Farming – A Promising Way of Food Production (Konvalina, 2016) [PDF]
Re-Purposing the Master’s Tools: The Open Source Seed Initiative and the Struggle for Seed Sovereignty (Kloppenburg, 2013) [PDF]¹

1.2.1 Garden

Bioshelter Market Garden: A Permaculture Farm (Frey, 2011) [PDF]¹
Crockett’s Victory Garden (Crockett, 1977) [BOOK]*
Everything You Need to Know about Mulch (Tollefson, n.d.) [WEB]
The Forcing, Fruit, and Kitchen Gardner (Nicol, 1802) [PDF]¹
Germination Temperature (Clothier, n.d.) [WEB]
Grow Your Own Vegetables (Klein, 2007) [BOOK]*
Homesteading Guide for the Garden Homesteader (Ellis, 2013) [PDF]¹
Micro Eco-Farming: Prospering from Backyard to Small Acreage in Partnership with the Earth (Adams, 2004) [PDF]¹
Perennial Vegetables: From Artichoke to ‘Zuiki’ Taro, a Gardener’s Guide to Over 100 Delicious, Easy-to-Grow Edibles (Toensmeier, 2007) [PDF]¹
The Organic Gardener’s Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control (Ellis and Bradley, 1992) [BOOK]*
The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times (Deppe, 2010) [PDF]¹
Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners (Ashworth, 2002) [PDF]¹
Vegetable cultivars and planting guide for Wisconsin gardens (University of Wisconsin Extension, 2011) [PDF]¹
Vegetable Planting Calendar (Missouri Extension, 2000) [PDF]¹
A Visual Guide: Tomato Foliage, Stem & Root Problems (Missouri Botanical Gardens, n.d.) [PDF]¹

1.2.2 Orchard/Bush

Edible Wild Plants: Eastern/Central North America (Peterson, 1977) [BOOK]*
How to Espalier Fruit Trees (Stark Brothers, n.d.) [WEB]
Tree Crops: A Permanent Agriculture (Smith, 1950) [PDF]¹

1.2.3 Mushrooms

Growing Oyster Mushrooms (Vela Creations, n.d.) [WEB]
A Letter from the Reverend Mr. Roger Pickering, V.D.M. to Cromwell Mortimer, M.D. Secr. R.S. concerning the Seeds of Mushrooms (Pickering, 1743) [PDF]¹
A Letter from the Reverend Mr. Roger Pickering, V.D.M. to Cromwell Mortimer, M.D. Secr. R.S. concerning the Propagation and Culture of Mushrooms (Pickering, 1744) [PDF]¹
Mushroom Culture: Its Extension and Improvement (Robinson, 1873) [PDF]¹
Mushrooms: How to Grow Them (Falconer, 1901) [PDF]¹
Oyster Mushroom Cultivation (Mushworld, 2004) [PDF]¹
A Simplified Overview of Mushroom Cultivation Strategies (Stamets, 1996) [WEB]

1.3 Animals

The Backyard Homestead: Guide to Raising Farm Animals (Damerow, 2011) [PDF]¹

1.3.1 Worms

Coming soon.

1.3.2 Chickens

Keeping Chickens in North Carolina (NCES, 2008) [WEB]¹

1.3.3 Bees

4-Frame Extractor (Bee Source, 1999) [PDF]¹
5-Frame Langstroth Nucleus Hive (Bee Source, 2011) [PDF]¹
10-Frame Assembly Jig (Bee Source, 1998) [PDF]¹
10-Frame Langstroth Bee Hive (Bee Source, 2015) [PDF]¹
Backyard Beekeeping (Alabama Extension, 2004) [PDF]¹
Bee Friendly: A Planting Guide for European Honeybees and Australian Native Pollinators (Leech, 2012) [PDF]¹
Beekeeping Basics (Penn State Extension, 2007) [PDF]¹
Beekeeping for Dummies (Blackiston, 2009) [PDF]¹
Build a Honey Extractor (Simon, 2009) [PDF]¹
Dadant Type Frames (Bee Source, 1999) [PDF]¹
First Lessons in Beekeeping (Dadant, 1918) [PDF]¹
Hogan’s Jig for Cutting Handholds (Bee Source, 2011) [PDF]¹
Inner Cover for Langstroth Hive (Bee Source, 2011) [PDF]¹
Keeping Bees: A Complete Practical Guide (Peacock, 2008) [PDF]¹
Kentucky Beekeeping: A Guide For Beginners (Webster, 2013) [PDF]¹
Langstroth Inner Cover (Bee Source, 2011) [PDF]¹
Nucleus Mangement (Disselkoen, 2008) [PDF]¹
A Practical Manual of Beekeeping (Cramp, 2008) [PDF]¹
Queen Rearing Without Grafting and Miticide-Free Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 (Disselkoen, 2011) [PDF]¹

Coweta Beekeeper Series

January 18 – Prepare for Spring (Page, 2016) [PDF]¹
February 1 – Reduce Swarming and Increase Honey Production (Page, 2016) [PDF]¹
May 15 – Make Increases (Page, 2015) [PDF]¹
May 22 – Make Splits (Page, 2015) [PDF]¹
June 10 – Summer Queens (Page, 2015) [PDF]¹
August 15 – Prepare for Winter (Page, 2015) [PDF]¹
October 20 – Finish Winter Preparation (Page, 2015)[PDF]¹

1.3.4 Fish

Aquaponic Gardening Rules of Thumb (Bernstein and Lennard, 2017) [WEB]
Construction of Automatic Bell Siphons for Backyard Aquaponics Systems (Fox et al., 2010) [PDF]¹

1.3.5 Sheep, Goats

Coming soon.

1.3.6 Traction Animals

Coming soon.

1.3.7 Dogs, Cats

Coming soon.

1.4 Infrastructure

The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre (Madigan [ed.], 2009) [PDF]¹
Backyard Projects for Today’s Homestead (Gleason, 2010) [PDF]¹
Bokashi Composting Comprehensive Guide with Recipes (Madison Area Permaculture Guild, 2017) [PDF]¹
The Bountiful Solar Greenhouse (Smith, 1982) [PDF]¹
Building a Simple and Inexpensive Greenhouse (Hylton, n.d.) [PDF]¹
Cold-Climate Greenhouse Resource (U of MN Extension, 2013) [PDF]¹
The Earth-Sheltered Solar Greenhouse Book (Oehler, 2007) [PDF]¹
The Food and Heat Producing Solar Greenhouse (Yanda and Fisher, 1980) [PDF]¹
Greenhouses for Homeowners and Gardeners (Bartok, 2000) [PDF]¹
Greenhouses, Hydroponics & Aquaponics (Edmunds and Sawyer, n.d.) [PDF]¹
Hobby Greenhouse Construction (AL Co-op Extension, 1989) [PDF]¹
Irrigation Systems and Practices in Challenging Environments (Lee, 2012) [PDF]
Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre (Markham, 2010) [PDF]¹
One-Acre Homestead (McDonald, 2012) [PDF]¹
Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Vol. 1, Vol. 2 (Lancaster, 2009) [PDF]¹
Walipini Construction (The Underground Greenhouse) (Benson Institute, 2002) [PDF]¹

1.5 Processing

Coming soon.

1.6 Preservation

Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables (Bubel and Bubel, 1991) [BOOK]*

1.7 Preparation (Recipes, etc.)

Diet for a Small Planet (Lappé, 1982) [BOOK]*
Food Safety Assessment of Kombucha Tea Recipe and Food Safety Plan (BC Center for Disease Control, 2015) [PDF]¹
Recipes for a Small Planet (Ewald, 1973) [BOOK]*


2 Clothe

For 700,000 years humans have clothed themselves to buffer their tropical-adapted bodies against the cold, wet, and windy parts of the world. We learned to create a tropical microenvironment within our clothes, whether they be animal skins or woven plant or animal fibers. Here we have started to collect resources for clothing yourself without the use of fossil-fuel inputs.


2.1 Cloth

Coming soon.

2.2 Leather

Coming soon.

2.3 Knitting & Crochet

How to Knit (Knitting Help, n.d.) [WEB]

2.4 Sewing

Sewing Green: 25 Projects Made with Repurposed & Organic Materials (White, 2009) [BOOK]*

2.5 Patterns

Coming soon.


3 House

Humans first built shelters in seasonal camps before 10,000 years ago. Hunter-gatherers would move from one location to another depending on what resource was available at that time of year. This seasonal sedentism was a precursor to the permanent hamlets, villages, and towns that grew during the adoption of agriculture, starting 10,000 years ago. Humans have derived myriad housing solutions, from buildings of stone or snow to animal skins and wood. Below are a few links that describe different ways of housing ourselves with less fossil-fuel inputs.


3.1 Structure

Build Your Own Low-Cost Log Home (Hard, 1977) [BOOK]*
The Complete Guide to Home Carpentry (Black and Decker, n.d.) [PDF]¹
Earth Sheltered Homes (U of MN, 1978) [PDF]*
Earthbag Housing: Structural Behaviour and Applicability in Developing Countries (Daigle, 2008) [PDF]¹
Fences, Gates, and Bridges (Martin, 1892) [PDF]¹
Forty Lessons in Carpentry Workshop Practice (Mitchell, 1896) [PDF]¹
A Material and Structural Analysis of Earthbag Housing (Vadgama, 2010) [PDF]¹
The Natural Building, The Permahome (Natural Homes, n.d.) [WEB]
Small House Designs (Canadian Architects for Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation, 1965) [PDF]¹
Structural Resistance of Earthbag Housing Subject to Horizontal Loading (Croft, 2011) [PDF]¹

3.2 Heating/Cooling

Ground Temperatures as a Function of Location, Season, and Depth (Reysa, 2015) [WEB]
Unconventional Insulation Materials (Dikmen and Elias Ozkan, 2016) [PDF]¹

3.3 Plumbing

Graywater Design Manual (San Francisco Water, Power, Sewer, 2012) [PDF]¹

3.4 Power

3.4.1 Solar

Solar Angle [Calculator] (Gronbeck, 2009) [WEB]

3.4.2 Wind

Aerodynamics of Wind Turbines (Hansen, 2008) [PDF]¹
Fundamental and Advanced Topics in Wind Power (Carriveau, 2011) [PDF]¹



4 Transport

It is hard to say when humans started traveling long distances, but on land, it was certainly by foot until the domestication of animals and the invention of the wheel some time after the adoption of agriculture, starting 10,000 years ago. It is less clear when boats were first invented, but they seem to precede the invention of agriculture, although early boats are better described as rafts or — at their most complex — skins stretched over a round wooden frame. Here are some resources that describe various transportation solutions that do not require significant fossil-fuel inputs.


4.1 By Foot

Pack Basket (zowi420, n.d.) [WEB]

4.2 By Wheel

Coming soon.

4.2.1 Bicycle
DIY Bucket Panniers (Smart Trips Ithica, 2016) [PDF]¹
4.2.2 Carts, Wheelbarrows

Coming soon.

4.2.3 Externally Powered

Coming soon.

4.3 By Animal

Making A Homemade Donkey Straddle For The Wicker Pannier Baskets (Way Out West Blog, 2016) [VIDEO]
New Donkey Panniers (Creels, Wicker Baskets) For Nell (Way Out West Blog, 2016) [VIDEO]
Using The Homemade Donkey Panniers (Way Out West Blog, 2016) [VIDEO]

4.4 By Water

How to Build the Sassafras Canoes (Chesapeake Light Craft, 2014) [PDF]¹

4.5 By Air

Coming soon.


5 General References

What follow are books and readings that do not fall into the technological categories described above. They are either anthologies or collections of various technologies or more philosophical think-pieces about self-sufficiency.


5.1 Anthologies and Collections

The Foxfire Book (Wigginton, 1972) [BOOK]*
Foxfire 2
(Wigginton, 1973) [BOOK]*
Foxfire 3
(Wigginton, 1975) [BOOK]*
Foxfire 4
(Wigginton, 1977) [BOOK]*
Ready, Set, Green: Eight Weeks to Modern Eco-Living
(Hill and O’Neill, 2008) [BOOK]*
Soil and Health’s “Good Books” [WEB]
United Diversity Co-op Library [WEB]
The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-Sufficiency Living in the Heart of the City (Coyne and Knutzen, 2008) [BOOK]*

5.2 Think-Pieces

The Distribution Age (Borsodi 1927) [PDF]¹
Flight From the City (Borsodi, 1933) [PDF]¹*
This Ugly Civilization (Borsodi, 1929)¹