Volunteers in Technical Assistance (VITA)

VITA publications

Volunteers in Technical Assistance (VITA) is a US-based private, nonprofit, international development organization that worked for 42 years helping to empower the poor and fostering self-sufficiency in developing countries, with emphasis on appropriate small-scale technologies for agriculture, food processing, renewable energy, water supply and sanitation, housing and construction, small business development. VITA's worldwide roster of volunteer technical experts responded to thousands of technical inquiries from around the world on development issues and problems each year.

VITA technical guides -- VITA published a wide range of practical guides and how-to's, from a few pages to complete manuals of 200 pages and more, clear instructions and easy-to-follow plans and illustrations. Useful guides on agriculture and animal husbandry, building and construction, business, industry and crafts, communication and transportation, energy, food processing, health and nutrition, stoves, ovens and kilns, water supply, natural resources, conservation.

In 2005 VITA merged with EnterpriseWorks, a Washington-based international non-profit organization that works with small business development programs. EnterpriseWorks/VITA:

VITA publications are available in full-text free online at Alex Weir's CD3WD 3rd World Development online library -- see below for book descriptions, with direct links for free online access.

CD3WD 3rd World Development online library index:

VITA books

New editions

Raising Rabbits and Cavies for Meat, by Harlan HD Attfield, illustrated by Catharine Roache & George Clark, VITA, new edition 2010 -- Overview of the entire process of raising rabbits: selecting healthy animals, feeding, treating disease, plus step-by-step instructions for building a hutch for two does and a buck. — 122 pages, 6.8Mb pdf

A Tropical Guide to Year Round Vegetable Gardening, by Harlan HD Attfield, illustrated by Marina Maspero, VITA, new edition 2010 — Clear, step-by-step home gardening guide to selecting and growing vegetables of high nutritional value year-round, using compost instead of chemicals, focus on tropcal leaf vegetables. — 85 pages, 5.8Mb pdf

A Beekeeping Guide for the Tropics and Subtropics, by Harlan HD Attfield, illustrated by Marina Maspero and others, VITA, new edition 2010 — Guide to caring for bees, building hives, improving honey production. — 117 pages, 7.1Mb pdf

Raising Chickens and Ducks, by Harlan H.D. Attfield, illustrated by Joseph Layne and Maria Maspero, VITA, new edition 2010 -- Guide to raising chickens or ducks to improve the family diet, and earn extra income. — 100 pages, 6.9 Mb pdf

VITA publications at CD3WD, with direct links for free online access:

"Village Technology Handbook" Vita Publications, 1963, 3rd edition 1988, 425 pages, ISBN 0866192751 -- One of the best resources for development workers and for self-sufficiency. Easy to read, fully illustrated, written to bridge the technical information gap that keeps the world's villages from learning from each other's experience. Construction plans for a wide range of useful tools, implements and techniques. Water, health and sanitation, agriculture, food processing and preservation, construction, home improvements, crafts and village industry, communications. New (1988) section on high yield gardening, malaria control, wind energy, and stabilized earth, revised and updated references.

1-kW River Generator
by Mathew G. Boissevain -- Operates at 6ft/s with 80% efficiency for each of three V belt speed-up stages. (A technical bulletin)

3-Cubic Meter Biogas Plant: A Construction Manual -- Low-cost, Indian-designed, continuous feed methane digester offers reliability and low maintenance. Step-by-step instructions are included.

A Design Manual for Water Wheels by William G. Ovens -- Construct an overshot water wheel to provide power for grinding grain or pumping water. Includes plans for attaching a simple pump.

Assessing Rural Needs: A Manual for Practitioners by Jeffrey Ashe -- Based on a system developed and tested over two years in 860 villages in Costa Rica. Focus on popular participation and employment generation through the stimulation of small business enterprises and small farms.

Automotive Operation and Maintenance by E. Christopher Cone -- A comprehensive manual designed primarily for drivers of four-wheel drive vehicles who use pioneer roads, and for novice mechanics who must depend upon their own resources in areas without extensive service facilities. Revisions reflect increased use of Japanese vehicles. 1992 Revised Edition.

Baked, Leavened Breads by Richard J. Bess -- Describes a small bakery operating with a single shift and producing 100 tons of baked products a year. It also describes a medium-sized plant operation on the same basis but producing 250 tons of baked goods a year. 6pp

Bamboo Construction -- Useful 2,000-word illustrated guide on one of the oldest building materials, uses simple tools: Splitting and preserving bamboo, Bamboo joints, Making bamboo board, Bamboo walls, partitions, and ceilings.

Bilharziasis -- An estimated 150 to 250 million people suffer from bilharzia. Explains in general terms what is necessary for personal protection and for ridding an area of the disease.

Biogas Systems in India by Robert Jon Lichtman -- Thoughtful economic and social assessment of selected Indian biogas systems. Comments on potential fuel and fertilizer source, and on cultural and economic impact. Appendices include detailed resource analysis and computer simulation.

Biomass Stoves: Engineering Design, Development, and Dissemination by Samuel F. Baldwin, Princeton University, 1987 -- Lengthy, detailed illustrated guide.

Blacksmith's Forge and Bellows by Allen Inversin -- Uses wood scraps and old inner tubes to make a hand-operated bellows. (A technical bulletin)

Candle Making -- System developed by the Environmental and Development Agency in South Africa uses a special jig for making four candles at a time. Illustrated.

Centrifugal Honey Extractor -- Easy to build, simple to operate device to extract honey from the comb. (A technical bulletin)

Chain Link Fence Making Machine -- Step-by-step procedures for parts manufacture and assembly of a hand-operated machine for making chain link fencing. (A technical bulletin)

Chris Ahrens' Greenhouse by Chris Ahrens -- Simple to construct A-frame greenhouse. Illustrated. (A technical bulletin)

Comparing Charcoal and Wood-burning Cookstoves in the Caribbean by Jeffrey L. Wartluft -- A year's study of both indigenous and improved stove designs is summarized in this volume prepared for the Monteserrat Fuel- wood/Charcoal/Cookstove Project.

Comparing Simple Charcoal Production Technologies for the Caribbean by Jeffrey L. Warluft & Stedford White -- Results of a year's work with small-scale producers on the island of Montserrat, testing a variety of kilns and retorts. Compares efficiency, product quality, overall economics, and user acceptability. Illustrated.

Composting Privy by Harlan H. D. Attfield -- Complete instructions for digging pit and building the shelter. (A technical bulletin)

Concrete Construction -- The importance of a good mixture and the materials used: calculating amounts of materials, mixing, testing concrete mixtures, making forms, placing concrete in forms, curing, making quick-setting concrete.

Construction Glues -- Making and using casein glue, which produces joints as strong as or stronger than most of the common species of wood, made from skim milk and common chemicals, also liquid fish glue.

Cookers and Stoves: Fireless Cooker -- Where fuel is scarce, this easy-to-build fireless cooker keeps food cooking with a small amount of heat stored in hot stones; loss of heat is prevented by a thick layer of insulating material around the pot. Illustrated how-to.

Dimension Hardwood by Nicolas Engalichev -- Describes a medium-sized mill operating with one shift that produces 4,500 cubic meters of dimension hardwood per year. Some information is also provided for a mill twice as large. 8pp

Double-Drum Sawdust Stove by Jeffrey L. Wartluft Sawdust-burning heat stove constructed from empty oil drums. (A technical bulletin)

Earth Moving Devices for Irrigation and Road-Building -- Careful preparation of land for irrigation and good water usage saves water, labor, and soil, and improves crop yields. Land can be prepared effectively with small equipment that can be made by farmers or small manufacturers and can be pulled by animals or farm tractors. Drag Grader, Fresno Scraper, Barrel Fresno Scraper, Float with adjustable blade, Buck Scraper, V-Drag, Multiple Hitches.

Environmentally Sound Small-Scale Forestry Projects by Peter Ffolliott & John L. Thames -- An introduction to the planning of small-scale forestry projects, particularly as they may be integrated with agricultural and other land uses. (VITA-CODEL)

Environmentally Sound Small-scale Agricultural Projects by Miguel Altieri -- This manual is designed to assist those who plan and implement small-scale agricultural projects. Aims to increase the development worker's ability to design projects that are both environmentally sound and potentially more sustainable. (VITA-CODEL)

Environmentally Sound Small-scale Energy Projects by Elizabeth Ann Bassan -- This manual provides an introduction to ecological concepts, their relevance to energy development, and their interaction with the broader socioeconomic environment in which energy development takes place. (VITA-CODEL)

Environmentally Sound Small-scale Livestock Projects by Linda Jacobs, 1986 -- Details livestock management planning to minimize damage to the environment and enhance available resources. (CODEL/Heifer/VITA/Winrock)

Environmentally Sound Small-scale Water Projects by Gus Tillman, 1981 -- Manual written for community development workers in developing countries who are not water resources technicians -- a general guide when planning environmentally sound small-scale water projects which protect and conserve natural resources in a manner which allows sustainable development to take place.

Fish Oil and Fish Meal by S. Divakaran -- Describes two plants. The first is a 20-ton per day plant operating with an eight-hour shift and producing 8,000 tons of fish meal and 4,000 tons of fish oil a year. The second is a 40-ton plant operating an eight-hour shift and producing 8,000 tons of fish oil and 16,000 tons of meal per year. 8pp

Food Processing and Preservation -- How to care for various kinds of food, wide range of foods, practical advice, illustrated.

Freshwater Fish Pond Culture and Management by Marilyn Chakroff -- A comprehensive guide to planning, constructing, and maintaining small- scale warm water fish and pond operations. A valuable reference manual. Fully illustrated. 196pp

Gardening with the Seasons by Harlan H. D. Attfield -- Provides guidelines for vegetable gardening year-round. Useful in any tropical climate. Illustrated. 72pp

Grain Mill for Home Use by Walter B. Booher -- Easy to build wooden grinder for corn, wheat, and other grains. (A technical bulletin) 11pp

Gully Control and Reclamation by Robert D. Flannery -- How to stop gully formation, and reclaim eroded soil. (A technical bulletin) 26pp

Hand Operated Clothes Washer -- Two simple clothes washers are outlined in this Technical Bulletin. Both washers are easy to construct with readily available materials, and should help simplify washday chores.

Hand Papermaking -- In many areas of developing countries paper is scarce. Rural schools may not have enough paper for their students and market goods may be wrapped in old newspapers if at all. But paper can be made in small shops in small quantities. Access to electricity makes some of the steps easier, but is not absolutely necessary.

Handloom Construction: A Practical Guide for the Non-Expert by Joan Koster -- Well illustrated guide shows how to build three different kinds of handlooms. Includes guidelines for judging which loom to build and which materials are the best to use for weaving. 164pp

Health and Sanitation: Sanitary Latrines -- Detailed illustrated guide.

Home Flour Mill by Walter B. Booher -- This mill is made almost entirely of wood. Powered by a 1/4-hp electric motor, by wind power, or by hand (A technical bulletin) 14pp

Home Improvement: Simple Washing Machines -- Plunger type clothes washer: hand-operated washer makes washing clothes easier, simple for a tinsmith to build.

Home Soap Making -- Soap can be made in the home or village cheaply and easily. The main ingredients are fats and lye, both of which can be made from materials found throughout the world. Making soap at home is practical when there is waste fat or oil and when there is no cheap source of soap. Two basic methods.

How to Make Fertilizer by Harlan H. D. Attfield -- Basic introduction to composting. Easy-to-follow, well-illustrated directions for making fertilizer with materials likely to be found in a village situation.

How to Perform an Agricultural Experiment by G. Stuart Pettygrove -- Provides local agriculturalists with the basics to consider in the design, execution, and measurement procedures of an agricultural experiment. 26pp

Hydraulic Ram by Allen Inversin -- Construct a low-cost ram from commercially available pipe fittings. Two homemade valves require only a drill press and hand tools to make. Delivers up to several thousand liters of water daily. Illustrated. 50pp

Improved Woodstoves: Users' Needs and Expectations in Upper Volta by Jacqueline Ki-Zerbo, 1980 -- Study of the improvement of stoves for the domestic use of firewood for cookingm, concentrates on the food habits, cooking practices, and the role people (particularly the women) could play in a program of stove improvement.

Intensive Gardening -- Intensively cultivated vegetable gardens can supply a great deal of a family's food from very little land. Basic techniques, illustrated. Silage for Dairy Cows -- Small dairy farmers with five or six cows can maintaingood health and a high level of production by using silage. Simple instructions, illustrated.

Irrigation: Siphon Tubes -- Galvanized metal siphon tubes can be used for irrigation. Easily made and repaired by tinsmiths. A siphon can also be made from a piece of rubber hose or by bending a piece of plastic tubing. Construction details, use. Illustrated.

Lab Tests of Fired Clay and Metal One-pot Chimneyless Stoves by Sam Baldwin -- A report of tests done to provide direction in development of optimal stove designs. Discusses advantages of stoves of this type. 37pp

Liquefied Petroleum Gas -- Describes two plants, operating with three shifts for 52 weeks per year. The smaller has an annual manufacturing capacity of 2,220,000 barrels; the larger has an annual capacity of 4,440,000 barrels. (Industry Profile)

Low Cost Development of Water Power Sites by Hans W. Hamm -- Enables the reader to assess the possibility and desirability of installing a small hydroelectric power plant. Discusses types of machinery suitable for installation, plus other turbine and generating equipment. 43pp

Low-cost Windmill for Developing Nations by Hartmut Bossel -- Complete construction details for building a low-cost windmill with easily obtained materials and non- precision work or machining. Multi- vaned fan-type windmill feathers automatically in high winds to prevent damage. 45pp

Making Building Blocks with the CINVA-Ram Block Press -- A supervisor's guide to using the CINVA-Ram block press. Detailed instructions for mixing material, organizing construction, and more. 26pp

Making Charcoal: The Retort Method -- An easy-to-build charcoal retort uses discard 55-gallon petrol drums. Provides high quality charcoal and tar by-products with less fuel than is required by other low tech methods. Easy to follow instructions. 28pp

Malaria Control -- Between 300 and 400 million people suffer from malaria, and five million die from it annually. Community preventive measures, personal preventive measures, treatment.

Oral Rehydration Therapy -- UNICEF and the World Health Organization estimate that more than three million children in developing countries die each year from serious bouts of diarrhea. Most of them die because their bodies have become dehydrated. WHO estimates that use of ORT saved over 200,000 lives in 1984. Simple how-to.

Overshot Waterwheel: A Design and Construction Manual -- This low-cost water wheel provides power to pump water, grind grain, and press oils or sugar cane. Gives construction details and design considerations. Illustrated. 74pp

Portable Metallic Cookstove by Andre Charette -- The product is a metallic, wood-burning cookstove designed to fit a pot of specific dimensions. It uses a small amount of wood and cooks rapidly. It can be made entirely from new or recycled sheet steel, with joints fastened by metal rivets or spot welding. The cookstove is designed for preparation of such foods as the rice and sauce or stew of Africa. Its manufacture is easily adaptable to other locations. Industry Profile

Postharvest Grain Loss -- Assessment Methods: A Manual of Methods for the Evaluation of Postharvest Losses by Kenton L. Harris and Carl J. Lindblad -- Food production loss and deterioration is a major food-limiting factor. Postharvest loss reduction can benefit from reliable loss estimates and cost/benefit comparisons.

Poultry Raising: Brooder with corral for 200 chicks -- This chick brooder is hinged for easy access to corral and brooder.. Used successfully in Ecuador and elsewhere to raise broilers for a cash crop.

Pour-flush Latrine -- Step-by-step photo guide to siting and building a pour-flush latrine. (A technical bulletin) 25pp

Raising Chickens and Ducks by Harlan H.D. Attfield -- This manual is intended for people who wish to raise chickens or ducks to improve the family diet and, possibly, earn some extra income. Moreover, chicken and duck manure is an excellent fertilizer for the vegetable garden or a valuable addition to the compost pile. The book is divided into two sections: the first deals with raising chickens at home, the second with raising ducks in wet areas.

Raising Rabbits by Harlan D. Attfield -- This manual presents an overview of the entire process of raising rabbits, from selecting healthy animals to preparing proper foods to treating disease. Includes step-by-step procedures for the construction of a hutch unit to house two does and one buck.

Reforestation in Arid Lands by Fred R. Weber with Carol Stoney -- Second edition of a manual first published in 1977, includes new sections, revised and updated text, with the material reorganized to make the manual easier to use. Detailed manual, illustrated.

Renewable Energy Dictionary, 1982 -- Encyclopedic dictionary comprised of up-to-date and authoritative definitions of terms used in renewable energy. Definitions are presented in the clearest and most concise language possible without detracting from their technical accuracy. Thoroughly cross-referenced for ease of use.

Savonius Rotor Construction: Vertical Axis Wind Machines from Oil Drums by Jozef A. Kozlowski -- Two-stage rotor for pumping water or three-stage rotor for charging auto batteries. Fully illustrated. 54pp

Seeds, Weeds, and Pests -- Seed cleaner, seed cleaning sieves, drying grain with wooden blocks, bucket sprayer, backpack crop duster.

Silk Screen Printing -- Silk screen printing is a simple, inexpensive method of producing multiple copies of attractive visual aids, posters, and other materials, including typewritten pages. Building and using a silk screen printer.

Six Simple Pumps: A Construction Guide -- A collection of options for simple, inexpensive pumps that are easy to build and maintain with local skills and materials. Includes complete building instructions with detailed drawings for a Diaphragm Pump, Spangler Pump, Inertia Pump, Animal Driven Chain Pump, and Archimedes Screw. 94pp

Small Ceramics Plant by Victor R. Palmeri -- Describes a small plant operating with one shift and producing 16,000 pieces a year. Also describes a medium- sized plant with a single shift producing about 80,000 units a year. 8pp

Small Farm Grain Storage Volume I: Preparing Grain for Storage by Carl Lindblad, Laurel Druben, 1976, 3rd Printing 1980 -- Set of three how-to manuals provide a comprehensive overview of storage problems for the small farmer. Volume I explains the structure of grain, the relationship between grain and moisture, the need for proper drying. One large section contains detailed, fully illustrated plans for constructing a variety of small-scale grain dryers.

Small Farm Grain Storage Volume II: Enemies of Stored Grain by Carl Lindblad, Laurel Druben, 1976, 3rd Printing 1980 -- Set of three how-to manuals provide a comprehensive overview of storage problems for the small farmer. Volume II is an in-depth study of two major enemies: insects and rodents, with guidelines for defining the size of the problem and protecting grain by both chemical and non-chemical means.

Small Farm Grain Storage Volume III: Storage Methods by Carl Lindblad, Laurel Druben, 1976, 3rd Printing 1980 -- Set of three how-to manuals provide a comprehensive overview of storage problems for the small farmer. Volume III contains a survey of storage facilities from the most traditional basket-type granary to metal bins and cement silos, emphasizes improving existing facilities: detailed construction procedures for an improved mud silo, storage in underground pits and sacks.

Small Michell (Banki) Turbine: A Construction Manual -- A low-cost water turbine that can provide AC/DC electricity for your home. Complete step-by-step instructions for making parts and assembly. Illustrated. 58pp

Small Scale Manufacture of Burned Building Brick by D. W. Thomas -- Outlines the making and burning of clay brick suitable for domestic building. Instructions for molding, drying, and firing clay brick are included, as well as directions for building a kiln. 22pp

Small-scale Paper Bag Manufacturing Process -- This process is for the manufacture of small, box-shaped paper bags, designed to make 500 bags per day with a labor force of 3 to 5 people. Uses labor as much as possible, and simple machinery where necessary to provide speed. The machinery is completely hand operated, and consists of a device for folding the bag tube and simple aids in hand-folding the bag bottoms.

Solar Convection Grain Dryer -- Experimental, low-cost grain dryer uses movement of heated air. (A technical bulletin) 4pp

Solar Cooker Construction Manual -- Easy to build, low-cost Fresnel-type lens gives a broad, uniform focal region the size of a cooking pot rather than a sharp, intense spot of heat. Fully illustrated, detailed instructions. 18pp

Solar Still by W. R. Breslin -- Build a small solar-heated distillation system to provide clean water for a variety of purposes. 36pp

Solar Water Heater -- Simple, low-cost thermosyphon water heater can provide up to 70 liters of hot water per day on a sunny day. Illustrated construction plans. 48pp

Stabilized Earth Construction by Alfred Bush -- An overview of the use of soil as a building material, with specific examples of high- and low-technology applications. 35pp

Starch, Oil, and Feed from Sorghum Grain by Peter K. Carrell -- Describes a small plant operating with three shifts on a seven-day work schedule and processing about 200 tons on sorghum a day. Facility may be considered a heavy industry because of the emission from the boiler and dryers and the noise from its high speed machinery. 8pp

Testing the Efficiency of Wood-burning Cookstoves -- Testing standards for wood-burning cookstoves, including laboratory controlled cooking and kitchen or field testing procedures. Established by an international panel of experts convened by VITA. Illustrated. 76pp

Understanding Adobe by Balla Sidibe -- Suggests an approach for improving traditional adobe as a building material, focusing on soil selection and the proper methods for controlling the moisture content of the material. 26pp

Understanding Agricultural Waste Recycling by Walter Eshenaur -- Discusses the general theory involved in recycling agricultural wastes and popular methods. 15pp

Understanding Agroforestry Techniques by Fred Weber & Carol Stoney -- Describes agroforestry methods of tree and shrub integration to protect erosion and improve the fertility and productivity of soil. 15pp

Understanding Aquaculture by Ira J. Somerset -- Discusses various methods of raising fish, shellfish, and molluscs for food and profit. 24pp

Understanding Batteries by Lee Merriman -- Provides a basic understanding of batteries and traces their development from the early 1800s to the present day. 18pp

Understanding Biogas Generation by Richard Mattocks -- Discusses flammable biogas production from weaste products for cooking, lighting, and fueling combustion engines and use of the digested waste as fertilizer.

Understanding Briquetting by Mac Cosgrove-Davis -- Describes the process of briquetting combustible materials for fuel. Focuses on simple technologies that can be employed on a small to intermediate scale. 22pp

Understanding Cereal Crops I: Wheat, Oats, Barley, and Rye by Roy M. Stephen & Betsey Eisendrath -- Provides information on cultural requirements, pests, and uses of wheat, oats, barley, and rye. 17pp

Understanding Cereal Crops II: Maize, Sorghum, Rice, and Millet by Roy M. Stephen & Betsey Eisendrath -- Provides information on cultural requirements, pests, and uses of maize, sorghum, rice, and millet. 19pp

Understanding Citrus Fruit Growing by Dr. Murray Gaskins Provides information on the requirements for effective management of a small citrus planting. 15pp

Understanding Clay Recognition and Processing by Miska Petersham Provides an overview of clay categories and processing methods. 18pp

Understanding Composting by J. Walter Fitts & Jerry B. Fitts -- Outlines the chemical processes and environmental requirements for composting farm wastes. 18pp

Understanding Dairy Goat Production by Harlan H. D. Attfield -- Describes various breeds of goats; feed, nutritional, shelter, and space requirements; milking practices; and prevention and control of diseases. 15pp

Understanding Dairy Production in Developing Countries by John W. Hibbs, W. G. Whittlestone -- Discusses efforts to improve primitive dairy production practices to provide more and better quality milk as a source of highly nutritious food for humans, especially growing children.

Understanding Energy Storage Methods by Clyde S. Brooks -- Presents a critical review of the technical features, state of development, and economics of various energy storage systems and their compatibility with small power plants. 17pp

Understanding Ethanol Fuel Production and Use by Bradley & Ken Runnion -- Describes the production and use of ethanol (ethyl alcohol) as a liquid fuel. 19pp

Understanding Evaporative Cooling by Eric Rusten -- Familiarizes the reader with fundamentals of evaporate cooling systems for the home. 42pp

Understanding Ferrocement Construction by J. P. Hartog -- Discusses the advantages and disadvantages of several methods of ferrocement construction and outlines the basic steps involved in the general process. 14pp

Understanding Fish Preservation and Processing by Richard T. Carruthers -- Presents guidelines for preserving fish by means of salting, smoking, and pickling. 10pp

Understanding Glass Recycling by W. Richard Ott -- Outlines a scheme for collection, selection, and processing of glass material for recycling. 14pp

Understanding Home-scale Preservation of Fruits and Vegetables: Part I, Canning and Freezing by Eric Rusten -- Discusses the principles of canning and freezing fruits and vegetables at home, for home use. 18pp

Understanding Home-scale Preservation of Fruits and Vegetables: Part II, Drying and Curing by Eric Rusten -- Discusses the principles of drying and curing (smoking or salting) of fruits and vegetables at home, for home use. 21pp

Understanding Hydroponics by Mark Anderson, et al -- Explains the basics of hydroponics and what goes into setting up a hydroponics greenhouse, with year long planting and harvesting schedule and estimated income yield. 24pp

Understanding Hydropower by Walter Eshenaur -- Gives a broad overview of the use of hydropower. 60pp

Understanding Inorganic and Organic Fertilizers by Kenton K. Brubaker -- Discusses factors for determining basic soil fertility and methods of application of inorganic and organic fertilizers. Also presents alternative systems for crop fertilization. 29pp

Understanding Insect Pests and their Control by Harold R. Wilson Describes several methods of applied insect control, with emphasis on dangers of harming beneficial insects. 13pp

Understanding Legume Crops by Dr. Carl S. Hoveland -- Defines and describes various legume crops and their cultivation requirements. 15pp

Understanding Low-cost Road Building by David K. Blythe -- Outlines planning, equipment, and maintenance requirements for building simple roads. 28pp

Understanding Low-cost Well Drilling by Stephen Greenwood -- Provides information needed to plan the design and location of a well that will supply safe drinking water. 21pp

Understanding Micro-hydroelectric Generation by Christopher S. Weaver -- Provides hydropower fundamentals for systems producing fewer than 100 kilowatts of power and a comparison with alternative technologies. 26pp

Understanding Mini-hydroelectric Generation by Christopher S. Weaver -- Lists components and users for plants that produce 100-1,000 kilowatts of power and the skills required to design, build, operate, and maintain such a plant. 29pp

Understanding Multiple Cropping by Glen M. Wood -- Overview of multiple cropping, the growing of two or more crops on the same field during the same year. Multiple cropping has the potential to utilize the soil more efficiently, resulting in greater production from a given unit of land.

Understanding Paper Recycling by Jon Vogler & Peter Sarjeant Discusses small-scale paper recycling operations including the economics, equipment, and procedures involved. 16pp

Understanding Passive Cooling Systems by Daniel Halacy -- Describes household cooling by passive means, including regulation of air flow and sun tracking. 21pp

Understanding Pedal Power by David Gorden Wilson -- Presents a review of the technical features, economics, and various uses of pedal power. 13pp

Understanding Potable Water Storage by Charles M. Ritter -- Discusses considerations for volume of short-term storage of potable water, and describes construction methods and materials for a variety of storage tanks. Also addresses water quality considerations. 19pp

Understanding Poultry Meat and Egg Production by Dr. H. R. Bird -- Outlines equipment and management requirements of poultry raising, and addresses bird selection and care variations and alternatives. 19pp

Understanding Pressure Extraction of Vegetable Oils by James Casten & Harry E. Snyder -- Outlines the procedures and equipment required to extract vegetable oil using presses. 15pp

Understanding Primary Health Care for a Rural Population by James E. Herrington -- Summary of the Primary Health Care System and the basic alternatives. 22pp

Understanding Sanitation at the Community Level by Bruce P. Davis -- Community sanitation means healthful living conditions and clean practices for the handling of water and food and the disposal of personal wastes. Covers sanitary water supplies, disposal of liquid and solid wastes, food supplies, the use of insecticides, community education.

Understanding Scrap Metal Recycling by Jon Vogler -- Overview of the sources of scrap, the markets into which they can be sold, and the methods, equipment, and skills needed for recycling. 34pp

Understanding Seed Handling for Germination by Jerry Budy, Raymond Evans, James Young -- General considerations in seed harvesting, handling, and storage, focuses on methods to enhance germination for seeds started in seedbeds. Useful for setting up a small business producing seed for sale or for a commercial nursery.

Understanding Sewage Treatment and Disposal by Hank Stonerook -- Presents some of the options for relatively small-scale sewage treatment and handling. 20pp

Understanding Sheep Production by Clausia S. Ingham -- Describes various breeds of sheep, resources required, and scale of operation. 13pp

Understanding Small-scale Brick Making by David W. Thomas Describes the technology and the processes of making fired bricks and gives the design of a kiln. 17pp

Understanding Small-scale Bridge Building by Robert J. Commins -- Describes three typed of free- standing bridges: beam, arch, and truss. Presents the factors needed to consider the type of bridge best suited for a particular location. 14pp

Understanding Small-scale Irrigation Systems by John A. Chapman -- Describes various components of an irrigation system and commonly used irrigation techniques. 8pp

Understanding Small-scale Papermaking by John Vogler & Peter Sarjeant -- Overview of making paper in the home workshop, making paper in the micro factory, basic processes for producing paper from waste paper for two different scales of operation: one-ton-per-day papermaking plant and 5- to 30-ton-per-day paper plants; alternative products from waste paper, shows simple equipment and materials required, illustrated.

Understanding Soil Conservation Techniques by Fred Weber, Carol Stoney & Edward Pytlik -- Discusses various soil conservation techniques that can contribute to the increased productivity and sustainability of land use by controlling soil erosion from wind and water. Illustrated. 15pp

Understanding Soil Preparation by Paul J. Abrahams -- Introduces the reader to the whys and where-fores of soil preparation for major types of farmland. 15pp

Understanding Solar Cells by Dennis Elwell & Richard Komp -- Discusses how solar cells work, what is needed to make a solar-cell system, the costs involved, and the many applications for their use. 16pp

Understanding Solar Concentrators by George M. Kaplan -- Presents the concept and history, operating principles, and needs served by solar concentrators. Gives design variations, costs, and technology alternatives. 31pp

Understanding Solar Cookers and Ovens by Thomas Bowman -- Outlines the construction, maintenance, and uses of solar cookers and ovens. 26pp

Understanding Solar Energy: A General Overview by Keith Giarman -- Discusses potential obstacles to the introduction of solar energy in relation to specific solar systems. 26pp

Understanding Solar Food Dryers by Roger G. Gregoir -- Describes low-cost dryers for dehydrating foods and discusses factors to be considered in determining the kind of dryer best suited for a particular application. 22pp

Understanding Solar Stills by Horace McCracken & Joel Gordes -- Discusses the construction, maintenance, and uses of solar stills. 45pp

Understanding Solar Water Heaters by Trinidad Martinez -- Outlines the construction, maintenance, and uses of solar water heater systems. 14pp

Understanding Solar Water Pumps by C. J. Swet -- Provides insight to determine whether solar water pumping is a plausible option for a specific situation. Includes a guide for further investigation. 23pp

Understanding Solvent Extraction of Vegetable Oils by Nathan Kessler -- Outlines the procedures and equipment required to extract vegetable oil using solvents. 12pp

Understanding Stabilized Earth Construction by Alfred Bush -- An overview of the use of soil as a building material, with specific examples of high- and low-technology applications. 35pp

Understanding Stirling Engines by William Beale -- Familiarizes the reader with the engines' operation and range of application. 23pp

Understanding Swine Production by Vernon M. Meyer & Douglas Henderson -- Discusses the factors involved in raising and maintaining swine for meat production. 22pp

Understanding the Production of the Major Tropical/Sub-tropical Root Crops Cassava, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Yams and Cocoyams by Nail H. Ozerol -- Root crops as food, root crops as feed, root crops as substrate for fermentation, crop production and uses.

Understanding the Small-scale Clay Products Enterprise by Miska Petersham -- Provides basic information on acquisition and processing of a clay enterprise. Lists factors to consider in choosing the best technology for your purpose. 18pp

Understanding Water Supply and Treatment for Individual and Small Community Systems by Stephen A. Hubbs Provides guidelines on how to choose a water source, and how to purify and Summary of the Primary Health Care system, and the basic alternative. 22pp

Understanding Water Supply: General Considerations by Joe Remmers -- Provides basic information and data for consideration in the development safe, economical, and practical community water systems. 11pp

Understanding Water Wells by William Ashe -- Explains how to dig a well hat provides safe drinking water. Intended to help people decide what type of well is best suited for them and whether a hand-dug well or drilled well is within their means. 22pp

Understanding Wind Energy by James F. Manwell & Duane E. Cromack -- Familiarizes the reader with wind characteristics and applications of wind power. Describes basic wind machine design and discusses equipment, materials, and skill considerations necessary to produce a wind electric system. 32pp

Understanding Wind Energy for Water Pumping by James F. Manwell Explains the necessary steps involved in determining whether wind power is appropriate for a particular situation. 14pp

Understanding Wood Wastes as Fuel by Jon Vogler -- Discusses a variety of ways that waste wood products may be converted to fuel. 22pp

Unfermented Grape Juice by George Rubin -- Describes a plant operating with one shift and producing 125,000 gallons of grape juice a year, and another that produces 260,000 gallons a year. 8pp

Waste Oil Fired Kiln: Ceramic kilns -- These kilns offer the advantages of good operational control that is easily achieved with fuel oil, but lower fuel cost because waste oil is used. Waste oil fired system designed by Ali Sheriff.

Waste Oil-fired Kiln by Ali Sheriff and Bashir Lalji -- A unique way to mix and burn oil and water to fuel a pottery kiln. (A technical bulletin) 11pp.

Waste Oil-fired Oven -- Made from 55- and 42-gallon steel drums. Some welding/metal work needed. (A technical bulletin) 20pp

Water Purification -- Boilers, chlorination, filtration described, equipment, illustrated.

Water Storage and Treatment: Cisterns -- Cisterns for family use: tank, catchment area, filter, and pump.

Wood-burning Oven by Bertrand Saubolle -- Wood-burning oven of brick with sheet iron door. (A technical bulletin) 5pp

Back to the Small Farms Library Index

Community development | Rural development
City farms | Organic gardening | Composting | Small farms | Biofuel | Solar box cookers
Trees, soil and water | Seeds of the world | Appropriate technology | Project vehicles

Home | What people are saying about us | About Handmade Projects 
Projects | Internet | Schools projects | Sitemap | Site Search | Donations | Contact us