OK, so maybe you never thought you needed a soil sifter. And perhaps you still don't.
But what about a simple cider press, herb-drying rack or a solar oven? You may want something like that.
You might also be in need of a brooder box for chicks, a cold frame, a trellis, a pet door, a potato-growing box, a fire pit, a pallet planter or a loom.
Dedicated DIYers, homesteaders and those who yearn to turn their patch of suburbia into a farmstead will likely find at least some projects on their wish list within the colorful, carefully illustrated pages of Practical Projects for Self-Sufficiency: DIY Projects to Get Your Self-Reliant Lifestyle Started.
Despite its unwieldy title, this is a book that gets right to the heart of each project, boiling it down to its essential steps and guiding you along with an easy-going prose.
Get your table saw, level, a miter and other carpentry tools ready. You'll be building these projects from scratch. There's no kit. So you'll also need to go to your local lumber yard and get wood planks and trim and such for a lot of these projects. That’s easier for some of us than others.
But no matter your memories of shop class, once you gather the raw ingredients, authors Chris Peterson and Philip Schmidt do their diligent best to guide you through the assembly process. The book's full color photos also help bring the project into focus, and help set this book apart from the slap-dash do-it-yourself books that sometimes inhabit this genre.
DIY Projects is divided into four sections, Food Prep & Preservation, Homestead, Garden Aids and Raising Animals. Within each category are four to 10 popular projects; each is affordable, functional and within reason good-looking (with the chicken coop taking top honors for beauty).
In case you're worried, this is not a "prepper" manual. There are no instructions for building a basement survival bunker and stocking it with freeze-dried berries.
You can take DIY Projects at face value. This is about preserving food (though only minimally, it's the smallest category), improving your garden infrastructure, creating "homestead amenities" and maybe raising chickens or bees.
There are no instructions for building a basement survival safe house. So take DIY Projects at face value. Authors Peterson, who previously wrote Manskills, When Duct Tape Just Isn't Enough: Quick Fixes for Everyday Disasters, and Schmidt, a home improvement expert whose books include Build Your Kids a Treehouse and The Complete Guide to Patios, just want to help you become more self-sufficient.