Solutions for Self-Reliance

How your Home can produce MORE with Less


When I walk through my home and around my yard, I’m constantly looking for ways to do more with the space I have available.

More?  No, I’m not talking about finding ways to store more stuff by stacking and packing it in every nook and cranny.

Instead, I’m talking about finding ways to produce more in less space.

One of the secrets I’ve found to producing more, is to stack functionality so that the same space can do many things simultaneously.

Here’s an example.  Here’s ground mounted solar system that a family in Devon, UK had installed (via Chris Rudge).  Incidentally, this install is about what a family needs to power their home.


Ground mounted solar panels are often a smart choice, if you have a place to put them for a variety of reasons (cost to performance).  However, ground mounted panels deprive you of usable land unlike roof mounted panels.

How do you fix this?

By using the space under the panels as a shed, chicken coop, or other useful structure.  Something like this solar shed (via Pete Blanchard):

Solar Tool Shed

Can more functionality be added?  Sure.  You could turn the panels into a rainwater harvesting system, by adding a gutter and a cistern.

You could also turn the shed into a place that houses a battery bank to provide back up power for your house.  Or, you could turn the shed into a workshop to use the power produced by the panels to make things you can sell to the world.

Be creative.   If you have some ingenious ideas, please share them in the comments below.

Resiliently Yours,




PS:  This is a classic engineering technique.  It’s also something that is used in permaculture design.

PPS:  Think about stacking functions serially and in parallel.


Want more like this?

This is just one aspect of self-reliance. You'll find more in our 100% free online Self-Reliance Catalog, a carefully curated collection of the best in self-reliance & resilience

The goal of The Self-Reliance Catalog is to help you know better what is worth getting and where and how to do the getting, whether that “thing” is a plant, a tool, a book, or even a design for a home or greenhouse.

Set up your free account here for instant access



Suggested Videos

Self-Reliance is Hard
We Make It Easier

Solutions for Smarter Self-Reliance:

You'll find them in The Self-Reliance Catalog; a carefully curated collection of the best plants, tools, shelters and systems for self-reliance and resilience.

Free Registration