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Non-Electric Gadgets

Marcella Rose

Joined: Nov 09, 2011
Posts: 95
Location: Central Texas, it is dry here.
So...as a newbie to this idea, anyone want to help me come up with a list of non-electric gadgets? I watched a video on the Dervaes Family (Path To Freedom) and they have gadgets, they just do not use electricity. It showed a hand crank blender...but I would like to know what else is out there. Anyone want to help with this list and maybe where to find these things? I do ALOT of cooking and baking and we feed alot of people outside of our family so I do enjoy using gadgets for efficency. I like the idea of using my own strength...no future "Granny arms" for me!

***I did contact the Country Living Grain Mill company and they said that if there were enough requests, they could make a lifetime warranty manual blender or manual version of a Kitchen Aid Mixer (including parts for purchase for fixing and maintenence) if there were enough requests. I LOVE that idea!

No land yet, but growing what I can with what I have!
P Thickens

Joined: Jan 15, 2012
Posts: 177
Location: Bay Area, California (z8)

Less smart-assed:
Solar ovens.
Wood-fired ovens.
Pit ovens.
Thea Olsen

Joined: Jul 18, 2010
Posts: 89
Location: suburbs of Chicago USDA zone 5b
I have a hand-crank blender. It works, but not as well as an electric one. It takes quite a bit of time to make a smoothie in it, and it's not nearly as smooth as in an electric blender.
Eric Thompson

Joined: Apr 23, 2011
Posts: 274
Location: Bothell, WA - USA
Now I would be the first to admit to being overly analytical at times, but when you talk about lots of manual labor:
- I often hear that our industrial food supply depends on 9 calories of fossil fuels for each calorie of food
- People eat a lot of industrial food - and more when they do more manual labor!
- So doesn't each calorie spent toward manual labor really trace back to food from a lot of fossil fuels? Is it possible that in these giddy pre-apocalypse times that we might SAVE energy (and food!) by using electric gadgets for any of us not already converted over to 90% non-industrial food)

I opt for manual labor quite a bit -- I rarely can justify needing LESS exercise in my life! But I don't overdo it either -- I won't be out trying to scythe hay from my 40 acres...

Tell me why manual labor doesn't come from industrial farm energy -- this is a rare case I would prefer to be wrong....

Leila Rich

Joined: May 24, 2010
Posts: 3986
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
Coffee hand-grinder. Food moulis. A heavy morter and pestle. The legendary 'Swift-whip' rotary eggbeater. I have no idea if they're just a NZ thing, but any self-respecting housewife used to have one. Beats egg whites, cream, etc really, really fast.
A potato ricer, a sieve and a good spatula are hardly gadgets, but they make life in the kichen a lot smoother
Don't forget the meat and grain grinders. And the pasta machine.
John Polk

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6684
Location: Currently in Seattle. Probably moving 1 hour north by end of the year.
How about a French Press coffee maker? No electricity, nor no filters to buy.
Makes great coffee, and they come in many sizes.
Mike Dayton

Joined: Dec 15, 2010
Posts: 149
Location: sw pa zone 5
A squeezo is a great hand cranked tool. It seporates the skin and seeds from tomatoes and berrys very well. A steam juicer does not need electric, only heat that can be provided by many different means. Hand meat grinders are great as well as apple peelers, and cherry pitters all with a hand crank. I have an old Veg-O Matic that slices french fries and sliced potates and other veggies very well with one push. My son has a hand cranked ice crusher that is great for many different types of drinks. The old fashioned egg beaters mentioned befor work very well. I have a hand cranked nut grinder that we use alot to grind up walnuts for cooking. Turns out there are alot of kitchen tools with a crank, just look around.

Never doubt that a small group of dedicated people can change the world,  Indeed it is the only thing that ever has. Formerly pa_friendly_guy_here
Fred Morgan

Joined: Sep 29, 2009
Posts: 974
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
Once you learn how to use it, it is amazing how much you can cut with a scythe in a day. It leaves the grass in nice rows for collect too - which I appreciate when feeding the sheep.

Sustainable Plantations and Agroforestry in Costa Rica
Mike Dayton

Joined: Dec 15, 2010
Posts: 149
Location: sw pa zone 5
You are right Fred, the main thing is to learn how to use one with out killing yourself. When I was 17 I worked for a road paving co, the owner thought I might be a bit young to go out on the paving crew so he kept me in the shop for several weeks seeing what I could do. One day he handed me a scythe and told me to go cut all of the brush and weeds that had grown up around the equipment in storage in the fenced in yard. I had no clue how to operate a scythe. I was using my arms and after a very short time they were ready to fall off. My back hurt, my arms hurt, my whole body hurt. Befor noon I had gotten into the only position that my body could stand. I bent at the waist, held my arms steady and moved at the waist. You body does the work, not your arms or your back. It is so much easier and so much more comfortible to work a scythe once you know how to use the tool. No one told me how to do it, my body told me, it got into the only position it could stand and still do any work. I wish the old Gentelman who ran the Co had given me a bit of training when he handed me that scythe.
Denise Lehtinen

Joined: Sep 10, 2011
Posts: 100
Location: Tampa, Florida zone 9A

Sells lots of nonelectric gadgets. Why not use them as a resource to make your list?
marty reed

Joined: Dec 09, 2010
Posts: 120
we have a deli slicer that has a hand crank on it the elecrtice ones where way to high i got this one for 5.00 at the flea market talk about a deal i dont now how much money it saves me but alot we buy in bulk and slice it all up and package are meat and it seems to be alot better than the small packages it may just be me tho
Tyrr Vangeel

Joined: Dec 17, 2012
Posts: 22
I've been looking arround for some time, but I can't find anything I can ship at an affordable price to Belgium.
So, does anyone know a brand of a supplier on main land Europe?
If I know a brand, I might be able to find a supplier in Belgium or get it at home with travellers who can pick it up.
I will try this myself for the UK next summer, but USA is harder to get.

Looking for a blender, sweet chestnut pealer, walnut pealer, ...

The oilpress that is also for sale on Lemans comes from the Netherlands, so that's for half the Lehmans price
But the other tool brands are unknown for me in Europe.
marty reed

Joined: Dec 09, 2010
Posts: 120
Apple pealer hand crank apple cider for apples hand crank smasher all I can think of for know but I'm sure their are much more

Rory Rivers

Joined: Nov 14, 2012
Posts: 14
Don't forget the cherry pitter. You can ever make your own out of a cheep fork. (though it is less gadget-y that way)
R Scott

Joined: Apr 13, 2012
Posts: 2650
Location: Kansas Zone 6a

Lots of interesting stuff. Kitchen Aid, Bosch, Vitamix. AIR powered kitchen tools? Wow.

"You must be the change you want to see in the world." "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Mahatma Gandhi
"Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words." --Francis of Assisi. "Family farms work when the whole family works the farm." -- Adam Klaus
Morgan Morrigan

Joined: Oct 16, 2011
Posts: 1400
Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
almost all the original food processing companys did hand cranked versions of their tools.

Le Cuisene for Cuisinart, prob Bosch too..

I have a couple "cone" slicer/ processors , and the big clamp on mixer that just fits over the top of a bowl.
Still havn't gotten a "disc" food processor for seed removal and baby foods yet.

Just got a copy of the old Pepperidge Farms cookbook, with most of the old stuff illustrated.

Look up an old Sears or Montgomery Ward catalog.

Get involved -Take away the standing of corporations MovetoAmmend.org
Steve Furlong

Joined: Nov 10, 2010
Posts: 40
A simple knife can be a hugely versatile tool if it's well-made and maintained.
wayne stephen

Joined: Mar 11, 2012
Posts: 1776
Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
Mandolin slicer. You can slice paper thin or julienne. Two small cleavers , one in each hand , and a butcher block and you can mince a pile of herbs into pesto in minutes . If you can keep a beat you can chop a good drum solo too. I made a cup of mayo two nights ago with a bowl and a wisp - takes about ten minutes.
A food sieve will puree most fruits and vegies , you can stir in purees instead of blending for smoothies/soups. I have made little chicken sausages by using two cleavers to mince the meat . add seasoning , stuff into the skin off the legs and tie ends , grill. I worked as chef in 70's and 80's and we were able to produce all textures and shapes of foods with an assortment of knives and non-motorized , non-cranked gadgets.

Permaculture is CPR for the planet !

Jason Taylor

Joined: Jan 04, 2013
Posts: 6
I own a 107 year old printing press that is treadle powered, which is put to use for making labels, tags, and handouts. I also have a roughly 70 year old paper cutter.

If you look long and hard enough, you could build an entire wood shop out of people powered tools that are like their modern electric equivalents. Lathes, table saws, drill presses, etc.. I have a hand brace, which works nearly as well as a modern electric drill, unless you are drilling large quantities of holes.

I also own a reel mower and a grass whip for lawn care.

Not as easy to use as a modern computer, but how about putting typewriters on this list?

subject: Non-Electric Gadgets