Gathered Knowledge

The bicycle generator

How we make electricity

Being a detailed account of our experiences with electricity this winter, and how to build your own simple bike generator.

Peddaling hard

Food energy pumping directly into a battery.

Living in the woods, there are no convenient plug sockets. It is of course pleasant to live in a house without walls full of piped electricity – but it is also a fundamentally difficult thing. We know we don’t need much electricity to survive – our kettle, oven, hot tap and central heating are all provided by the wood-fire, and our lighting is most candle-powered. But, a little leccy does really make life easier.

Our daily focus, this winter, has been on the more obvious commodities – wood, water, fire and food. But the intangible force of electrics, in trying to document our findings, tell our tales and sell the CD, is still very important. We need power flowing into our two mini laptops, fairly alrmingly regularly. These devices are also used to charge our telephone. They are our main electricity requirement.

Everything else, such as head torches, cameras and voice recorders, are so infrequent to need charging that they can be carried to a local friend’s solar and wind inverter station.

But we wanted to become a self-sufficient group, and so for this electric issue we decided to put our faith in one of the cheaper and more hands-on forms of electricity generation – the bicycle generator.

None of us knew much at all about this sort of thing, but with Rose as our driving force of discovery, we soon found that it was very easy to bodge a machine that will gather (make?) the electricity we need.

To find out more, please read on…


On herbal medicine

It has been a naive assumption of mine that when we talk of herbs to heal ourselves on this website, those reading will have some knowledge of what herbalism is and its relevance in health, healing and a closer integration with our natural environment. Thinking about it, this is unrealistic with the voices of pharmaceutical giants resounding loud, and oft drowning the soft whispers that beckon as we pass the humble hedgerow. So here i will attempt to remedy this ommission of ours with an outline of herbal medicine within a modern context,  if thats possible.


St. John's Wort. A great healing herb.

Read on to find out more………


Thought for the mile vol.7

“If humanity does not opt for integrity we are through completely. It is absolutely touch and go. Each one of us could make the difference. ”

R. Buckminster Fuller