Farming Byproducts

By transforming the city into self-sufficient and sustainable communities, the need for a constant flow of new materials will be almost nil. Most supplies needed for agriculture, transportation, heating, et cetera, will be generated as byproducts of the various processes. Other materials of finite or non-renewable sources, including glass, metal, wire, wire mesh, chicken wire, and lumber, need to be salvaged. These can be found in abandoned buildings and scrapyards, or removed from defunct objects. Some building supply businesses and hardware shops may have access to a limited supply. It is adviseable to organize storage areas to house materials in a categorized fashion (see section 4:b Adapting commercial buildings).


Growing produce and raising livestock will provide not only the main source of food for all citizens, but many of their byproducts and waste are invaluable materials for a wide variety of purpose. As well, it is important to try to achieve 100% use of all materials to make our habitation of the land as sustainable, efficient, and waste-free as possible.

(see also Compost in section 1:5)

Feed vegetable tops (such as carrot greens) to rabbits. Although goats will eat anything, make sure to feed them only fresh vegetable clippings and especially legumes. Pigs however will do fine consuming leftover produce of all kinds, including table scraps of cooked vegetarian food. When feeding leftovers to pigs, they must be processed first by picking through the food to remove inedible items and meat or poultry. Cook the scraps for 30 minutes to destroy any bacteria.

Boil bones to make nutritious soups and broths. Use large and fine bones to craft tools and implements. Dry and crush egg shells and small bones to add to compost as a nourishing additive.

Cats and dogs are the perfect recipients for scraps of raw animal flesh that may not be appealing to humans. Raw meat is the healthiest food for cats and dogs, supplemented with raw berries, vegetables, grasses, rodents, etc. Cooked “people food” is not advised for feeding animals, though occasionally leftovers of meat and vegetables can be fed to dogs (and fish to cats) but not as a main staple.

Seed cake is a valuable by-product of pressing. Sesame seed cake is valuable as a human food. Sunflower seed cake is not suitable for people, but it makes a good addition to chicken, pig, or cattle feed. Since sunflower seed cake has all the seed hulls in it, it is very fibrous. The press does not get all the oil out of the cake; it is oilier than most feed additives. It is quite high in crude protein, but contains very few carbohydrates. It should be used as a feed additive, not a feed by itself.

Proper storage of both seed and seed cake is extremely important. Seed must be protected from moisture, rodents, and insects. Very moist seed will rot. Even if your seed is not moist enough to rot, it may be moist enough to grow mold. This is a problem for two reasons. First, moldy seed cake does not taste good to animals. They may not be willing to eat moldy feed. Worse, some kinds of mold make mycotoxins such as aflatoxin. These poisons can make people and animals sick. Some of the poisons from moldy seed will end up in the oil, but most remain in the seed cake. They can also get into the meat, eggs, and especially the milk of the animals that eat the cake.

Mold spores are present in all crops. Molds grow best in warm, humid weather. To prevent the growth of mold, dry the seeds shortly after harvest. Even dry seed can quickly get damp by being in contact with damp earth. Once the seed is dried and bagged, it must be stored carefully to keep it from taking up moisture. (The moisture content of the seed should be no higher than 10%. To test for moisture, weigh a sample of seed or cake, and then heat the sample in a medium-hot oven for one hour. Reweigh the sample. The weight lost in the oven is equal to the moisture content of the original sample, and the percentage can be calculated: divide the weight lost by the original weight and multiply by 100.)


Sometimes livestock or poultry die of natural causes, and in the cases where illness or disease are not a factor, they may be fed raw to cats and dogs. Aside from the meat, there are many uses for the rest of the animals, either during their life or after their death:

The hides of many animals can be used to make leather, or used as skins. Use cow and lamb hide to make leather, and sheep, goat, raccoon, rabbit, cat and horse hide to make skins and furs, suitable for clothing, blankets and furniture.

Animal hair is also a valuable byproduct. Horsehair from the tail and mane can be used for spinning ropes, horse reins and fishing lines, for making sieves, and weaving rugs. It is also commonly used for making brushes and for stuffing furniture and mattresses. For shearing sheep for wool, see section 1:7:v. Use chicken and duck feathers for stuffing blankets, clothing and mattresses.

Manure is a constant byproduct of all livestock. For a complete list of types of manure and their qualities to use as fertilizer in farming, see section 1:3:ii.

Read the next section, Fabrics...

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