It’s been a while since I posted, so this is just a short post about stuff in general.
The rocket stove experiment has been abandoned for three reasons: 1) It wasn’t creating the draw it needed to be a useful cooking surface.Something to do with the size of the chambers and/or the tunnel between them; 2) the cooking plate kept collapsing because it didn’t have enough clay and was too big to support its own weight prior to being properly fired; 3) The area it is built on is about to be ripped up, so it will likely get damaged/destroyed anyway. So I stopped building before closing it off and building the chimney.
Still… valuable lessons about earth building that I will take with me. The main thing was comparing the stability and integrity of different types of soil and the proportions of clay needed to give a good mix of workability, stability and insulation. None of it was particularly scientific, so I’m not about to claim expert status or tell you the magic ratios. I recommend playing with your locally available soils yourself if that is something you are interested in. For now, I have a great little set up to burn paper rubbish and if I do want a little fire pit, it’ll provide a little shelter from the wind.
The new tarpaulin set up seems to be holding up even under some pretty strong winds, so that is a plus. The key things seem to be the abandonment of a central water collection point and a kind of twisted gable (near flat at the high side and in the centre with the outside corners down-turned) encouraging run-off over the corners. I can still collect water off the corners, but can’t gravity feed the shower bag. More importantly, it doesn’t catch the wind anywhere near like it was.
Mostly though, I have been planning the next move. It’s nearly time. While this set up is great, I feel it is important to get moving on learning the practical skills I will need in a sustainable community. Learning piecewise as projects have come up has yielded some benefit, but a more structured approach will give me more comprehensive understanding (specifically in construction and permaculture). More on that in a future post.
As always, there’s been a lot of time spent on addressing the psychological issues that will be key ingredients in either success or failure. I’ve posted several useful articles on the Facebook page recently. Pop over and have a look ( https://www.facebook.com/DareToSeekFreedom/ ). There’s so much we can learn about how our minds work, what limits us and effective strategies to become a more effective person. The more we address these issues consciously, the better-placed we are to succeed in any endeavours.