He asked us to nominate 4 remarkable innovators who've done neat things with rocket mass heaters. These 4 people will be invited to attend the entire event as guests.
Things start with our tried-and-true, cob-style rocket mass heater workshop Sept. 19-21. Then from the 22nd through 26th, we have a "Pyronaut's Laboratory" where all 4 (or 6, or 7, depending how you count us) get to play and innovate. Paul's providing workshop space, materials, and inviting his crew and other interested folks to serve as "minions." We anticipate the challenge and inspiration of working alongside other innovators may lead us in some unexpected new directions.
If this sounds like a wonderful time to you, well, come! Tickets are still available to be a student for the weekend workshop, or if you have prior rocket experience you might just want to sign on as a "minion" during the week-long Pyronautics Laboratory session. There's a combined rate to be there for the whole thing. http://richsoil.com/rmh-workshop.html
We had a hard time narrowing the field down. There are at least a dozen people we know doing good work in this space, and that's not counting the ones we don't know about.
We thought about who we'd like to meet. Who has done something uniquely interesting - or fulfilled a frequent request in a particularly robust way. When people ask us for something we haven't done yet, who do we send them to?
We tried to balance different talents and personalities for creative ferment. The "who we'd like to meet" category tended to favor people from further away; those who might not consider attending if they had to cover both travel and ticket costs.
And of course, those who publish their results on YouTube, or spend time on the Permies.com (or ProBoards) forums, are most likely to catch our attention in the first place. We also paid attention to the suggestions people made from our mailing list.
Finally we picked an A list and a B list, and started contacting people.
We are extremely excited that most of A-list said "yes," they plan to attend. Here, in alpha order, are the 4 confirmed guests:
here on YouTube; Tim has also written up the project, and answers questions, in.
this article at permaculturenews.org.
It's not his first rocket rodeo, neither. Tim's work seems like interesting hybrids of rocket mass heater (J-style) firebox, but with a flexibility more customary with rocket cookstove fans. Here's a rocket-powered oven:
Peter van den Berg:
A sample PeterBerg post from Proboards - http://donkey32.proboards.com/thread/472?page=2
A bit of a dark horse from Ohio, we got to meet Chris in 2012 and have heard updates from mutual friends at the Strawbale Studio and privately. Chris has been playing with small-scale heater hybrids like his woodstove-mass-heaters for smaller spaces and portable locations (like a school bus). Chris is also very active with Mother Earth News, and print-on-demand resources for natural building; he has a depth of knowledge about who's doing what in the natural building world that leads to very interesting hybrid projects using reclaimed or conventional materials alongside robust natural building methods.
Woodstove mass heater ("It works ... sort of.")
8" rocket mass heater (with reclaimed cast-refractory components, below)
Bus stove with bum warmer
This get-together is going to be a memorable lot of fun.
In other news:
- Ernie will be going to San Antonio shortly to be fitted for a new, dynamic leg brace that might put him literally back in the running this fall. We are trying not to get our hopes up too much, as there will still be pain and circulation issues to manage, but we hope that the brace will be in good working order by September and allow Ernie more hours on his feet.
- The Carleton Complex (wildland fire) is burning along Hwy 97 about an hour south of us, yet so far westerly winds are keeping our days almost smoke-free. We are checking the InciWeb periodically for updates: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3967/
I'm not yet fully trained as a firefighter for our local volunteer fire department, so we're just trying to stay informed, and replace worry with action whenever we think of something useful to do: weed-whacking, tidy up the clutter around the house, etc. Right now the local weather remains clear, breezy, with only a hint of smoke to the south south-west (spectacular sunsets and moon-rises). The biggest impact on a daily level is that I'm milking goats for a neighbor who has been deployed "on resource" with one of our local water-tender trucks.
- The irrigation well is back on line (last winter's hard freeze damaged the well itself, but the repairs didn't take long once we got the right folks on the job). Running water, hot showers, and plenty of water for the garden.
- Strawberries, cherries, and peas are in season up here, and tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, and various berries down in the valley. I got to play "substitute farmer" last week, trying to keep up with Leaping Sheep's abundant production for almost a week while the owners took a family trip. This week I've been milking goats and braiding garlic. Very country!