We just got back from Montana - me for 6 weeks, Ernie bookending our course with a week-plus on each end.
We had some utterly delicious adventures.
Our friend Paul was eager to launch his Rocket Ovens kickstarter (now live!), which was a great excuse to bake some delicious treats for our Off Grid Kitchen team, the Peasant PDC, and anyone who happened to stop by.
(*Full disclosure: "Affiliate" means your patronage directly supports us here at Ernie and Erica
with a modest kickback, as well as supporting our creative
collaborators who designed, built, and filmed the whole thing. A lot of the up-front work on these prototyping projects is volunteer, so we are heartily in favor of folks making money off the best success examples.)
In other tasty news:
Montana experienced some major wildfires last summer, and this spring's intermittent rain brought on flush after flush of delicious morel mushrooms.
Teaching my first Permaculture Design Course was a tall order. Permaculture is a whole connected system of nature-based design, building regenerative systems that feed each other, provide sustainable food and livelihood for people, while supporting a resilient future for life on Earth.
Turns out, the details of how, why, and what are a lot to cover in a 70-hour classroom course.
Nothing that left me sleepless, but definitely some late nights and some first-time teacher flops along the way to a modest success. (Teaching nature-based design is much better done outdoors than in a classroom, especially an after-lunch classroom with limited AV and a bunch of tired campers!)
I have to say, I find it a lot easier to recommend an oven design that bakes a good pizza, than to troubleshoot a hypothetical self-sustaining food forest for a Zone 4, semi-arid climate!
At least my home garden is looking lush after a 6-week absence. So I must be doing something right. Time to plant some sprouted potatoes, wash and pack my laundry, and get ready for fire season.
With summer finally here, we're getting into moderate fire dangers. Burn bans are going into force across the western USA. Please be careful with your wood-fired projects.
Although indoor, properly vented and screened cookstoves are often exempt from burn bans, please pay careful attention to proper screening. Recommended for spark arrestor is 1/8" mesh or finer. Due to the possible clogging effect of screen, allow 3x the chimney CSA flow area for screen surface area, to avoid choking the usual draft for most stoves. This can be as simple as a tube of screen about 1 foot long, extending from the stovepipe to the rain cap.
Thanks for reading!
If I'm off on a fire before this gets updated again, wish me well, and stay safe this summer yourselves!
p.s. That Kickstarter link is:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/paulwheaton/rocket-ovens-feature-length-documentary?ref=28qt31 If you love this sort of thing and want your own link, please let me know.