Partly the reason has been health issues (not Covid-19), and partly the reason has been a husband who has been working a lot more than usual (totally Covid-19). Even though it hasn’t been a productive fall for writing, it’s been a very productive fall for resilience activities. I’m excited to tell you about them, starting with the fun experiment of the cinder block rocket stove.
As I’ve written here and here, we cook mainly off-grid. In winter there’s the wood cook stove. In summer there’s the All-American sun oven and the camp stove, a ten year old dual-fuel Coleman. We have an electric kettle, a toaster oven and a crock pot as well, but I consider these to be convenience devices, mainly used for integrating the 9-5 life with the farm life as seamlessly as possible.
In short, they provide caffeine to the wage earner who gets up way earlier than I want to start a breakfast fire, and a ready hot meal at the end of the (now very few) days the kids and I spend away from home. Very nice. Not essential.
What is essential is that camp stove. I need it for meals on warm but cloudy or rainy days, for quick meals during the heavy work months, for eggs which provide most of our summer animal protein, for the scalding pot. It keeps the cooking heat out of the house. It keeps the wet feathers out of the house.
What if it failed? Some rust is apparent. What if I couldn’t afford or couldn’t get the gasoline, or maybe just forgot to refill the can? It will also run on kerosene, but boy is that stuff expensive.
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