So I’m getting prepared today for a trip to Wheaton Labs in Montana to meet Paul Wheaton and get a first hand look at a Rocket Oven. Paul had a very successful Kickstarter campaign to put out a video documenting how to make and use a Rocket Oven. You might not be familiar with the concept of Rocket technology, which can be included in a Rocket Mass Heater, a Rocket Stove or Rocket Oven. Overall a Rocket anything is basically a super-efficient wood burning device that operates at temperatures of between 1200 and 2500 degrees Fahrenheit in the firebox area (the rest is cooler and safer than a typical wood stove). Probably the most comprehensive book current out is Erica and Ernie Wisner’s Rocket Mass Heater Builder’s Guide. It’s an awesome reference so if you want to know more get the book or check out the user forums at Permies for Rocket Mass Technology.
Back to the upcoming trip. I’m excited to go for multiple reasons, not the least of which is that Paul has at least 12 functioning Rocket Mass Heaters and Stoves at the Wheaton Labs. I’m going to be building a Greenhouse this fall to use as a nursery for my TSL Urban Farm business that I am starting up and I’m seriously considering adding a Rocket Mass Heater to the build to help keep the heat up in the winter. I understand there are some challenges to running a RMH in a humid environment so I’m looking forward to seeing the outdoor season extension RMH they have at the labs and perhaps get the the opportunity to discuss the tech with some of the builders that are going to be onsite.
What is on your technology radar? What places will you be going soon that you are looking forward to visiting?
It turns out that I really like growing things. I’m not nearly as good at growing things as I could be, but I really enjoy it and I love experimenting. Miss Mercy didn’t nickname me “The Mad Farmer” cause I’m angry. I occasionally might get a little grumpy but honestly things in my life are going pretty well so there’s no need to be angry. Anyway, I’ve been trying to figure out a side business that allows me to grow things, allows me to experiment, allows me the opportunity to make a little side income and possibly give back to the community.
With that in mind I’ve been reading and learning about Permaculture, Urban Agriculture, Regenerative Farming and all kinds of other interesting things. Turns out there has been a whole wide world of stuff going on out there that I had no idea about. I started out listening to Jack Spirko on thesurvivalpodcast.com . Jack has all kinds of interesting people on his show talking about all kinds of different things. He calls himself “a redneck duck farmer” but he is really so much more than that. From interviews on his show I started to learn about people like Paul Wheaton, the Duke of Permaculture, Joel Salatin the Lunatic Farmer, Brian and Susy at Chiot’s Run, Diego Footer and his fantastic Permaculture Voices and Curtis Stone the Urban Farmer.
Based on several years now of listening to lots of people, watching lots of video on YouTube and reading many books and articles I am finally starting on the journey to create TSL Urban Farm. Exactly what we’re going to be providing is still a little up in the air. The idea is to start with Urban Market Gardening, Nursery plants and Miss Mercy is excited about possibly starting with cut flowers.