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Notes of Music, organic gardening, eco-building, Permaculture designs and explorations along this Path in Life.


Driving trio on the mountains

We're all ready to go... 1, 2, 3... go! a motorbike trio across the mountains of northern Thailand! Over a 130 km to go through, from Pai to Chiangmai and back on a tricky mountain road with a very sensitive load.
But we made it... 


Biochar stove meeting

In a sunny morning, friendly hosted at closed doors under the stunning green-living roof of the FatCat organic cafe' in Pai, an historical biochar stove meeting have happened: the meeting between Elsa stove and Planestove.


Check out the following shots and hold on for further developments.


Most scary insect ever

Waaaw... it was night time, after dinner... and while I was washing the dishes it passed very close to the kids' feet as they were sitting down on the porch. They freaked out... and me too when I saw what they were screaming for! 

These are the scars that I made with the machete on the concrete floor during the battle that I engaged with it...


Prayer to the Holy Trees of Thailand

Now in Thailand, again and again... it's the so called smokey season, when all the mountains of the wide area of northern Thailand as well as neighboring countries, fall victim of extensive wild fires, burning over and over all these lush beautiful forests.
My prayer goes to two holy trees in Chiangmai for all the suffering of the living beings in the area during this very harsh time of abuse the Nature and increased air pollution:
may this end soon and never happen again!


Energy from living plants

Waw... this is truly amazing but I cannot hide some sort of doubt about it being another scam: wouldn't it be fabulous to grow your own energy? Apparently the technology it's there already but the time is going to pass before we can plug in on a tree and recharge the computer! Anyway... keep it up guys! Make it happen and share it all!
Links for more details here and here.


Opening the way to development

Not many uploads in these days... but making treasure of some "gift help from the Universe" a few substantial upgrades have happened at the house!

A new opening in the fence attached to the house allows now optimal flow and the kitchen is finally very well lit by a couple of new sky lights. 
We are really very happy about these achievements... check it out!


Second attempt baking in the biochar

Some days ago after Baking in the biochar with very comforting result the first time, I tried again without realizing the "timing"... the exposure to the super high temperatures involved needs to be very carefully calculated or actually guessed... it's about feeling how soon the process it's going to end and in that moment insert the goods to be baked.
In my second attempt I must admit: it went totally wrong! The garlic stayed in pretty much from the beginning and this time turned (surprise surprise...) into garlic charcoal!
I had some of it anyway for ...ehm... personal research purpose but indeed it was too crunchy to be eaten.
Someday I'll take my chances again, when we have plenty of garlic!  


Troubles extending a stove

A few days have passed since in my previous post I shared my idea of Extending a stove by inserting some metal cylinder, adapted can or folded sheet, between the mouth piece and the bottom of an already made stove.
The purpose would be quite positive but I must admit that the application has been not completely satisfactory up until now. The main issue is not getting a complete process as some of the biomass on the bottom of the stove fails to become biochar.

This is almost for sure due to the fact that the joints between the three pieces (bottom, extension, top mouth piece) are definitely not air-tight. Other practical solutions rather than the very basic ones that I tried to apply are not easy to perform at this early stage of development.
I feel it's important to share ideas but also "not-completely-positive" results as somebody's failures or just experiences may be crucial information for others to avoid trouble.

Anyway the rice was nicely cooked and the biochar production was perfect in the other 80% of the biomass load. It's been worth all the efforts, now I will have to proceed in a different way... 


Trippy tree parasites

During one of my morning watering chores in the garden... look what I spotted!
Some of the most trippy bugs ever: indeed they are a colony of nasty parasites as the poor little tree has been badly chewed up in many leaves.


Baking in the biochar

Now that my latest Elsa stoves have grown up in size, making more biochar in one time, today it's the first time that I realized that there is also another bonus and it's that I can actually bake inside the stove!
Look what I wrapped up in aluminum foil and tossed into the stove while it was in full pyrolisys... the first baking test!

Extending a stove

As some basic instructions on how to build an Elsa stove have been given at my previous post The birth of a biochar stove, now I would like just to share some insight about a very practical modification that can be applied on an already built stove or implemented during the construction of a new stove from the beginning.

It's about finding a good point where to cut the stove in two pieces... and extend it properly in order to load more biomass and so having flames that last longer.

At the moment it's just the beginning of some new experiments but I definitely think that having sets of cans exactly with the same sizes and repeating the same joining procedures... you could extend your stove at the desired height. There must be a limit but it would be very nice to discover it empirically try to add more and more extensions to see what happens.

Well, still on the search for other cans with the same sizes, I will have to test some other solutions and see how it goes. Keep checking out the next posts...