Benjamin conducting a rocket stove training for the staff of Kusamala.
A couple of weeks ago Benjamin led a 20-30 person class in rocket stove construction at Kusamala. He came up with a beautiful double stove design for the new kitchen at the centre. He consulted with the both Maureen and Loda, the Memmo cooks, to determine the optimal height and pot placement for ease of use and set the positioning for maximum ventilation.
Before we could get the class started we were challenged with finding a locally available material to make the cobb. Cobb is a mixture of clay, sand and straw that is used as a building material for everything from ovens to houses. We needed a source of clay which would be used as the binder in our cobb mixture.
Daniel and Benjamin digging up a termite mound near the main road.
As luck would have it termite mounds are an excellent source of clay, so we got to work mining a hill at the end of the road and hauling it back to the Memmo Kitchen. In the process of extracting our
clay we also came across a lot of juicy termites. That made for some very happy chickens and chicks at Kusamala.
Once enough clay was mined Benjamin put it under a tarp and began the process of hydrating it for the rocket stove class. He also had to start the construction of the stove base. It was made out of interlocking rocks and then was filled with cobb and allowed to dry before the stoves could be built on it.