Here is Chris's potted history his life:
After a 5 year engineering apprenticeship at the Royal Aircraft Establishment in Farnborough I spent 9 years trying to live self-sufficiently in the Isle of Man with poultry, cows, pigs etc. I made a mean cheese as well as some totally awful ones!
I lived In intentional communities for about 22 years including 18 months in a self sufficient community in the Isle of Man and have been a committed 'Green' all my adult life, standing for the Green party a number of times and campaigning in the renewable energy field over the years.
As well as a wide experience of community living I have accumulated a lot of different useful skills in my life. I was trained as a engineer in but have also managed to fit in working as a potter, a drummer, a beekeeper, a Mr fixit (small scale builder) a computer engineer (I ran an industrial unit for re-cycling IT equipment ), a self development workshop leader (working with drumming, movement, sweat lodge etc - I completed Gabriel Roth's 5 Rhythms movement training). I am a very experienced gardener and smallholder. I have done a lot of house building and maintenance over the years and am very excited about the process of converting our house in Burrs road into an eco dwelling.
Why not use cast iron or even boiler plate - good enough for wood stoves and cooking ranges for centuries past. I used recycled heavy steel tube for my rocket stove and I am confident it will last many years
We have a bin by the gate for our neighbors to put their grass cuttings in, we get more mulch and compost material than we can cope with! We have told them no cuttings from lawns that have been sprayed or going to seed grass. Works well for us.