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The recap of last year’s Permaculture Technology Jamboree continues with about a third of his instructors (Alan Booker, Chris McClellan aka Uncle Mud, Opalyn Rose, Samantha Lewis, and Beau Davidson).

After a bit on dowsing with Alan, Paul moves on to Uncle Mud and his big win in the world of ceramics.  An old traditional way was to build a large fire out in the open around the ceramics and keeping it going for some time, using a lot of wood rather inefficiently in the process.  This process was improved by building a brick structure or kiln around the fire to keep the heat in, then arguably improved again by using natural gas or electricity for a heat source, though some claim this results in a less appealing finish.  So what Uncle Mud did was to hook up a J-tube to an old kiln that was donated to see if it would work, much to the chagrin of one of the other instructors, and lo and behold it works.  On a small fraction of the wood of a traditional kiln, far cheaper to build and run than any electric or gas kilns, and no masses of black smoke to boot.  Thanks to the reduced fuel consumption and hotter burn temp, the firing time has come down from around 3 days on a traditional kiln to roughly 5 hours, which also means that you no longer need a team working in shifts to keep the kiln at the right temperature.They’ve tried before with a stratification chamber that got to a higher temperature, but the heat was uneven and it caused the pottery to break mid-firing.  With more refinements, it may well end up being superior, but they haven’t gotten to them yet.

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spoiler alert--the pond stomping in part 3...any updates on it??? is it really just a few days of stomping that makes a pond, vs. "put pigs in the pond for a summer"...?   (I recall Geoff Lawton showing a thing with some cows and a pond many years ago, not sure how long they were there and if the pond was already sealed and just needed grazing...).  I could probably borrow some ponies for a few days but not for months.
I love a woman who dresses in stainless steel ... and carries tiny ads:
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