November 15, 2008

Our original proposal to make Energy Café has changed slightly.
Now due to a shift in the commission time frame, we are to move from the site in March 2009. This prompted us to rethink the whole concept of the project. Initially the idea was purely to set up a permanent outdoor café on site, now we will also be creating a mobile kitchen facility based in a horse trailer which will move from place to place after its pilot phase during the winter and early spring at Gunpowder Park.

We do hope however that after this pilot phase, the land that is designated to Energy Cafe remains permanently as a community growing, food sharing and cooking site. As common land.


The Trailer
It took a while for us to find the right kind of trailer to suit Energy Café’s needs. We hunted on ebay and were drawn to rice trailers, we spent days trawling through the different types of horse transportation for sale.


Eventually we found this one – a beautiful 14 ft trailer from Yorkshire


On the 20th of September Jess and Chris towed the trailer to Energy Cafe site.


Sad to leave it behind they wished us well with Energy Café.
They seemed curious (as are we) how the trailer will transform into a mobile kitchen.
They told us that they think it may have been originally custom made, as it’s an unusual size, bigger than most and has a few quirky aspects about it – and we like that!


The trailer is mainly built of aluminium, fibre glass and wood.


Customising the Trailer
We removed the central partition and started to clean up the trailer. Body work in pretty good condition, it has new rubber floors and a spare wheel.


Now we wait to see what we gather to customise the interior into a fully functioning off grid mobile kitchen.

We are looking for people who may like to be involved in the process of getting the mobile kitchen up and running. From carpenters to electricians, plumbers to cooks!

As well as being a community kitchen, Energy Cafe trailer will house the Pilot Publishing library (which will include manuals of different ways to build off grid cookers, power lights right through to how many cyclists it takes to boil a kettle). It will need storage space for various portable cookers, from solar powered experiments to rocket stoves and barbecue inventions. We imagine it could host many different events, be energised and used by people for different occasions, cook in it, share tips and local knowledge of growing food.


So far we know that we will be fitting a ‘Corden Bleu Classique’ gas cooker (donated from builders ‘on the job’ in Hamsptead), an and a sink. We would like to incorporate a wood burning stove and install solar panels (does anyone know who might be interested to sponsor this? Or a good place to buy?). Also an efficient water pump and harvesting system joined to the Trailer.

We will build the interior out of recycled materials, from materials that have been donated or found along the way. So we’re on the look out – if you have anything to donate please let us know! We haven’t found an aluminium sink yet!


Then the kitchen will be up and running at Gunpowder Park – and later ‘On the road’ to different locations. How to tow? By horse seems the most popular vote at the moment. Then bikes,,,,,

We’ll keep you posted!


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