November 23, 2008

Saturday 22nd November

What a magic day we’ve had! It might have been the coldest day of the year – but we didn’t notice it. We arrived to meet Ken, who was waiting for us with a van load of essentials. Concerned about the northerly wind from Scandinavia, he gave us loads of great tips for building a shelter extending from the trailer. In these short daylight hours we’d like to catch the sun, so we’re going to change the trailer’s direction, facing south-west, facing the setting sun…


Ken gave us loads of ingenious tips from harvesting water from the shelter’s roof to transforming sinks into barbeques with old refrigerator coils as grills.


One of the main activities over the next weeks will be keeping the fire going and we need a constant stock of firewood. We got through two palettes today – a great source of urban waste wood that burns really well on the outdoor stoves. So if you find a palette on your way here – please bring it with you!


Up at Gunpowder Park we are surrounded by industrial units and construction sites and a lot of waste products.

Phil – our first encounter with Park Patrol shared the first brew of Energy Cafe tea with us. He welcomed the project – at last a place to get a cuppa! With a twinkle in his eye, he recommended paying a visit to the local fire station. Lots of builders in town too!


We met Fiona who has made bread sour culture in Walthamstow. We’d like to make a bread oven. Can anyone give us any good advise on how to build it – preferably with London clay. Perhaps we could find some on a construction site – Fiona reminded us of how close we are to the Olympic development.

We talked about foraging for wild food and she mentioned the world wide database of plants and their properties. An incredible resource: Plants of a Future

The few daylight hours over, Tomoko, Sebastian and Taeko joined us in the woodsmoke, under the milky way, for a wood stove supper and spontaneous fire experiments around the millstones. The light sparks shooting against the black sky – its the beginning of a firework at Gunpowder Park.


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