December 12, 2008

A big thanks to everyone who has been part of the Under Collective Construction two weeks (during minus temperatures with water levels rising).

pana

We started from scratch, allowing the two weeks to evolve organically, without knowing exactly who we would meet or what to expect. Involvement has existed on many levels – from long distance contributions on the blog, receiving donations and resources locally, visits, discussions, tips, skills and experience sharing, onsite construction and experimentation, ideas and imaginings, physical labour and all the nitty gritty that goes with it.

A bio-diverse power station has been constructed, stoves invented, we’ve cooked off-grid, shared food and stimulating conversation and now a social place is beginning to emerge. For sure, there have been hiccups and frustrations – but thats a vital part of working out a shared vision. All in all a highly positive charge has been generated throughout the two weeks. We hope this energy will continue to spark and grow!

This informs the plan of action we are currently working on for the coming months at Gunpowder Park until the end of March 2009.

In the next week we will be posting up a more detailed Energy Cafe aims and objectives ‘vision’, and proposed calendar of work schedule, focused activities and events.

We will be back ‘outdoors’ on the Energy Cafe site from Wednesday 17th December.

birds

If you would like to get in touch please call: (07791246022 or 07947367463) or email: pilotpublishing@googlemail.com

December 11, 2008

Sunday 7th December

Its the last day of our two week Under Collective Construction ‘kick start event’. A lot has happened. We’re having a cook up and the weather is perfect. Like summer on ice.

day

Nigel gets the ‘found on the street, abandoned barbeque’ started for roasting chestnuts on charcoal…

chesnuts

…before working with Martin to construct a tent pole structure, in anticipation of that canvas we desperately need!

tent

Its starting to feel like we are more able to host and serve:

tea-and-coffee

tea and coffee,

sunstove

vegetable stew on the sun stove,

mushrooms

veg skewers on the barbeque and

bonfire1

hot potatoes from the millstone bonfire

bar

washed down with a glass of something from the ‘bar’,

set-up

and with music emanating from the bicycle power station (Shaun made a ‘secure box’ for it today), relax in our ad hoc set up complete with palette platform and hand made table!

couplewithdog

Passer by guests today, included Frank, Sonia and their well dressed lurcher.

and from more further afield, Man, Benjamin and Rob, cruised through the icy waters of the Lee Navigation

icy

stopping at Enfield Lock

lock

to join us for a sunset supper.

sunset-view

A chance for us all to reflect on the past two weeks and the issues raised, to discuss the theme of common land: past and present and to make future plans for Energy Cafe… there’s still a lot to do.

powerstationetc

December 11, 2008

Saturday 6th December (and first thing Sunday morning)

colletteanddave

On their way for a walk across the park, Collete and Dave and their dog Ruby dropped off some surplus boards and a half full gas bottle from their garden. They encourage us to contact local stores such as Wicks who may have damaged stock that they could do with getting rid of. Dave runs a local football club, and we look forward to meeting his team at Energy Cafe in the near future!

field-station

Back at the Field Station, plans for the next day are discussed;

kitchentable1

Energy Cafe needs some furniture….most essential is a kitchen table to use for the late lunch Sunday cook up. Ella spends the night hours making the table top out of floorboards and 2by2.

kitchentable2

and then first thing in the morning…

tablelegs

Nigel arrives and within a short time, the table legs are attached

tablelegs2

and to ensure full stability, side panels added.

tablefinish

kitchen table is now ready for use.

December 11, 2008

Friday 5th December

palettearrive

At last! The arrival of a truck load of 100 good quality palettes

palette2

plus over a ton of loose planks.

palette7

Generously donated and delivered by PR Pallets (Southern) LTD, based in Waltham Abbey.

palette31

One, Two, Three, PULL!” using pure ‘muscle power’, It took the lunch hour to offload the palettes…

palleteplanks1

Darren supervised the team ; Energy Cafe crew, Park Rangers, LANS staff and Delivery guys .

michelle

“we could make a palette city!’

stacking-wood1

Finally we have plenty of fuel for wood burning stoves and fires,

shiftpalletees

enough wood for building structures,

palette-lift

and Energy Cafe furniture,

paletteflight

planks for roofing…
palleteson-site

palettes to make ‘desire paths’ and walkways throughout the site to protect against the wet ground

paletteblocks1

and most urgently a…

palette-platform

solid, raised platform around the trailer .

December 11, 2008

Thursday 4th December

Inspired by his visit to Energy Cafe last week, Andrew returned today with his fantastic invention: a Swirl Stove.

stovewithbattery

Made from a customised flue, the stove ignites with a micro amount of electricity from a battery.

sawdustchips

Andrew added sawdust pellets and a drop of parafin to get it going.

swirlfire

The flame spins in a smokeless swirl…

kettleon

How long will it take to boil water in the storm kettle?

kettleboiled

Just three minutes and one handful of pellets!

The wood chippings that Andrew donated burn just as well. A great advantage of this stove is that: “it could continuously produce char from dried tree surgery waste…and still do your cooking.” It did a great fried egg!

fire1

“This is: The Boy Scouts Guide to Making Willow Charcoal in the Swirl Stove”

You will need: willow branches and a tin can with lid.

cuttingwillow

Chop willow branches into even lengths…

sticksincan

…so they fit into the tin can with the lid closed.

fullcan

Fill the can with lengths of a similar width and close the lid.

charcoalmaking_in_swirlstove1

Place can in Swirl Stove…

buiried-can

…bury with fuel (sawdust pellets or wood chips), put the kettle on and wait…

letitcool

…for 40 minutes. Remove can with tongs and let it cool.

charcoalstick

Hey presto! Beautiful sticks of charcoal for sketching with.

box2

December 10, 2008

Tuesday 2nd & Wednesday 3rd December

paddy1

mud1

coming soon…

December 10, 2008

Monday 1st December

Breakfast at Energy Cafe

breakfast

orangejuice

A morning of willow coppicing…

willow

shaunwillow

willowchop2

willowshaving

enough to make a bender…(takes a few hours)

step one: find a dry and sheltered spot

benderpalettes1

step two: make a platform out of palettes

ellashaunbender1

step three: bend willow to form the basic dome structure

weavebender

step four: tie together using hemp string

sebwillow2

coppice more willow if needed

benderdusk

finally: a sturdy structure.

next step: to find canvas and suitable ways to insulate and keep out the draft.

nickbike

Bender building accompanied by peddle powered Ipod tunes.

bread

And Fiona’s delicious home made sour dough ‘croissants’ with tea.

sebsunset

nighttree

A walk in the night to collect cut branches for firewood.