Clicking on any of the pictures will open them at full size in the browser window, which means you will have to use the 'back' button to return to the main pages, whereas clicking to the left or right of any picture will open them in a new window, if you fancy a closer look at any of the piccies we've posted! We've included a Google Earth satelite picture of our plots and this years planting plan at the bottom of the page, next to each other. If you choose the Earth view on the satelite image you can rotate the image until it is lined up with the planting plan, then use the arrows in the plan to scroll from Plot 2 to Plot 1.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Twig Kettle - a new 'eco' toy for the plot!

We suffered a break in at the plot last month, our shed was opened and our kettle, camping stove, and all the stainless steel gardening tools taken, about £150 worth in total, annoying and inconvenient, especially at this time of year when camping gear isnt readily available (or cheap, as it normally only goes on offer at the end of the camping season!)

We've managed to replace most of the tools, with a few things having been bought on special offer from the net, but the one thing we've struggled with is a new stove / kettle. We found a camping stove like the one we had stolen on offer for £15, but no-one has the gas in stock at the moment (or if they do, then its expensive), so after coming across this twig powered kettle, we bit the bullet and ordered one today!

So, this is the new toy for the plot, a 'twig' kettle, boils 1.5litres using a small quantity of twigs in a fairly short time, the design is ingenious!

The base holds a small fire, a bit of paper or straw to start the fire, then a few twigs, the 'kettle' is then placed on top, and more fuel fed thru the central chimney into the base, the water is held in a jacket around the outside, meaning a large volume of water in contact with the heat source, making a fast boil!
In addition a small pan, a small wok and frying pan are also available, so whilst brewing up, a bacon butty or some homemade soup could also be cooked at the same time!

Ok, its not cheap to purchase in the first place, but being powered by nothing more than a few twigs means no further runnning costs, so comparing with even a basic gas stove (£20 or so, plus gas for the year at £10 or so plus a camping kettle £10) it soon becomes aparent that actually its not that expensive, and with no further running costs it will actually save money in the future, aswell as being very ecologically friendly by not needing any gas (and the inherant waste packaging that is needed for the gas) and running on what is basically a waste product!

It sould be delivered sometime in the next week, so once we've given it a go, we'll report back on whether it is as good in use as it appears in design!

Lee especially is looking forwards to playing with it, he's got a flint and steel that he recons will be ideal for lighting the base, making it even more eco friendly and fun, plus it gives him an excuse to play with fire on the plot all year round! LOL!

I managed to get to the plot for a short while today, to plant the last 50 onion sets, and to get a few piccies of the newly cleared and rebarked paths on plot 2, hopefully I shall get them processed and put up here tomorrow! The chillies, peppers, aubergines and first of the toms we planted last month are all doing really well, almost every windowsill is filled with 1" to 3" tall seedlings at the moment, cant wait till the temperature rises a bit and we can get them planted!

Hope your preparation for the coming growing year is going well!