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Author John Allen Celebrates his 95th Birthday

Author John Allen Celebrates his 95th Birthday

May 6th, 2024, marks writer, ecologist and engineer, John Allen’s 95th birthday! Among his friends and peers, John is often referred to as Johnny Dolphin. On his birthday, we celebrate the accomplishments and inspiration he has seeded throughout his lifetime and continues to perpetuate. 

Johnny is a thought leader, innovator, poet, and, most notably, a planetary steward. As an explorer of the mind and planet, Johnny and his cohorts birthed many inspirational endeavors including Biosphere II in Oracle, AZ  (containing every biome in the world within a glass-enclosed dome of 3.14 acres),  Synergia Ranch (organic farm, orchard, adobe construction company and more) in Santa Fe, NM, the Research Vessel Heraclitus (a ferro-cement ship, based on the design of a Chinese Junk, that has traveled 270,000 miles in every sea in the world, except the Arctic), the October Gallery in London, UK (home of the ‘transvangarde’ art movement), Las Casas de la Selva (sustainable forestry project in Puerto Rico), and the Institute of Ecotechnics (which has held annual conferences on pressing ecological concerns at the highest level since the early 1970s), and more. 

If you would like to learn more about his work, he has written a memoir published by Synergetic Press, Me and the Biospheres: A Memoir by the Inventor of Biosphere 2.

We hope you enjoy your birthday, Johnny!

Earth Day: From Dystopia to a Hopeful Future

Earth Day: From Dystopia to a Hopeful Future

With the grim reality of newspaper headlines and scientific reports, what exactly does “Earth Day” represent anymore? As we continue to approach the climate crisis, we need to remember there is indeed hope through direct action and future planning. This is an article about mobilizing for our future through inspiration and vision. 

Imagine a town where fruit trees are lining the streets. Bicycles instead of cars parked in front of stores. Community gardens in every vacant lot. The streets are full of laughter and people walk throughout.

Children and elders are gathered together outside. They are painting artwork at the intersections and crosswalks. Children attending class under trees. Teens are attending their trade of choice; learning to blacksmith, growing food, tending to animals, crafting tinctures and herbal blends, designing renders with a 3D printer, and much more. 

Imagine a world where we source 90% of our resources and food locally. A world where we are no longer measured by our material gain but by how we engage with our community.

Alternatives to the Status Quo: Permaculture Communities and Ecovillages

This way of living is a reality throughout the world in places referred to as transition towns, intentional communities, and ecovillages

These communities provide connection, purpose, and security. They sometimes provide income or necessities. Lastly, they use fewer resources, source much of their own food, and reuse many of their everyday items. 

Rob Hopkins, the founder of Transition Towns, emphasizes the need to imagine our future to inspire our collective population to build this reality. He is one of many authors and thought leaders to encourage people to dream of new realities through harnessing fiction and imagination. 

Octavia E. Butler is another exemplary author to lead people to new realities. In her well-known works, Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents, she leads people to imagine a dystopian future of calamity and hope where people live in a climate-distressed world, adapt by learning to live in communities, and source locally while fighting tyrannical governments. Her work inspires us to accept our current realities to have the strength to change them. In Parable of the Talents, she writes,

“To survive, 

Let the past

Teach you–

Past customs,


Leaders and thinkers.



Help you.

Let them inspire you,

Warn you,

Give you strength.

But beware:

God is Change.

Past is past.

What was


Come again.


To survive,

know the past.

Let it touch you.

Then let

The past



Distributing Equity for the Earth and Marginalized Peoples

When thinking about adapting to the changes in our environment I continue to wonder, “What is Earth Day really about?” For me, it is a reclamation of equal value for all peoples and beings. Tony Juniper’s book, What Has Nature Ever Done For Us, outlines how we can bring value to animals and plants throughout the world, looking beyond economical value and measuring value based on uses the plant brings to its environment, medicine, and more. 

And yet, what does it look like to re-distribute equal value to all peoples? adrienne maree brown also introduces imagination as the answer, “Imagination is one of the spoils of colonization, which in many ways is claiming who gets to imagine the future for a given geography. Losing our imagination is a symptom of trauma. Reclaiming the right to dream the future, strengthening the muscle to imagine together as Black people, is a revolutionary decolonizing activity.”

Earth Day can be a reminder of what we need to do, encouraging us to remember and learn about those who have offered solutions and feel resilient in the current of change. 

To conclude, here is a vision of our future within an excerpt from Social Forestry by Tomi Hazel Vaarde.

“We are trying to act as good stewards, and we praise the powerful feedback through animal spirits and dreams. Our Hunters-guild has learned much from Wolves—who are eminently social—in their relationships with prey. With taboos, etiquette, and cautionary tales, our springtime Human councils consider much and approach decisions and protocols with respect, humility, and hopefully wisdom.

The animal societies that we live closely with and work with are facilitated to hold generational range (youth and elders), language, ritual, and social arrangements. Many of the animal societies we share with are also enabled to work with other totemic species in multicultural swarms, doing land tending with us.

We Humans live in clan clusters, our homes. As we all belong to nature-based totem clans, we empathize with and notice coincidence and complexity. Many of our social arrangements are patterned and informed from careful observation of the immense wonder of being alive together, adapting to our Place in loopy relationships. Much art emerges; we learn to converse with Others; important help is rendered, with perfect timing, as we dance.”

What if every day was Earth Day? How would you choose to live? 

Photo by Paul Rysz on Unsplash


Intersectional Approaches to Environmental Justice

Intersectional Approaches to Environmental Justice

Environmental Justice

Environmentalism, as a movement, is propelled by the rapid degradation of the natural world and its intent is to take action in order to conserve and protect nature for future generations of humans and non-humans alike. But there is no world where environmental justice can prevail without bringing justice to all peoples in need. As Leah Thomas, author of The Intersectional Environmentalist: How to Dismantle Systems of Oppression to Protect People + Planet, writes, “We can’t save the planet without uplifting the voices of its people, especially those most often unheard.”

We cannot learn to value water, air, and all other life forms without bringing unequivocal value to humans of all ethnicities, religions, genders, and orientations. This is directly related to a system of hierarchy wherein humans place themselves as “more important” than other beings and forms of life. An example of this can be found in colonialism, in which one group of people seize access to resources and exert power over groups of other races, religions, and genders. This power dynamic is also displayed in the anthropocentric view that humans are superior to other animals, plants, mountains, bodies of water, and beyond.

Instead of this hierarchical placement of value, we can locate our place in the world using an intersectional perspective, as suggested by Kimberlé Crenshaw, who defines intersectionality as: “A lens through which you can see where power comes and collides, where it interlocks and intersects. It’s not simply that there’s a race problem here, a gender problem here, and a class or LBGTQ problem there. Many times that framework erases what happens to people who are subject to all of these things.” 

The state of the natural environment, systemic inequity, and racism are deeply interwoven, with colonialism serving as a historical catalyst that perpetuated the exploitation of both human populations and natural resources. Today, the direct correlations between marginalization and environmental degradation are more apparent than ever.

In this blog, we will go over the following topics and examples of the intersection between environmental and racial justice. We explore disastrous events that occurred in regions with a higher proportion of a demographic of people of color with lower incomes and how their impact is related to these intersecting lenses. 

Unveiling Systemic Injustices Faced by Marginalized Communities

There are instances when a corporation’s choice to pollute a region is directly correlated to areas that have demographics with lower income and people of color. 

One prime example is of a powerful corporation making a conscious decision to pollute toxic coal ash while knowing its harmful effects on the environment and human health. Describing the situation, Brian Bienkowski writes, “Uniontown is nearly 90 percent black with an average median household income 74 percent lower than the national average. The coal ash, three million cubic yards and counting, represented a windfall for a community where almost 50 percent live below the poverty line.”  One of the residents of Uniontown shared, “No one thought that the members of this poor community would fight back or that anyone would listen to us.”

Bienkowski continues, “Too often toxic coal ash, a byproduct of coal-fired power, ends up in poor, minority communities.”

Similar events occur in under-resourced areas that are often targeted as sites to frack, drill oil,  and dump large amounts of toxic waste

These events are extremely detrimental to the environment and cause intergenerational damage to those who live in these areas. Yet corporations and governmental entities continue to target areas with less access to resources with the majority of the population being BIPOC communities. 

Environmental Injustice and Covert Discrimination

However, not all environmental injustices are as obvious. They can be veiled through covert money trails, ambiguous laws that are passed, or media cover-ups.

The article “Flipping the Script: White Privilege and Community Building” outlines how racial discrimination was implicated throughout the evacuation, storm, and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, how it was masked to portray a different story, and the connection between environmental and social justice. 

“Even though the predicted consequences of a category 4 or 5 hurricane were shared in reports, case studies, and requests for funding, the federal government did not respond to the needs,” the authors write. 

The category differs here from “direct” to “indirect” because the effects of Hurricane Katrina were accumulated both from structural neglect as well as intentional misgivings from federal funding and propagated media biases. Essentially, the government did not cause the natural disaster but the effects of the storm could have been mitigated. 

Authors further describe how the media creates these biases, “In the extensive coverage of Hurricane Katrina, we noticed that many of the most desperate survivors are people of color. Hearing their stories, we learned of the impact of generations of housing, transportation, employment, and other policies that had failed these US residents.  She goes on to say, “In fact, we cared to do so little about these residents that we did not build levees strong enough to withstand predictable weather and its consequences.”

Natural disasters are one of many catastrophes that are growing as a result of the climate crisis. Food shortages, less availability of clean water, smogged and fire-prone areas, drought, and more will continue to heighten as global temperatures continue to rise.

Funding, resources, and awareness will continue to diminish for people of color in need as the climate crisis intensifies unless we bring awareness and preventative action to these areas through fundraising, education, and empowered action. 

Reimagining Resource Distribution and Reparative Justice

Imbalances of wealth, health, and environmental access become visible when you compare areas that have access to stable housing, fresh produce, parks and recreational areas, and comprehensive medical care, with those that don’t.

The imbalance of resource distribution can be attributed to many legislative acts in US history including, but not limited to: the Homestead Act of 1862, the Home Owners’ Loan Corp. (HOLC) (part of a federal agency created as part of the New Deal Acts in the 1930s), and black veterans who were denied the GI Bill after WW2. 

So what does it look like when our movements for environmental justice are deeply informed by racial justice movements? We turn to the words of Leah Penniman, author of Farming While Black, who identifies the need and conditions for reparations for Black Americans. 

In her book, Penniman writes, “Enslaved Africans never received reparations for their unpaid labor or broken families. The promise ‘40 acres and a mule’ during Reconstruction was retracted. In fact, some white plantation owners received reparations for their ‘lost property.’

If African American people were paid $20 per week for our agricultural labor rather than enslaved, we would have $6.4 trillion in today’s dollars in the bank right now. This figure does not include reparations for denied credit and homeownership opportunities, exclusion from the social safety net and education, or property theft and destruction. There is a reason why the typical white household has 16 times the wealth of a typical black household: 80 percent of wealth is inherited, often traceable back to slavery times. Existing policies reinforce and augment the wealth gap.” 

She outlines three characteristics of true reparations:

  • “Nothing about us, without us”: Black people get to define what reparations look like.
  • “No strings attached”: Transfers of land and resources without oversight or conditionality.
  • “The whole pie”: Give the land, money, and jobs away, even and especially when it entails personal sacrifice.


As we look ahead to remediation efforts, we must challenge the distribution of resources while embracing the value of all beings in an equitable way. 

If you would like to contribute to organizations that are paving the way for a just and equitable earth visit and consider supporting to the following organizations:


Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Tips for Preserving and Harvesting Fruits & Vegetables

Tips for Preserving and Harvesting Fruits & Vegetables

If you have ever produced too much in your garden you have probably wondered, “What should I do with all these extra fruit and veggies?” This article contains many great tips for preserving and harvesting your fruits and veggies to be able to enjoy them year-round! The following excerpt is from the book The Regenerative Landscaper: Design and Build Landscapes that Repair the Environment by Erik Ohlsen, with some minor edits for clarity.

Harvesting Leafy Greens

Lettuce (Lactuca sativa)

Harvest the outer leaves of loose heads as needed for fresh eating; the plant will continue to grow. Head lettuce is best left to form tight heads and harvested all at once. Store harvested lettuce in the refrigerator or cold storage and consume within a few days.

Kale (Brassica oleracea var. sabellica)

Harvest the lower leaves of kale by popping them off at the stalk. Work your way up to the top each time you harvest. Our favorite way to eat kale is to pull the leaves off leaf stalks, chop it up, and massage it with salt and olive oil (lemon juice and nutritional yeast are optional additions). Salt wilts the kale and makes it extra tender. Even the kids eat kale this way. To store, add kale to your favorite soups and can or freeze.

Spinach (Spinacia oleracea)

Spinach is best grown in partial shade, the outer leaves harvested when still young and tender. Baby spinach can be added to salad mixes while larger leaves can be cooked into soups, wilted over eggs, or used in specialty dishes like spanakopita. Spinach is one of the few greens that handle freezing well. Pack washed greens into a bag and freeze until ready for use.

Collards (Brassica oleracea var. viridis)

These nutritious greens are highly versatile and take well to being frozen for long-term storage. Harvest the outer leaves when still tender. Steamed collards mixed with your favorite seasoning are a great addition to a meal or add them to soups and other specialty dishes like beans and greens. One of my favorite ways to eat collards is to take a large leaf in the garden and wrap it around other fresh greens and flowers like a burrito wrapping. Try it out! It’s a fun way to consume fresh garden goodies. You can use the large leaves as nutritious wraps for all kinds of foods.

Preserving Root Crops

Carrots (Daucus carota var. sativus)

Carrots come in many shapes, colors, and sizes. Know what you’re planting before you sow those seeds. After you harvest carrots and wash them thoroughly, you can cut them into long strips and put them in a glass container with a little bit of water in it. The water keeps the carrots fresh and crisp instead of wilting as they often do. Keep them in a cool, dark place (refrigerator is best). Make a carrot soup or turn them into crunchy carrot pickles for long-term storage.

Potato (Solanum tuberosum)

Potatoes originate from South America and there are literally thousands of traditional varieties. Some are better for baking while others are better for mashing and still others are better for frying. Mmmm, so many options. Harvest potatoes when the top vines (leaves) have completely died back. This crop takes patience but it’s worth it. They often grow 15:1 meaning that one potato planted will produce 15 new potatoes. Store them in a cool, dry, dark place. Burying them in sawdust is a great way to keep them from sprouting. Whip them up into any of your favorite potato dishes and can or freeze them for long-term storage.

Beets (Beta vulgaris)

Beets are another root crop that has many variations, coming in many colors and patterns and flavors. Beets are delicious steamed and thrown into a salad or turned into borscht—a favorite in my house. Make a large pot of borscht, eat for a few meals, and then can or freeze the rest.

Onion (Allium cepa)

Onions are a staple food in my house as we use them in most of our cooked dishes. Harvest onions when their necks have flopped over. Onions have some of the best storing qualities but they need to be cured to achieve longevity. To cure them, spread them out in a single layer, making sure they don’t touch. This is best done in warm temperatures (75°F–80°F) and a dry breeze is helpful. Leave for a few weeks until the stalks and papery skins are dry. A properly cured globe onion can last up to a year.

Garlic (Allium sativum)

Garlic is best planted in October and harvested in June. Harvest garlic when the stalks turn brown. Remove the roots but leave the stalks. One of the most enjoyable ways to store garlic is to braid the stalks into long bunches of garlic, which are then hung in a dry location. Hang this in your kitchen and harvest garlic directly off the braid as needed.

Preserving Vining & Summer Plants

Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum)

Sauce Tomatoes. There are hundreds of tomato varieties but only a few that are best for making sauces. San Marzano, Early Girl, and other red tomato varieties make for great sauces. Harvest tomatoes ripe off the vine and cook them down into sauce. Use it for your favorite pasta and pizza dishes and can or freeze the rest.

Slicing Tomatoes. Slicing tomatoes are of the large variety and can be added to sandwiches or used to make caprese salad. Tomatoes do not store well and need to be eaten fresh within a couple days of harvest. The best storage option for large tomatoes is to chop them up as a base for sauce or salsa, which can then be frozen or canned for later use.

Cherry Tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes are small, bite-sized tomatoes often picked and eaten right in the garden. Use cherry tomatoes in salads, sauces, soups, or roasted tomato dishes. Add to salsa or sauces and freeze or can for preservation.

Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus)

Pickling Cucumbers. Most fresh eating cucumbers make great pickles. That being said, there are few varieties that are specifically grown for pickling. Pickling cucumbers is easily done by fermenting them in a simple salt brine. After a few days of fermentation, they are ready to eat. Preserve pickled cucumbers by canning them for long-term storage or keep in the refrigerator and they will remain good for weeks.

Squashes (Cucurbita)

Winter Squash. Winter squash are varieties that are harvested in the winter once the vine has begun to die back. This means they need to be planted in the late spring and early summer. Most winter squash has thick skin and, once harvested, will stay fresh for many months if kept in a dry location. Squash can be turned into soups or chopped up and preserved by canning or freezing for even longer storage.

Summer Squash. These varieties need to be harvested when they are small and tender. If left on the plant for too long, they will lose flavor and become pithy. Use these for stir-fry, frittata, soup, and roasting. Summer squash can be chopped up and stored in the freezer or made into soups and other favorite dishes for canning and preservation.

Corn (Zea mays)

Sweet Corn. Sweet corn varieties are meant for eating fresh. Sweet corn needs to be harvested when the tassels start to turn brown but before the husks brown at all. If left on the stalk too long, sweet corn will become starchy and lose its flavor. Eat fresh, grill, steam, boil, roast—sweet corn is versatile in its use. Cut the corn from the cob and make into cream of corn soup that can be canned or freeze cut corn as is for later use.

Dent (Flour) Corn. Dent corn (maize) varieties are important food sources for many Indigenous communities of the Americas including Cherokee, Seminole, Hopi, Pueblo, Omaha, Ponca, and others. Maize is considered sacred and has provided the nutritional foundation for many ancient societies. Harvest maize once the entire plant has died back and the corn-cobs are brown and dry. If rains are a threat, corn can be harvested early and dried to completion in the home. Dried dent corn can last years if kept dry. To use this corn, it is best to first follow a traditional nixtamalization (alkaline lime wash) process to soak the corn before grinding. This process dehulls the corn, increases its nutritional value, and makes it easier to grind. Once ready, maize is ground into a fine flour for tortillas and tamales.

Beans (Phaseolus)

Green Beans. Green beans are harvested when the pods are still green and tender. Green beans can be eaten fresh or roasted. One of the best ways to preserve them is to pickle them like you would traditional pickled cucumbers. This is an excellent way to store and eat them.

Dry Beans. Beans are harvested dry and cooked for tacos, soups, and other traditional bean dishes. Wait until the pods are completely brown before harvesting. Remove the dry beans from the pods and they are easily stored as-is for years in a cool, dry, dark place.

Mastering Charcoal: DIY BioChar Kilns for Sustainable Fuel and Soil Enrichment

Mastering Charcoal: DIY BioChar Kilns for Sustainable Fuel and Soil Enrichment

Making charcoal, especially biochar, is one of the most effective ways you can use the extra brush and logs when clearing an overgrown area. Master forester and author, Tomi Hazel Vaarde writes in their book,Social Forestry: Tending the Land as People of Place,” about two unique yet affordable ways to build DIY kilns to make your very own charcoal! Below is a compilation of excerpts from Hazel’s book, alongside photos and illustrations, to give you a step-by-step process to make these kilns and burn wood. 

The Types of Charcoal Kiln

The old, simple word kiln refers to a contained combustion chamber where materials can be heated to high temperatures. There are brick-kilns, pottery kilns, board-drying kilns, and charcoal-kilns. The idea is to be able to control temperature, drive-off moisture or brown-gasses, and cook clay-and-glazes to pottery. An oven for cooking or drying food generally does not heat up more than 500°F (>200°C). Kilns can go much higher for longer periods of time. Pottery can take all night.

A retort means a vessel that holds a chemical-reaction. A single-retort kiln contains Fire inside the main chamber. The fire is lit and is kept burning through a controllable oxygen-intake-port. The smoke from the gas-outtake flue (the chimney) is watched carefully for color changes, and the pyrolization is shut-down by capping the intake-port and the chimney port.

A double retort is a chamber within a chamber, with the inner chamber heated by combustion in the outer chamber. The smoke from the inner chamber is watched carefully and combustion is quenched in the outer fire when the inner chamber vent smoke turns clear or blue.  

The charcoal kilns at the ridge-pads and sorting-yards can be burned, quenched, unloaded, and reloaded, with the sorted-by-size wood, over and over, long into the winter. 

Vesta likes fat, freshly-dried Manzanita, one-to-six inches in (3-15 cm) diameter and two-to-four feet (~1m) long. The Fire Pig in Hestia requires two-and-one-half foot pieces (<1 m) to fit in the drum-retort.

Both Hestia and Vesta are kilns built to use portable-by-wheelbarrow parts. The Fire Pig drum in Hestia comes apart, and the bricks and pipes can be moved to a new location someday. Vesta is a simpler but larger kiln with a big sheet of metal-roof that can be rolled-up and moved, various portable stove-parts, and a down-slope metal wall. These are both small-kilns that are nonetheless moveable as fuel-reduction proceeds. What we will have to do is dig new pits and trenches on the new site, somewhere out on the newly extended trail-system.

How a Hestia Kiln is Built

Double Retort Kiln “Hestia” :

Hestia is a one-half cord (64 cubic feet or more than 2 cubic meters) pit, built in an old bulldozed cross-bar drain, left by the 1987 firefighters on the ridge between Wolf Gulch and Little Wolf Gulch. This north-rising ridge was bulldozed in 1987 and has grown back in thick Buckbrush and Manzanita. Twenty years ago, when we first started tending the ranch, we could walk up and down this steep backbone ridge, following wheel-ruts on easy, open, ground that standard fire-prevention wisdom would keep open, as a big fuel-break.

At Hestia, the kiln-site on the ridge, the pit is protected by a wind-wall built of salvaged-bricks and on-site adobe-mortar. In the pit sits the Fire Pig. This is a 55-gallon (280-l) steel-drum, laid on its side in a steel-cradle, to lift it off the floor of Hestia’s pit. The drum-lid has a reverse snorkel,coming off the high-middle threaded-hole in the drum-lid and bending down and under the cradle.

The two-inch (five-cm) pipe, under the drum, has forty one-quarter inch drilled-holes on a staggered one-inch grid-pattern, with the holes facing up toward the drum side. This is the vent-pipe for the inner-chamber of the double-retort. This is also the brown-gas-burner that ignites only after enough of the water vapor is driven out of the wood inside the Fire Pig (the inner chamber). The outer chamber is the pit, Hestia-herself, ready to hold Fire.

To pyrolize the Oak logs or limbs inside the drum, we burn Buckbrush and Manzanita brush (from the ridge-clearing-work) laid alongside and on top of the Fire Pig. The Fire Pig drum has two wings, welded as a wide V on the top, to hold some hot-coals from the brush-burn-pile in Hestia. As soon as the brown-gas-burner ignites, we drag some of the hot-coals away from both sides of the Fire Pig and shovel them into the oxygen-quenching tubs, just as we do with the burn-pile method described above. This brush-charcoal does not have to be ground up and when cooled off can be bagged and wheelbarrow-delivered to the farm-operation compost piles. Once charged with bio-life and nutrients this brush charcoal becomes bio-char and is added, with the compost, to the food production-fields.


makes the best cooking fuel.


is good for composting.

How a Vesta Kiln is Built

Single Retort Kiln “Vesta” :

Vesta is a one-quarter cord (32 cubic feet, more than one cubic meter) trench, cut into a slope so that it can be covered and vented. The trench is about three feet across, one-and-a-half feet deep (less than a meter by less than a half meter) and less than ten feet long (3 m). The slope is at a ratio of one-in-ten rise. The walls are tamped-adobe that was pounded into wooden forms, and the top is a ten-gauge sheet of galvanized, flat metal with three pipes as ribs on top. When the trench is filled with wood, the lid is lowered and covered with up to 6 inches (15 centimeters) of dry soil. The cap-soil is a non-flammable insulation and comes from two storage pits on either side of the kiln-trench.

The 2-foot (60-cm) down-draft feed-tube is at the down-slope end of the trench and enters the trench through a 6-inch (15-cm) pipe-elbow at the bottom of the downslope end-wall. The chimney is a five-foot (150-cm) length of galvanized stove pipe, set on another six-inch elbow, set into adobe at the up-slope lip of the kiln-trench.

The chimney and the downdraft feed-tube can be pulled off the elbows (with heavy gloves and pads) when it is time to shut down the kiln and cut￾off oxygen to the interior-combustion. There are two stove-pipe caps, of the sort that is used to close an unused input-hole in a brick-chimney. When the pyrolization is complete and the stove pipes are pulled off, the elbows are capped and set tight with a mallet to prevent smoke-escape. Then extra cap- soil is added where there are smoke-escapes and tamped down lightly to seal up Vesta all-the-way.

This combustion-system is a hybrid of a downdraft rocket-stove and a single-retort kiln-box. The scale is appropriate for two workers, or one very-competent operator. The lid can be lifted off (after the dirt cap is removed), once the kiln cools off after about a day. We must be sure the fire has gone out before we dare to unseal. We could lose a lot of charcoal to a small oxygen input.

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