[permaculture] Resource request re helping SW Indian groups

negiliblek negiliblek at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 5 22:45:31 EST 2009

Shivani in WI,

Not sure what your relationship to the SW natives are or which tribes you're refering to but here are some ideas.

1- rocket stoves (there are many stoves bearing the name "rocket stove")
Google for this downloadable pdf:
which will show you the different types.

I don't care for the "six bricks" rocket stove because it doesn't have the approximately 2inch drop from the floor of the horizontal throat into the vertical chamber (and not much of a horizontal throat either). Without this drop, I've found superheating of gases doesn't happen very quickly (some say the drop creates turbulence giving the gases more time to combust -I just know what works).

Sometime ago, I found a pdf on line which gives exact relationships between the length of the throat to
 the firebox opening, the gaps ect...  I've buildt two different rocket stoves using this pdf out of stone and river bed mud. They boiled water very quickly with four 1/2" sticks about 12 inches long (only six inches were consumed to boil the water).

I'll send you the pdf of this particular stove if you'd like since I failed to find it googling for you.

Target group: Navajo elders who still rely on wood for heat and some still for cooking.  There are still some youngsters who live close to the old ways.

A mason stove, and good one, bears the title "rocket stove". But it is too much work to sell to an old Navajo who already owns a building and doesn't have the physical ability to build one: 
I'd target young navajo who want to build new houses on the res but not in one of those ghastly numbered housing communities.

Also contact Ray Cirirno on this list. as he states he has created an even
 more efficient rocket stove using the venturi effect. In fact, I'd start with him first.

2- Polished Parabolic dish solar water heaters (encourage the use of old DishNet parabola and say maybe aluminum cans.  -again Ray Cirirno

3- Standard Solar water heaters (black containers behind two layers of glass in a sealed small structure).

4. Encourage the planting of wild plants via seed balls (make and sell the seed balls for throwing onto the landscape):
-Yucca baccata (banna yucca), 
-Yucca ?whipplei? unknwn species  which produces thousands of small three winged papered white seed on a stalk which tastes like oats. Found in the Mogollon
-Yellow fruit of the Cane fruit cholla
-Velet mesquite tree/bush
-Four wing Salt bush (wings must be milled off, seeds boiled for 1/2 hour, pour water off, boil second time and pour this water off also) -too astringent on the throat if not milled boiled as above.

5. Encourage the methods of
 cooking/preparing of the food in 4. -these foods taste good if prepared properly (experiment using as many methods as possible, then sell the bake goods along with the cook book).

6. Methane fermenters like this single body unit demo it, sell it.

demo it, sell it as "Replace your propane gas, generate your own"

Many Navajo use propane gas on the res.

7. Put this link all over the literature/products you produce (with permission of course).

8. Here's a great method for shelter: 
check out their abode brick press.
Sell this one as "Never have to repair your roof again"

Remember that the elders who live in remote areas of the res. are the most interested in permaculture; they already live close to the land.

Remember the Navajo keep many of their old cars on their property for parts for making things (be clever and make your demo items out of old common car parts -Ray Cirirno would be the man if you really want it to look cool).

The 25 and younger group are more interested in gang culture, rap music, and  myspace.... they want to leave the land, or live in those horrific little numbered housing communities. There is a small segment of the younger crowd that is interested in traditional ways; be careful not to introduce permaculture ideas that conflict with the traditional ways (this means you gotta spend sometime).


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