Solar Cookers

by Frank Gapinski

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While we were shooting the Permaculture Soils video with Geoff Lawton, we noticed an array of shiny solar cookers being assembled on the jetty at Zaytuna Farm. Barb Ford from Brisbane was cooking the afternoon lunch for the woofers and students on the farm.

Taking a break from our filming, we asked Barb to give us a run down on the various cookers she had on display and explain their uses. Not all Solar Cookers are the same. Some act as ovens whilst others act as direct burners.

I always had the idea that it took forever to cook a meal under solar, but as I discovered, this is not the case.
Barb soon whipped up some Australian Damper, a boiling pot of coffee, scrambled eggs and a delicious stew that we ate for lunch.

The amazing part is that you can make a solar oven from just about anything. As Barb explains in the video, old pizza boxes make great solar cookers, but its probably best to use the big pizza boxes to be more effective. In fact she says election posters can be re purposed to make great solar heaters and actually prove to be more useful than the candidate they depict!

Geoff Lawton later explained to us that Barb is in fact a medical doctor – studying to become a woofer on the farm! What a remarkable woman and career combination!