bdswagger wrote: Thats not necessarily the case. While lead isn't normally a problem in naturally occuring clays in the US, there are plenty of places where it is. One way to make sure... contact your local extension office and ask them about getting a soil sample test done, for heavy metals such as lead and arsenic. They will tell you what they need from you to do the test. Usually its free, sometimes a small fee-or at lest it USED to be free here-I dont know about California.
Also, not all commercially prepared clay bodies are necesarilly food safe. Some of them aren't. You should always check to make sure. Leigh
I'm really happy that the inventor shared the design publicly.
"the qualities of these bacteria, like the heat of the sun, electricity, or the qualities of metals, are part of the storehouse of knowledge of all men. They are manifestations of the laws of nature, free to all men and reserved exclusively to none." SCOTUS, Funk Bros. Seed Co. v. Kale Inoculant Co.
Joel, that sounds really interesting--and I can't seem to see the diagram you're describing; I wonder if it's because my computer is acting up or if it didn't upload. The materials sound difficult to come by, and of course parabolic mirrors are reasonably easy to hurt oneself with. Still, an interesting project, I think--and especially useful for folks who don't have an endless supply of wood.
Another alternative energy source some folks near Asheville NC have been working on is methane gas from the local landfill. They use it to power a high fire kiln and at least some of the other stuff at the site-such as hot water heating. Its called EnergyXchange, and I know they have a website, I just can't find it among my mess of Favorites.