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skiddable canning kitchen  RSS feed

 
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For Part 3 of the rocket mass heater workshop jamboree, we will be building a skiddable canning kitchen.   This will feature a lot of lorena style rocket cooker action.   We hope to be able to can about four to six times faster than a single conventional kitchen.  

Before the workshop begins, we need the skiddable structure to be ready:



The interior floor plan will be 8x16.

Thanks to Davin Hoyt for drawing up something to get us started:

skiddable-canning-kitchen.jpg
[Thumbnail for skiddable-canning-kitchen.jpg]
skiddable canning kitchen draft
 
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Looks good - I really like the diamond pattern developing on the wall there.   Seems like a good way to utilize "off cuts" (smaller pieces of lumber) without looking shabby - make the shorter boards part of the design.

Was it done like that to use up lumber, or just because it looks cool?
 
paul wheaton
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Julia Winter wrote:Looks good - I really like the diamond pattern developing on the wall there.   Seems like a good way to utilize "off cuts" (smaller pieces of lumber) without looking shabby - make the shorter boards part of the design.

Was it done like that to use up lumber, or just because it looks cool?



It was done like this to add structural integrity.  Kinda like knee-braces-gone-wild!
 
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Thank you to Paul for pulling quick measurements off the skiddable kitchen frame for our cabinetry team.

Interior floor 7 feet 9 inches by 16 feet.

Heights:
Back wall 6 feet 9 inches
Front wall 9 feet 7 inches


General layout:
Strength: On both the open sides, we want to build in further cross-bracing / shear and diagonal support, where the diagonal support braces are now.
This thing will get seriously tweaked every time it is loaded onto a trailer or skidded; it almost needs bulkheads like a boat or gypsy wagon.

Vehicle Interactions:
This structure interacts regularly with vehicles bringing potable water, a fire truck or pickup for wash water, and occasionally with its hauling trailer.
Short ends or corners might be the optimal place to bring these vehicles in to re-fill heavy tanks, and to locate the coffee/tea station and dish-washing areas, solar hot water deployment, etc.

We might also want to think about weight, where the water tanks/storage are balanced side-to-side.  Water tanks up high may be useful for collecting rainwater and operating a sink, but should be drained for transport.
Rainwater collection to the corner(s) for a hand-washing sink, before entering the end-wall doors, could be cool.
A solar shower bag for hot water could be nice on the sunny side.
Corners are stronger, and a good place to locate tanks or other heavy elements.


Back side:  Garden / Greywater
The dripline is not a great place for chow line. That's the "back" side, would tend to face a garden or downhill area when possible.
The skiddable kitchen may be used on garden sites where there is fresh produce available, or with portable planter pots for fresh herbs & ingredients.  A "back door" or pass-through to the garden could be useful; however this is also the safer side to locate fryers, griddles, and other tools that could be a problem on the chow line side.

I would imagine we want the closed-off utilities on that side - dripline and greywater could both feed a nearby garden or downslope area, or we could collect some rainwater off the dripline to feed a sink/wash tank on one corner. 
We might also want a compost receptacle on that side that could be emptied without interrupting the cooking/chow line space in front.
Planter pots of herbs, or sets of hanging pots / window pots, could be located under the drip line for longer-term deployments.


Front Side: Chow Line / Delivery and Expansion
The "front", taller open side is a logical place for delivery/access functions. This side should face the road in most locations.
This looks like a logical place for "chow line," an open counter for food service, and sometimes for deliveries. 
Most of this side may have lower cabinets/counters, and upper openings for pass-through or awning-style openings.  However, some areas will need stronger construction/cross-bracing, and might be good areas for cabinets, tool racks, etc. 

Facilities / Kitchen Layout:
For functional group cooking, I would like a semi-protected space for a "main cook" (who doesn't need traffic bumping them while handling glass lasagna pans),
- and a "self-serve" space for coffee/tea, snacks, and maybe some re-heating or solar oven storage.


If we imagine chow line moving right-to-left, the handwashing sink is on the right endwall.  Chow line goes about 12 feet, then there is a drop-down counter that makes things L-shaped, for additional food service. (About 2 to 3 feet wide).
On the back side of this counter, is where self-serve and beverage stations could be located, as people often take 2 trips or need these things outside of meal times.  A coffee/tea/snack station, separate from the main kitchen, helps with self-serve outside of meal times without interrupting the cooks.
Left of that, beyond the end of the kitchen, is where self-serve dish washing can be set up.  A second drop-down counter could be located beside this endwall door, or dish washing can happen with a separate set of tables and washtubs.

This is a fairly small kitchen, but more than most boat "galleys" that serve dozens of hearty meals per day. 
For self-serve, some of the cooking or prep might be done in adjacent, tent-type spaces which access cabinets or cooking equipment from the outside. 
We might think of lower cabinets opening from the outside where appropriate.
We could build fold-down counters or prep tables that mount to the outside, extending the space on the tall side and ends.  (Probably not right under the drip line, however.)

We need to think about clearance areas for the rocket stoves/ovens, probably a tea stove on the front open side, and an oven somewhere.

We may want a spot for the mini-fridge / mini-chest-freezer for future, or for a Cool-Gardie alternative, that gets good air flow.  Away from the stoves, with counter space between.

Glass containers for food storage may be popular, necessitating boat-style cupboards or fabric containment to reduce breakage.  (Like a shoe rack, but stronger; or drawers or racks that hold jars in wood).
Stainless cookware, mixing bowls, and containers would also be good, and cast iron will likely be popular.

The traditional "triangle kitchen" where the stove, sink, and fridge are 3 points of a triangle is still a good model here.  However, we may not have a fridge.  I might suggest a substitute (cool-gardie or shade pantry) in the corner where it can be accessible to the beverage station as well as the cook.

Solar:
Since location and aspect vary, solar tools need to be deployable.  We could have exterior cabinets for solar ovens, PV panels, solar shower bag and wash station, etc. that can be deployed in the nearest sunny clearing.  They may have hooks, tripods, or other frames that hold them during use.  Some of their cabinets could then become available for bulk food storage, or countertop/prep spaces.

Power / RV Hookups:
We might want a power and water hookup in case we happen to be in an RV campground or near the shop. 
Main uses of electric would be some low-draw lights (LED or similar), and possibly a USB charger for cooks who use digital recipe storage. 
When more power is available, refrigeration, mixers, and slow-cookers might also be used.

Hauled Water
All water stuff needs to be fully drainable for freeze protection.  (And for cleanout).  If a fixed tank is used, it needs to be accessible with cleaning brushes / well drained for complete rinsing.

Buckets are popular and nearly man-friendly (lifting 45 lbs of sloshing water overhead is not a popular chore).  Block and tackle or pumps can help with this.  However, buckets are easily contaminated, and can be confused with dirty-jobs buckets (such as bucket toilet systems).  Labeling helps, but wears off.  It's better to have unique, diffucult-to-contaminate, easy to clean containers for potable water.
Closed carboys, water-cooler jars, or jugs with lids may be easier to keep separate. 

If we are going to gravity-feed potable water, we might want a pump either for bringing it up to the sink, or for raising it to an overhead storage tank.  Stick/old-fashioned well pumps can work for a tank under the sink, but something with a little more mechanical advantage might be needed for overhead.  Not all delivery will be able to pump water, and the fire truck should not be used as it's all non-potable tanks and fittings

Interactions between potable water, and greywater for dishes/rough washing, will help reduce overall water usage.
The corner(s) by the doors may be good water locations, as an assistant can refill water without causing too much interruption to the cook(s).

Materials:
As always on Wheaton labs, we are aiming for minimal or positive ecological footprint.  Where possible, natural and biodegradable materials are preferred.

The skid structure and majority of finishing will be made from natural wood.  This may be unfinished, or oiled with natural oils.  We may avoid nut woods and nut oils due to common allergies.

The kitchen tools are a variety of materials. 
Operators will generally want composting facilities, recycle receptacles, and predominately re-usable containers and bulk ingredients. 

For plumbing, we're looking at copper, PEX, or poly plumbing, trying to find the most durable and least toxic options. 
Bamboo plumbing is cute, but has limited permanent uses due to its tendency to rot unless treated with unwholesome coatings.  Cedar plumbing could be cool if we have the skill and discipline to freeze-protect it.


I'll work up a rough sketch momentarily.
Those with boat, RV, camp cook, and kitchen installation experience, please feel free to suggest more efficient layout options.

(And of course the site owners and staff!)

Yours,
Erica
 
paul wheaton
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Here is the image i sent to erica
skiddable-canning-kitchen-2.jpg
[Thumbnail for skiddable-canning-kitchen-2.jpg]
 
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I am in awe with the amount of items to incorporate!

I love it and look forward to learning a lot about space utilization and optimization!

I know they were saying the structure is heavy and no doubt fully loaded it will be VERY heavy!
8-O
Cool beans!
 
Erica Wisner
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Here are a couple quick sketch views.

The griddle, oven, and rocket HW in the back are one of Tim Barker's kitchen contraptions in a steel frame. If these are no longer one unit, we have more flexibility in what goes where.

The 'step pump' could be a way to get potable water overhead for sink and beverage dispensers.  Dish pan in sink allows re-use of clean-ish water for non-potable purposes.  Greywater from sink can go to garden, or to intermediate use (laundry pre-soak tubs, etc).  Watch out for tomato sauce!


The dishes cabinet on the corner opens to the outside (and possibly also to the inside) - it takes up the "back corner" of the interior pantry, a common dead zone for pantry access. 
May want to size this to plastic dish tubs, or a wooden rack, to prevent breakage of dishes and facilitate return from dish area.


The "light weight overhead storage" (top part of tall area, above the height of convenience to cooks) might be where we store our solar deployables, empty dish bins, empty wash buckets, linens, and smaller, light-weight tables for dish/coffee/etc stations, etc.  It may need to be accessed by ladder, i.e. not that often. 
Full length overhead cabinets on this high side would help provide stiffness to the whole structure, like a box beam.

The pass-through area may not need a pocket door; however, both awning-style openings and swinging shutters have some practical problems in confined quarters, especially if they get deployed through countertop space that may have breakables on it.

Whether to do fold-down and fold-out tables on the sides of the kitchen shed, or just to bring along some folding tables and place them in these general areas, is up to time and interest of our crew.



-Erica
KIMG1834-OGKitchenLayout.JPG
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skiddable kitchen, front view of chow line
KIMG1832-OGKitchen-Layout-TopView.JPG
[Thumbnail for KIMG1832-OGKitchen-Layout-TopView.JPG]
skiddable kitchen, top view floor plan
 
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Looks great I'll start working on some things on my end looks like me and the boys will be coming up late wed because of a couple prior engagements. Look forward to meeting you guys and working with ya. Thanks The Adams
 
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That looks beautiful and should really kick ass when it's done.

Quick structural comment...  The two vertical posts on the tall side "look" like they are bypassing the floor and nailed/screwed to the floor at the bottom of each post.  Maybe they're temporary?  When you get a bunch of snow on that roof it may overpower those attachments.  It might be really good to have those posts sitting on the 2x4 to spread the load better to the floor.  Or in a magical world, have them land on the floor just above the skids.
 
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Re: Water and the kitchen.  Some of this may be obvious, but I'm gonna state it anyway in the hope that I seem smart.

1 - we shouldn't try to collect the runoff as potable.  Roof water is great for watering plants, not so good for drinking - unless there is some kind of homeopathic benefit of diluted bird poo.
2 - water delivery.  Given the distance of the kitchen (lab) from potable water, it would be ideal to make the deliveries efficient and as infrequent as possible.  While its possible to fit some water inside the structure, would it be better to have an external storage? (see below).
3 - Gray Water.  I imagine the kitchen will stay in one place for most of an event, and move locations between events.  This may create a situation where the gray water of hand and dish washing is concentrated in one area.  Does it make sense to have a gray water sink with a coiled waste line that is easily redirected?

Thinking about water delivery... what about using a 275 gallon IBC poly tote?  Its not hard to find ones that have had food (such as oil or vinegar) in them, they seal tightly, have a bottom valve and (drum roll) they can be picked up by the tractor using a pair of pallet forks.  Thus the tractor could be used to drive a full container of water to the lab (or wherever...), and then, because its acting as a fork lift and can, you know, lift things, the tote could be place on an elevated platform.  Now we've got water, some water pressure (or at least a height differential), and with two totes the tractor can ferry back an empty tote or there could be two full totes to feed the kitchen.

Things I'm not sure about ...
  • algae - the translucent tank allows algae growth over time
  • does the tractor even have a pair of detachable pallet forks? and is it reasonable to think it can be available for this task?
  • weight - just the water in a full tote weighs just under 2300 lbs, the tote something like and additional 130 lbs .  I think the tractor can lift 2, 275 lbs.
  • an external elevated rack - that's a structure to build, and move.  do we have time to do that?


  • That's all for the moment.  Thoughts appreciated!
     
    gardener
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    That looks like a beautiful structure. Our canning kitchen is packed on top of our bus once a year and set up as a camp at a place where we can get free apricots as long as we leave all the valuable seeds. A considerable amount of loud Ladakhi and Hindi pop music and dancing is involved.

    SECMOL-Apricot-jam-picnic-chopping-fruit-by-NidhiSable.jpg
    [Thumbnail for SECMOL-Apricot-jam-picnic-chopping-fruit-by-NidhiSable.jpg]
    SECMOL-Apricot-jam-picnic-boiling-jars-by-NidhiSable.jpg
    [Thumbnail for SECMOL-Apricot-jam-picnic-boiling-jars-by-NidhiSable.jpg]
     
    Rebecca Norman
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    Oops, I was looking at the title "Canning kitchen" but most of the descriptions above are for a regular kitchen or food service kitchen, not a canning kitchen.
     
    Julia Winter
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    Eliot Mason wrote:Re: Water and the kitchen.  <snip>

    Thinking about water delivery... what about using a 275 gallon IBC poly tote?  Its not hard to find ones that have had food (such as oil or vinegar) in them, they seal tightly, have a bottom valve and (drum roll) they can be picked up by the tractor using a pair of pallet forks.  Thus the tractor could be used to drive a full container of water to the lab (or wherever...), and then, because its acting as a fork lift and can, you know, lift things, the tote could be place on an elevated platform.  Now we've got water, some water pressure (or at least a height differential), and with two totes the tractor can ferry back an empty tote or there could be two full totes to feed the kitchen.

    Things I'm not sure about ...

  • algae - the translucent tank allows algae growth over time
  • does the tractor even have a pair of detachable pallet forks? and is it reasonable to think it can be available for this task?
  • weight - just the water in a full tote weighs just under 2300 lbs, the tote something like and additional 130 lbs .  I think the tractor can lift 2, 275 lbs.
  • an external elevated rack - that's a structure to build, and move.  do we have time to do that?



  • So, Eliot will be pulling out of the Portland area with an empty truck tomorrow morning, and his trip takes him right by a place that sells these totes.  Is this a thing that would be helpful, or is it uncool and unwelcome due to its materials or the drawbacks noted above?
     
    pioneer
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    Rebecca, yes, we're still thinking of this as a canning kitchen, though it could become usurped by other purposes.

    Julia, I think Paul finally contacted Eliot about the tote and they decided not to get it for now. (You might already be more up to speed than I am on this stuff.)

    I haven't read all of the awesome, thoroughly documented thoughts and ideas here, just popping in to document a brief conversation from last night between Erica, Paul, Fred and myself.

    potential uses/roles/types of kitchen
  • canning
  • outdoor kitchen / extra kitchen
  • event or catering kitchen
  • wheaton labs community kitchen
  • processing (not quite commercial) kitchen for private use

  • (any or some of these uses could be for rent, barter or other exchange)

    kitchen components (possible, not definite or definitive)
    lightweight structural support at corners
    modular items to move in or out - roughly 4-5' wide/long each
    possible double dorr or barn door on a side big enough to take out modules or move in a pallet of goods
    shutters or a way to close up in off-season or when not in use to protect from bears, unauthorized use, elements and weather
    serving window for event food or catering
    sink in kitchen for food prep, not dish washing
    greywater hose from sink to stretch out away from traffic / movable depending on location
    extra little sinks
    dish washing area (three sinks required) adjacent to but not in the kitchen
    wheaton labs fire truck "Judy" has tank for non-potable water for washing, to perhaps be nearby too
    might retrofit module counters later with stainless tops for processing kitchen


     
    Jeremy Adams
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    Wanted to let everyone know that the Adams family had a great time up there meeting everyone extending our
    Circle of friends. We contributed where we could and learned some cool new stuff boys are excited about finishing some canvas buckets Ernie Wisner turned them on to (there finishing there tools now) and the skidable kitchen is now a few steps closer to being a full functional off grid kitchen. Thanks Paul and Joycelynn for the hospitality, thanks to Fred and clan for getting things rolling, thanks to Ernie and Erica for bringing us in on the build and nice to work with Bill, Tony, and Elliot. Thanks to the film crew Josiah and Tuesday nice to meet you guys see ya on thrive through.
     
    paul wheaton
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    That was a rather delicious event!  I enjoyed the visits I had with folks the most.   A lovely break from my email river.


     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Jeremy Adams wrote:Wanted to let everyone know that the Adams family had a great time up there meeting everyone extending our
    Circle of friends. We contributed where we could and learned some cool new stuff boys are excited about finishing some canvas buckets Ernie Wisner turned them on to (there finishing there tools now) and the skidable kitchen is now a few steps closer to being a full functional off grid kitchen. Thanks Paul and Joycelynn for the hospitality, thanks to Fred and clan for getting things rolling, thanks to Ernie and Erica for bringing us in on the build and nice to work with Bill, Tony, and Elliot. Thanks to the film crew Josiah and Tuesday nice to meet you guys see ya on thrive through.



    Nice to meet you and your boys, too, Jeremy! I'm glad your peanut butter coated boys didn't attract any predators.
     
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    Some suggestions:

    https://www.usmobilekitchens.com/mobile-kitchens/kitchen-trailers/24-foot-mobile-kitchen-24001

    Mobile kitchens for rent. Might give some good layout ideas.

    Look for old army field manuals. The US Army has been serving hot meals from mobile field kitchens since 1916.

    Personal notes:

    * If going the wood burning route the rockets might need to be on the outside of the structure. Least in my area they would have to be just because of the food safety nazis.
    * Shame this is not on a trailer. I know it poses construction complications. But the ability to move it with ease opens up the ability to serve a larger community area in the even of disasters.
    * The only design worth its salt in gang cooking is aisle. 'U' shaped kitchens exist in home due to construction restrictions. Look in professional kitchens its the dominat design.
    * Design should be laid out 'hot' side, 'cold' side. Cold side houses refer, holding and prep tables. Hot side is ovens/griddles/range, hot water, presentation, wash station.

    Hope it is going well!
     
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