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looking for help to build mass heaters on American Indian reservation  RSS feed

 
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I first read this article
http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/13/health/iyw-american-indian-lakota-charity-one-spirit-firewood-program/index.html
and then found "mass heaters" on the web.....it looked like a great match
i posting here for 3 reasons
I need help finding a reliable design(s) that is easy for inexperienced people to build who have limited access to tools
i'd love to find anyone who could volunteer to go teach a workshop on the reservation...since i suspect success in building is much more likely if you can learn from someone who has already built one successfully
while they are learning how to build them they're going to be looking for funding so that after a core group learns to build the heaters they can spread out and teach others
this would be a great way to bring mass heaters to national attention...since i'm sure the same reporter would come back and do a follow- up article
thanks for your help...this is a really great site
ken tyler
ken@8thfold.com
510.384.7321
 
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The best resource for info and plans is the Rocket Mass Heater Builder's Guide by Ernie and Erica Wisner. They have developed a reliable and easy to build design that needs few tools.

The basic design uses firebrick, which may be hard to come by there; even regular old red brick may be hard to find. If the soil in that region has natural clay content, it is possible to build a good RMH with no bricks at all, just cob (clay + sand + straw). I have posted about this a couple of times:
Standing Rock needs stoves for the winter. Want to advise or help build RMHs?
Clay Rocket core/Bell/RMH system?
 
Glenn Herbert
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I would love to go help build/teach this, but it's a bit too far away for me
 
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I spent 20+ years helping as I was asked to do, on Pineridge, --and other Rez's. One of my first, and hardest, lessons was to learn to stop talking so much and learn to stop trying to fix their problems. I drove over 70 truck loads of clothing, furniture, food out there (1200 miles one way). We set up a women's and children's shelter. We took Herbalists and Midwives out there to teach. We established Little League teams with uniforms. We paid for Elders to travel to the U. N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva. We paid for and accompanied Elders and Medicine Men to go to Iraq to Pray for Peace. We paid for (endless) amounts of winter heat. I took them and gave them cars and pickup trucks. ....All of which they asked me to do.

What we didn't do was (the very obvious, to us) many projects which (we) thought would improve life there. We had learned that they had to decide what to do. Otherwise your (my) idea just won't work.

So my suggestion to you is that if you think rocket heaters is a good idea, suggest it to the Elders, or other folks, you know there. And see if they want a work shop. Or instructors. Or fire bricks. -Ask them first.
My second suggestion is that at the same time you propose mass heaters, you also suggest you could alternatively supply them with pickup trucks and chain saws, so they can go the Black Hills and cut and haul their own wood.
My third suggestion is that whatever you do, promise nothing. Only offer exactly what you can actually DO. They have heard it all before. And been disappointed many times.
 
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Hi Kenneth,
I have built a couple RMHs in the past, and was at Standing Rock until december '16...returned in March '17, and have been on the Cheyenne River reservation since August last year. I am actually setting up a tipi right now that will have an rmh inside it (6'' batch box edition). I would love to assist with a workshop, depending on where/when...or even have people come check out the one i'll be working on pretty soon. My past builds, though successful, are no longer in use, structures taken down and re-purposed and alas, i did not take pictures. I will document my next build and share it here
 
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you could maybe ask  Lakota Solar Enterprises (LSE) is located on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota

HENRY RED CLOUD might have some ideas
1001 Solar Warrior Rd
Pine Ridge, SD 57770
(605) 441-1140

there so many places that need the heating on the Reservations
in actually work with some new ideas for heating myself
medicine turtle
 
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Yes, this.

Listening is always a good plan.

I love the idea of having a good rocket mass heater building frenzy on the rez, and I think people will really take initiative.  Maybe it's already happening.

You might try talking with (and listening to) Bryan Deans who's Lakota if my memory serves, and works with Lakota community doing permaculture projects already.

Lastly, my thought is to settle for nothing less than having Ernie or Erica or Paul or Uncle Mud (Chris McClellan) or Peter come in person to do it right.  from Paul's podcasts I'm getting that there are common errors that set the whole thing back and then give the impression that it's just pseudopermaculture.  It's something where there isn't room for error--you can't sort of build a rocket mass heater and have something of value, you can build it and have a severe danger to life and limb, or a smoke hazard, or a completely useless pile of rock.  Even a really solid permaculturist may not have the time and patience to sort through all the rumors and facts on RMH's, and with fire there's too much room for error.  I imagine Bryan would agree with this, but we didn't talk about RMH's when I spoke to him a few years back.  I don't know if he has expertise on this, but if he's cautious about it I'd say it's a different matter to say "I'll do what it takes to bring Ernie and Erica over" vs. "I will build a RMH from the book."  Second choice would be build it from the book, I guess.  I haven't read it myself.  I'm only going on what I have heard from the podcasts and common sense.  2,000 degrees fahrenheit is nothing to mess with.  It's worth getting it from the horse's mouth and getting it right the first time, then you can move from there.

But again, only if it's something people are asking for. 

I imagine there are people asking for this, you may be able to find them. 

Here's a link to a conference Bryan was involved in.  https://munchies.vice.com/en_us/article/8x5q3x/inside-the-lakota-siouxs-fight-for-food-sovereignty

Maybe root cellars would be a better project to plug into.

Jim Fry wrote:I spent 20+ years helping as I was asked to do, on Pineridge, --and other Rez's. One of my first, and hardest, lessons was to learn to stop talking so much and learn to stop trying to fix their problems. I drove over 70 truck loads of clothing, furniture, food out there (1200 miles one way). We set up a women's and children's shelter. We took Herbalists and Midwives out there to teach. We established Little League teams with uniforms. We paid for Elders to travel to the U. N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva. We paid for and accompanied Elders and Medicine Men to go to Iraq to Pray for Peace. We paid for (endless) amounts of winter heat. I took them and gave them cars and pickup trucks. ....All of which they asked me to do.

What we didn't do was (the very obvious, to us) many projects which (we) thought would improve life there. We had learned that they had to decide what to do. Otherwise your (my) idea just won't work.

So my suggestion to you is that if you think rocket heaters is a good idea, suggest it to the Elders, or other folks, you know there. And see if they want a work shop. Or instructors. Or fire bricks. -Ask them first.
My second suggestion is that at the same time you propose mass heaters, you also suggest you could alternatively supply them with pickup trucks and chain saws, so they can go the Black Hills and cut and haul their own wood.
My third suggestion is that whatever you do, promise nothing. Only offer exactly what you can actually DO. They have heard it all before. And been disappointed many times.

 
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I would be interested in helping if the Elders requested it. If they even wanted to send some of their young people to learn we could put them up here and teach them how to do this for themselves. --Mud
 
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