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tips and tricks

if materials are scarce, build ovens made from papier mach´┐Ż held together with wheat paste. this can then be painted to make it waterproof. if sufficient paper is not available, try using corn husks or some other crop residue.

to save space, cut down acu-rite thermometers so that only the needle and scales appear.

can fruits in a solar cooker by placing fruit, sugar, and water in canning jars. loosely tighten lids and place in the cooker. heat until they have boiled over. tighten lids and allow to cool. check that lids have sealed by noting concave lids. do not can foods other than acid fruits in a solar cooker. pressure and higher temperatures are necessary to kill off possible spores.

solar cookers as gardening equipment. 1) gallon cans of dried manure or soil can be pasteurized to 150 degrees to kill wild seeds and insect eggs. 2) plant material infected with insects, nematodes, or viruses can be cooked and dried in a solar oven and made safe to return to the garden or compost heap. this is particularly useful for greenhouses or urban gardeners. 3) metal instruments can be sterilized as well as ceramic pots and wooden flats. 4) water can be warmed in the field to soften plastic dripline fittings. 5) pruning instruments can be sanitized either with dry heat or oiled and steamed.


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