They say if you throw enough mud some of it will stick. Well, on Sunday there was a lot of mud being thrown around and fortunately a lot of it did stick – in the shape of a Low Smoke Stove; the theme of the afternoon’s workshop at the back of the Latimer’s house in Ringwood North.
In this case, the making of mud pies is all about the making of mud bricks which can then be made into “Low Smoke Stoves” for household cooking in the remote villages of Vanuatu where Medical Sailing Ministries (MSM) will be transporting medical teams in July, August and September this year.
Visting Ni-vans, (“Ni-van” is a term used for people from Vanuatu, much like Australians are called Aussies) Patrick, Alec and John, who are here on temporary farm-worker visas, got down and dirty during the demonstration with the making of stoves being a useful skill they will take back upon their return. It’s a sad fact that most village cooking in Vanuatu and in developing communities around the world, is done on open fires where smoke inhalation causes a range of medical problems; particularly for vulnerable women and young children.
In fact it’s estimated that more people die each year of smoke related illnesses (and we’re not talking cigarettes) worldwide than die of malaria. The building and use of Low Smoke Stoves helps to reduce smoke inhalation. It also produces a more efficient heat resulting in less wood being used – a direct saving for the environment.
Thinking of making your own stove, then download the Low Smoke Stove Manual here http://msm.org.au/wp-content/
and view photos of making bricks in Vanuatu villages here http://msm.org.au/2010-
And as we say in the stove making business… “don’t treat mud like dirt.”
cheers and thanks for your interest
Rob Latimer B. App. Mudbrick Making