The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Experimental oil lamp

Homemade oil lamp

Oil lamp experimentationThe best thing about Unlearn, Rewild is that it's bound to inspire you to try something right away.  I finished the book after dark, which left my experimentation options relatively narrow, but I did have cattails in the greywater wetland right outside our back door.  So I decided to try out Olson's technique of using cattail fluff in oil to create a lamp.  As you can tell, it didn't work too well --- the matches seemed to be better wicks than the cattail fluff --- but it was fun to try.

Maybe next I'll talk Mark into experimenting with some of Olson's toilet-paper alternatives --- snow, moss, the inner bark of cedar trees, a stick, or grass.  Naw, probably better to trap a squirrel in the interest of marital harmony.

This post is part of our Unlearn, Rewild lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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You can use the cattail flower before the fluff breaks open as a Tiki Torch if you soak the flower in Tallow (Beef Fat) or maybe even Deer Fat if it burns......that's a good question, and one I'd like to know the answer too.


Comment by Edith Fri Dec 27 14:34:41 2013
You can use a squirrel as a toilet paper alternative? My mind boggles!
Comment by Darren (Green Change) Tue Jan 21 00:01:36 2014

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