Sunday, June 6, 2010
I must have a Storm Kettle
This weekend, since the weather has been so spotty, I've been planted in front of my computer watching gardening videos on YouTube: stuff like how to divide rhubarb rhizomes, which hoe works best in tough, rocky soil, and how to make a lasagna garden (which, to be honest, I long thought was a garden filled with tomatoes, oregano, and basil). And then, while watching Alys Fowler work her allotment garden on a Guardian video, I started to covet something she called a "storm kettle." (Ok, I also covet her dog ... and her scarves ... and her pale red hair that is sort of wild, like mine, but looks far more fetching on her than it does me.) She used this kettle to make herself a hot cup of tea, and all it required was twigs and matches to heat up the water.
Come to find out, the brand name in the UK is Storm Kettle. (In Ireland, they've got a Kelly Kettle brand.) How it works: a double-wall of aluminum lets you build a little fire in the middle of the kettle, heating up the water in between the walls. It holds 40-oz. of water so you can boil up enough tea for several friends.
What an ingenious idea, although not necessary a new one ... these kettles are a bit like hobo stoves made popular during the Depression. Immediately I tried to find one at REI or EMS, but no dice: all the kettles there require a separate heat source, and camping stoves require butane or propane -- yech. The only place in the U.S. that sells the Storm Kettle brand is Lehman's, but at $100 -- ouch! -- I guess I'm going to have to hold out until Christmas. Which might not be so bad if I have a lot of winter work to do in my garden.
Anyone here have one? Do you like it?