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The Earthen Ox Oven at the Blue Ox Mill.

The earthen oven at the Blue Ox Millworks in Eureka, California was constructed in 2004 by Appropriate Technology (Engr305) students at Humboldt State University. The project took four, three-hour work sessions to complete over a total of four weeks. As of 2007 it is still standing, is in immaculate condition and retains nearly the same heating efficiency as when it was first constructed. This page includes information on the construction of the Blue Ox earthen oven and information and updates on its current condition.

Earthen Ovens have been used for thousands of years by cultures all over the world and they are still built today by people all over. Earthen ovens are made up of just that, EARTH! Sand, clay and straw are used in building these versatile ovens.

An earthen oven can be used to cook the same things cooked in a normal household oven, so long as you can fit it through the door! Often Earthen Ovens are somewhat unique from other ovens in that they don’t have a fire burning continuously to cook with. The oven is heated before any cooking is going to take place. Generally Earthen Ovens are fired for a few hours and the hot coals are then scraped out of the interior. Once the coals are scraped out, the oven is ready to cook in.

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Tony Marjoram
Appropedia is a stunning achievement! Well done... I like the clean design, presentation and accessibility of Appropedia... I think there is a need for constructive comment/critique of many appropriate technologies, pointing out quality, climatic and cultural constraints, etc. (e.g., solar cookers and biogas converters)...

Appropedia is a stunning achievement! Well done. I also checked out the Whole Earth Catalogue, last edition 1968 (so no competition there), subtitle 'Access to tools', edited by Stewart Brand et al, inspired by Buckmaster Fuller. My memories were rekindled - see It is also available online, Goggle for that.

I like the clean design, presentation and accessibility of Appropedia (cf Whole Earth Catalogue, even in 1968!). As we discussed, I think there is a need for constructive comment/critique of many appropriate technologies, pointing out quality, climatic and cultural constraints etc (e.g. solar cookers and biogas converters).

Having looked around I also think that there is an important need for more comment on policy and related issues - with a background in engineering, S&T policy and innovation, the main tub I've been thumping over the last few years (eg as illustrated in the UNESCO Engineering Report) is the need to get appropriate technology on the the policy and development agendas. Policy makers, decision takers and the development community need to be more aware of the important role of technology in development, otherwise little will change. Appropedia could be an important agent in this.
— Tony Marjoram
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