Coconut charcoal making at the Watamu Recycling Center.

We spent a wonderful two days making coconut husk and neem tree branch charcoal at the Watamu Marine Association 

We also demonstrated the wood oil smoke trap to collect the smoke to make wood vinegar which can be used as an organic alternative to anti-termite chemicals such as Gladiator. More information about wood vinegar here It also considerable reduces the amount of emission during charcoal making.

adding the coconut husks at the start of charcoal making. 

Six hour worth of charcoal. 

The wood vinegar, stockholm tar and the pyroligneous acid collecting at the end of the smoke trap (Link to FAO document about by products from charcoal making

The fun part of coconut charcoal making - enjoying the shade on a hot day. Compare this to the labour involved in traditional earth kilns.

making afternoon chai with the first batch of free coconut charcoal! 
Appx 150ml of wood vinegar from 6 hours worth of carbonization of coconuts. 

First batch of bread baked by the Farasi Lane Primary Schools Baking Club!

Launching the new Farasi Lane Baking Club's new oven! There is an excellent team of 20 very bright and enthusiastic kids baking some of the best treats in Kabete! Many thanks to everyone who made this happen! Nancy Kinyanjui and friends, thank you for the all the nice baking equipment! And a big shout out goes to the Amari Quickbreads Bakery​ team for the excellent training and to Bella Luna Kitchen​ for the first batch of flour to get things rising!

Why invest in a charcoal oven?

Since the introduction of our line of Energy Efficient Charcoal Ovens in 1992, hundreds and hundreds have been sold regionally and countrywide, to all manner of people for all manner of uses.

For some, a charcoal oven is an integral part of the home kitchen, during typical power cuts, or when the family just wants that special Kenyan charcoal aroma with the Sunday dinner chicken and potatoes or with fresh home-style cookies and cupcakes. Simple to ignite and easy to use, the smaller sized ovens are light and very sturdy and are well suited for camping trips or outdoor patios. Imagine, fresh bread daily, 100 miles away from electricity!

 Or maybe just as a clean easy method of cooking a hot lunch on weekend picnics. They are also an incredibly sustainable and cost effective way of reducing household energy consumption. Our ovens are about 45% more energy efficient for bread baking then an electric oven and roughly 30% more efficient then a gas oven.

The larger commercial models are ideally suited for businesses for which a prime monetary concern is either cost or lack of access to LPG gas or electricity. Butcheries/nyama-choma joints, bakeries, hotels and micro-enterprises have all found that switching to a Cookswell Jikos charcoal oven greatly increases profit margins by significantly reducing energy costs.

In conjunction with the Woodlands 2000 Trust, in just under 6 years we have already established over 100 acres of certifiably sustainable charcoal woodlots. Currently the Trust is developing and enacting comprehensive, permaculturaly based holistic natural resource land use plans in Kajiado and Narok District to help wean Kenya off of imported fossil fuels used for cooking

Why buy what you can grow and make at home for FREE?

Here are 5 good reasons why to invest in growing your own homemade branch charcoal!  By using only small branches, twigs, maize cobs, coconuts or other woody biomass you can make your own FREE eco-charcoal in a day using one of our portable drum kilns.

 1. You can make your favorite blend of charcoal; light, hard, fast or slow burning.
 2. Your savings will be HUGE - no more buying overpriced charcoal in the soko!
 3. You are directly supporting local designers and manufacturers that use recycled materials (the drum).
4. You can help stop corruption! When you know where your charcoal is coming from (your own backyard) you rest assured no bribes have been paid for it.
5. You take full control and ownership of a very simple renewable energy value chain - the 'seed-to-ash' cycle of household biomass energy when you plant the free packet of acacia tree seeds included with your drum kiln.

 Please see here for more info and how to order -

At a demo in Kajiado 

Instagram #charcoalkiln #ecocharcoal # kenyacharcoal

Making blended maize cob and branch charcoal for fast lighting and long burning. 

A section of a 5 year old acacia woodlot that is being pruned for charcoal production.

And you can even make your own FREE wood vinegar for on farm insect prevention! 

A new baking oven for Flying Kites school Njambini.

With more than 50 students, that's almost 1 birthday that needs a birthday cake every week! smile emoticon We were very happy to drop off this extra large baking oven on Friday at the super cool orphanage that Flying Kites runs in beautiful Njambini. We wish you very happy baking and please do enjoy planting the trees and tree seeds for a future source of charcoal! (learn more about thier good work here