Alternative Technology Intensive

This is our flagship and favourite event where, over five days of non-stop alternative technology action, we bring Joel and Tim together to not only build, experience or explain a vast array of technologies but to get across our overall approach of working with what you have to solve sustainable technology problems in the right way for you. Our next course is the third week of October 2016 and based on a farm 1.5 hours northwest of Melbourne, Victoria. Covering (with a combo of building and seeing built systems):

  • Rocket Stove Hotplates, Ovens, Water & Space Heaters
  • Solar Thermal Cooking Systems
  • Compost boosted solar hot water
  • Toilet Technologies
  • BioGas
  • Bio-diesel
  • Bio-Char Cooker/Oven
  • Bike Power (Food processing, electricity generation)
  • Wood Gasification
  • PV/battery Systems – small stand-alone systems for lighting.
  •  Wind – traditional farm wind pump & small scale electricity generation units.

A huge part of this course will be learning how to build alternative solutions to all basic technology needs and then actually using them as part of the course and venue. Whether it’s compost-power shower, rocket oven bake off, or windmill powered water supply, we will be living and breathing the systems from a user as well as a builder’s perspective.

We assume no special skill with tools or technical understanding so this event is perfect for someone still learning which end of a hammer is which right up to professional trades people. All will feel welcome and all will learn an absolute heap of skills you will likely use for the rest of your life.

Cost: $930/$980. Register for our next alt tech intensive (in Victoria, Australia) here.

Rocket stoves (and Efficient Combustion in General)

This course has the potential to blow your mind with how you can use low-cost, easy to build, efficient combustion systems for all our heating and cooking needs.  Join us at Yandoit Farm and then Joel’s place in Castlemaine, Victoria where we’ll shower you & cook you dinner with a suite of simple, low cost and crazily fuel-efficient technologies we’ll show you how to build yourself.

In this one evening and two-day workshop we see and/or build:

  • Low-tech in-place rocket stoves for household cooking (hotplate and oven)
  • In-place rocket stove house-scale hot water heaters
  • High-tech heat exchanger rocket-powered hotwater boosters
  • Micro-rocket stoves that can fit in a bike pannier (perfect for camping)
  • TLUD (top-lit updraft) stoves
  • Rammed sawdust stoves
  • Biolight thermoelectric stoves
  • Hyper-efficient solar-cooking

Register for our next rocket stove course here (or go the full monty and sign up for our next alt tech intensive which includes efficient combustion).


In this one-day workshop you will learn to cut grass, trim weeds and harvest grains with this elegant and simple tool, with no petrol, low noise and great ergonomic exercise. You will also come away knowing:

  • how to sharpen and maintain the blade
  • how to size a snath (handle) to you
  • the best postures and actions to use to keep your back happy
  • the right blade for the job and mowing and trimming in real Australian conditions.

All topped off with a ‘plowman’s lunch’ from local and home-made wholesome food.