Blog of Lorin Symington

Solar Popcorn and Greens at GrowNYC

Posted Tuesday 18 August 2015 by Lorin Symington.

Earlier this year we built a Sol4 solar concentrator at SI Makerspace and installed it at the Teaching Garden of GrowNYC. Shawn Connell, staff member at GrowNYC, runs workshops teaching youth about the green economy, sustainable gardening and... solar concentration! These are his words:

The solar cooker is having a great summer out here on Governors Island! Today we had a class of high-school students visiting the island to learn more about green job opportunities and we were able to do a long session on solar - including lots of time using the cooker. We made popcorn as a snack this morning, (look how hot the cooker got at 9am). Then this afternoon the students used it to make a stir-fry using ingredients from the garden (collard greens, garlic, onions, eggplants, and herbs).

Shawn Connell, Staff at GrowNYC.

Lunch from the garden: Stir-fry with fresh collard greens, garlic, onions, eggplants, and herbs.
528° Farenheit (275.5°C) at 9am in the morning.
High school students having their first solar stir-fry
Growing, cooking and eating at GrowNYC's Teaching Garden

Mackenson’s Solar Pizza

Posted Tuesday 9 June 2015 by Lorin Symington.

Mackenson, the first GoSol.org technician in Haiti is back on the GoSol.org blog with a message to all our viewers and potential supporters: "Ansanm, ansanm nap rive pi lwen".

When I asked Mackenson if we should make pizza his eyes lit up. He rarely gets the chance to eat pizza, since running a traditional pizza oven costs so much in fuel that only fancy uptown restaurants seem to operate them.

Could a solar powered pizzeria operate profitably in his neighborhood? There’s only one way to find out: with your support on the FreeTheSun campaign and enthusiastic entrepreneurs like Mackenson.

Watch the video and hear Mackenson talk about the importance of GoSol.org technology for him, his family and for Haiti.


Baking Cake in Haiti

Posted Thursday 14 May 2015 by Lorin Symington.

We met Fabienne Dorlean through Robillard Louino, a young leader from Cite Soleil in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She’s a graduate from a hotelery program and a very capable young baker. She is really excited about solar baking, and says that gas-fired baking ovens are expensive to buy and expensive to operate.


GrowNYC Goes Solar

Posted Thursday 23 April 2015 by Lorin Symington.

We’re so happy to introduce our new partner GrowNYC, a non-profit which improves New York City’s quality of life through environmental programs like the Governors Island Teaching Garden.

Plant, harvest and cook food while learning about sustainable practices. What a perfect home for one of GoSol.org’s 4sqM solar concentrators!

The Teaching Garden is an urban agriculture project where students The cooker is looking and working beautifully! On Wednesday we had a spectacularly clear day and so we used it with a group of students to saute beans from the garden. We put the beans, oil and spices in a frying pan and placed it on the cooker and then I had two students help use the lever to move the mirrors into place. Within a few seconds of aligning the mirrors, the beans started to sizzle. I wish you could have heard the gasps that the students all made when this process happened so quickly. Their minds we blown! It left into a wonderful discussion about the potential of harnessing the sun’s energy. 

Shawn with GrowNYC

Everyone at GoSol.org is excited to see what the students and GrowNYC cook up next!


Update: Another off-grid meal prepared by students at GrowNYC’s Teaching Garden. Every week, students from around NYC take field trips to the Teaching Garden and every week they are blown away by the power of the sun! — at Governors Island.


Baking Experiments in Haiti

Posted Friday 20 March 2015 by Lorin Symington.

Here, our budding entrepreneurs Mackenson and Island are preparing more treats in the 3m2 solar oven on the roof of Haiti Communitere, in Port-au-Prince Haiti.

Everyone is really excited to create a business selling healthy food and earning extra $ by saving on fuel.

In the pictures below they’re cooking a popular street food Pate Ayisyen (Haitian Patties).


Mackenson Has Seen the Future, the Future is GoSol!

Posted Wednesday 25 February 2015 by Lorin Symington.

Meet Mackenson, the first GoSol.org technician in Haiti and a dear friend of mine. He’s a good man with a kind heart who has lived a difficult life. He dreams of a better future for his children, and for his country. Mackenson is skilled and inspiring like so many potential entrepreneurs all over the world. We are working with him to create a sustainable, solar based business that he can operate himself.


Grilled Cheese in the Freezing Cold!

Posted Tuesday 3 February 2015 by Lorin Symington.

Saturday was freezing cold (-10°C / 14°F) but Lorin & co. were cooking up a storm at the Staten Island Makerspace in New York.
Want to check out the most powerful solar cooker in New York City? Let us know!


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