New York City Posts

Solar Cooking Chef in New York!

Posted Monday 27 June 2016 by Eva Wissenz.

More than a year after we gave a Sol4 to the Teaching Garden of GrowNYC, on Governor Island, it still works well and is being used regularly!

During summer time, for students and the general public, Shawn Connell of GrowNYC says "it is an impressive and popular tool. Making popcorn with it or stir-frying from the garden are the most common ways that we use it."

This summer the number of people coming out to the Teaching Garden has tripled (which is excellent news for sustainability awareness) and a beautiful workshop about cooking from the garden was proposed. A few weeks ago, a chef from the city’s Department of Education cooked with the solar concentrator SOL4.

As Shawn explains: "This chef does trainings and workshops for school teachers and their students about how to get produce that they have grown in their school gardens, into their school’s cafeteria. GrowNYC works with the city’s public schools to help them start school gardens and encourage healthy eating, as well as an interest in the sciences, and workshops like this are a great way to inspire teachers and their students to grow and consume more of their own healthy foods, and explore the potential of renewable energy."

Isn’t it beautiful! :-)

Solar Eggplant at GrowNYC

Posted Tuesday 15 September 2015 by Urs Riggenbach.

The guys at GrowNYC just cant be stopped. Another tasty solar snack directly harvested and cooked in their solar garden.

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

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’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 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.

Interview with Alan Bigelow, PhD, Columbia University

Posted Wednesday 4 March 2015 by Urs Riggenbach.

Alan Bigelow is a physicist that develops optical and ion-beam technologies at Columbia University. Passionate about solar energy and what it can do to solve our problems, Alan shares his views on solar concentration in this interview.

Staten Island Cookoff with GrowNYC

Posted Monday 16 February 2015 by Urs Riggenbach.

See the results of Lorin’s training and demonstration day with GrowNYC at the Staten Island Makerspace.

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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