A polytunnel is a fantastic tool for those who want to live a more sustainable way of life. A polytunnel makes it so much easier to enjoy growing your own food, which is one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint. If you think outside the box, a polytunnel can also help you to become more eco-friendly and sustainable in other ways. One intriguing idea to consider is the possibility of a hay-box cooker.
A hay box cooker can reduce your carbon footprint. It is the ultimate eco slow cooker. If you don't have space for one in your kitchen, a polytunnel can again come in handy, as space where your hay box cooker can be stored. Storing a hay box cooker in your polytunnel could also help to retain the temperature for winter crops.
Hay box cookers were encouraged for use during the war. They can significantly reduce the amount of power/ fuel needed to cook a meal. The idea is that a meal started indoors will continue to cook, slow time, using its own heat. The hay (or other insulative material) will help to retain the heat of food in a cook pot, and allow it to continue cooking over the following hours.
To make your own hay box cooker to place in your polytunnel, the first stage is to make a wooden box that is large enough to contain your cook pot with space all around it. A hinged lid on the top of this box will allow for easy access to your food.
Next, you can line your box with your chosen insulative material or materials. Hay is the traditional choice, but there are plenty of other options. Use whatever you have to hand. Polystyrene packaging, shredded paper, sawdust and wood shavings... there are a number of different options.
Fill the box with the insulative material, making sure that there is enough space for your pot, and that you can cover the pot over once it is placed within.
When the hay box cooker is ready to use, you can simply place all your ingredients in your pot and cook them up for a few minutes. When your soup, stew, casserole or other dish is piping hot, carry it out to your hay box cooker and place it inside, making sure it is fully covered. Close the lid. Then you can simply go to bed, go to work, or simply go on with your day before coming back hours later to claim your slow-cooked meal.