Each year on a Saturday near the end of April or the beginning of May many folks gather and share solar cooking information and a good solar cooked meal at Catalina State Park north of Tucson at the base of the beautiful Catalina Mountains. Dates for the 37th, 2019 event will April 27, 2019, or you can contact Citizens For Solar or the Solar Guild in Tucson for more information.
This is the longest continuously operating Solar Cooking Event in the World. This great event started in 1983, and this year will be the 37th Annual Tucson Solar Potluck. Often this event has much more than just solar cooking: Photovoltaics, Electric Vehicles are often on exhibit. This is a free event, but the park charges for park entry.
Catalina State Park (11570 N. Oracle Road, near Mile Post 81)
Join Citizens for Solar and the Solar Guild at our Annual Solar Potluck and experience the flavors of solar-cooked food and learn about solar by viewing solar appliances and exhibitions (ovens, fountains, solar powered coolers, lights, electrical systems) and solar arts. The event is co-sponsored by Catalina State Park, Arizona State Parks. The Solar Potluck is an educational, family-friendly event. Learn about solar cooking, solar PV, solar hot water, energy conservation and other "green" topics.
We'll have speakers and musicians throughout the day on a stage with a PA system powered by solar energy. talk to our vendors and exhibitors, and enter our raffle, where you can win valuable prizes, including a home energy audit and solar ovens. Raffle tickets are available at our concession stand, where we'll also have Solar Potluck T-shirts and bottled water for sale.
If you are a solar cook, please bring your own solar oven(s) and join us for cooking. The Solar Potluck and Exhibition opens to the public at 10:00 am, but we ask that our solar cooks have their ovens set up by 9:30 am.
The Potluck dinner is at around 5:00 pm. All of our guests are invited to join us at our potluck dinner. It's not necessary to contribute anything, but we encourage bringing a dish to share. Salads, fruit, desserts and other dishes are always appreciated.
We will have plastic cutlery available, but please bring your own eating utensils (plate/bowl and fork/spoon) and help make Tucson's Solar Potluck a waste-free event. Make sure you wear comfy shoes, a brimmed hat and sunscreen. The festival will be held come sun, rain or wind!
The cost of the Solar Potluck is free, however there is a $7/car fee to get into Catalina State Park.
We'll see you there! More at: http://www.solarguild.org/
For those of you who have not tried solar cooking, you are missing out on a lot of fun! This low tech method of cooking has been around for a very long time, and works very well. I make my first solar oven in 1975 from and old electric "built in wall oven" that I bought at an auction for 50 cents. I cut the top off with a cold chisel and installed glass on the top and put 4 adjustable angle mirrors around the top and added a swivel base on plywood to it would turn to face the sun. The big door in the back was a plus, but the shape was too deep to get as hot as I wanted it too, but it still cooked my meals just fine. A few years after that, Ed Eaton (former Solar Energy International teacher, and Our Sun Solar?) contacted me while working at the University of Arizona's Environmental Research Lab and was looking for information on possible plastics that could hold up to the 200 to 400 degree temperatures that a solar oven can reach. After sharing ideas about solar cooking, he started the Tucson Solar Potluck in 1983. The event is still going and is the longest continuously running solar potluck in the world. We gather every spring at Catalina State Park just north of Tucson AZ. At that time almost all solar ovens were home made, but worked just fine. Lower temperature ovens/cookers work like a crock pot: with lower temperatures, and longer cooking times. These simple ovens can easily obtain temperatures of 200 to 300 degrees. Higher quality ovens can easily reach temperatures of 350 to 400F. Parabolic cookers can start wood on fire instantly, and even melt pennies, or pop popcorn! The high tech newer evacuated glass tube solar cookers work very well and can cook about as fast as stove top cooking. Parabolic cookers can also cook as fast as gas or electric cooking. Don't forget that meat is considered done when it reaches about 170 degrees. So a 200 degree low tech home-made solar oven works just fine. Rice, beans and veggies are easy to cook and turn our well, Many grade school science teachers have guided students to make solar oven from cardboard and aluminum foil, and they work pretty good if done right. It doesn't take rocket science to melt some cheese on natchos, or cook a hot dog, and is a good lesson. Survival enthusits(sp) also love solar cooking. As we say, "Take the heat out of the kitchen, and solar cook in your yard"