The Seed-to-Ash Energy Cycle A Brief Guide to Biomass Energy Farming and Utilization in Kenya

The Seed-to-Ash Energy Cycle

A Brief Guide to Biomass Energy Farming and Utilization in Kenya

•Correct management and utilization of biomass is key to enhancing the efficiency of what can be a carbon neutral, environmentally friendly green energy solution for East Africa, the seed-to-ash-cycle.
•The most glaring loophole in the bio-energy system in Kenya is the general lack of widespread re-afforestation of wood energy crops.
•Use and knowledge of ‘fireplace technologies’ i.e. energy saving stoves, well managed open fire’s, drying firewood etc. needs to be further disseminated and the importance amplified.

•Knowledge and practice of dynamic holistic harvesting and processing of woodfuels needs to be more widely practiced. Charcoal making is a skilled artisan’s task, much like plumbing or mechanical work, training is extensive in order to achieve a high level of efficiency and sustainability. (and charcoal makers can become some of the best treeplanters)
•Structured implementable government policies focusing on opening new avenues of monetary incentives for good land husbandry practices. Training and certification is a must.
•Emergency re-afforestation efforts must be undertaken immediately to prevent further degradation of Kenya’s (and our neighbors’) environment. Widespread aerial tree seeding as practiced in China, Canada and the Philippines needs to be undertaken as soon as possible.
•Small scale polyculture agroforestry for Food, Fuel and Fodder following holistic management plans is already gaining widespread acceptance in rural areas but must be upscaled.
•Enabling those engaged in the seed-to-ash cycle, real opportunities to access money from carbon credits, will improve successful adaptation to climatic change and global warming among those it detrimentally affects most.


Cookswell Jikos and the Amari Bakery at the Nairobi Cake Festival 2014

We spent a wonderful Saturday meeting 100's of talented and very interested Kenyan bakers at The Cake Festival 2014 - a great day for a great cause (http://www.cake-festival.com/index.php/about-the-cause). Charcoal ovens + a mini-kiln being a cost effective and simple solution to high electricity costs and constant power outages were the talk of the day! Many thanks to the organizers and the wonderful Amari Quickbreads Bakery for co-hosting and baking some great cupcakes!


Cookswell Jikos around the world - see below for a list of countries where people are saving energy and eating well!

  • Namibia, New Zealand, Tanzania, Somalia, United Kingdom, Cambodia, United States of America, Haiti, Ghana, Holland, the Democratic Republic of Congo and of course Kenya - please scroll through the below pics and guess where each one is :) 





Cousin Chris in Phoenix, AZ

Cousin Chris in Phoenix, AZ


South Tanzania

even we are not sure where this is....

New Mexico 
Vihiga, Kenya



Def. Holland

Kenya looking at Kilimanjaro 

Richards Camp, Maasai Mara

Richards Camp Maasai Mara 

Lost in the Sahara! 



Dominican Republic



Accra Ghana

Accra Ghana

JKIA Kenya

A jiko safari suit

Peace Hotel II Mogadishu Somalia

Angkor Wat Cambodia

Mac Lai Lake Congo

Seattle USA

Yorkshire England

Brizzil England! 


Kabete Nairobi

South Coast Kenya


Kitengela Kenya

Stephans House in the Hague. 

Wellington New Zealand

Timau Kenya

 Jambaini, Zanzibar
 Jambaini, Zanzibar

 Jambaini, Zanzibar