ABCO Solar Blog

The Tucson Solar Potluck: A Who’s Who of Solar in Arizona

via The Arizona Solar Center Blog:

On April 26, the Tucson Solar Potluck will be held in the desert north of Tucson. It is the 32nd straight year for the gathering of solar enthusiasts, a streak that some believe qualifies it as the longest continuously held solar event in the U.S.

The potluck was a focal point of a documentary film I produced about solar cooking in 1990.

In the early 1990s, CBS Sunday News did a news piece on the event as the highlight of its national Earth Day coverage.

People have come and gone over the years, yet every spring this “unusual gathering” takes place with an ever-changing cast of characters setting up the strangest of homemade contraptions and pointing them at the sun. Seemingly every sort of solar cooking device imaginable is on display, made from a variety of materials.

Phyllis and Bob Bright were potluck regulars more than two decades ago. The Brights had an oven that sat on the base of an office chair, thus allowing it to swivel to follow the sun. The Brights are gone now, but their office chair solar oven is still talked about and copied in design.

“Anything you can cook in a regular oven, I can cook in this [solar] oven,” Phyllis would boast in her thick New Jersey accent.

You know what – Phyllis was right. The solar oven is an all-purpose oven that can cook anything under the sun.

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