I absolutely adore this stunningly simple design for an all-natural oil lamp (Please excuse the slightly blurry photo. I've misplaced my regular camera and the only one I had available is an older model with a dying battery. I was just able to fire off one slightly out-of-focus shot and upload it to my laptop before it died. Doh.)
In three easy steps:
1. Peel orange.
2. Pour in olive oil.
OK, so it's a little more involved than that, but not much. To start, cut the orange in half along its equator. Then carefully scoop out the orange on the top half, making sure to scoop around the long white piece of pith that sticks down from the inside of the orange top.
Once you have your scooped-out orange peel, get out your lighter and start charing the pith. I have a wind-proof butane torch lighter that quickly blackened the pith. You have to be careful — you're not trying to burn it away completely, just char it enough so that it will soak up the oil.
You want to char enough of the pith so that the char extends below the oil line, so char it all the way down to where it joins up with the orange skin if you can.
After you are done charing, just fill up the peel with oil, making sure to leave a half inch or so of charred pith poking out as a wick. I dunked my pith wick a few times in the oil before it would light but once it did, it stayed lit for hours, and it's still running bright and strong next to my computer right now. If it was winter I'm sure I'd appreciate the extra trickle of heat it's providing. At the very least it's nice to have a little pocket of biofueled flame nearby.
Click over to Portugal Smallholding to read the article I drew instructions from.
I love green simple design!
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