Earth Oven build

A wonderful day building our community oven, so excited, it looks amazing. Thank you to everyone who came to help, we can be so proud of what we’ve achieved. Amazing that it took less than 5 hours to complete with everyone getting involved although lets not forget the 2 previous work parties where we collected all the materials from around the orchard.

We started out laying the base, biggest rocks in a circle and filling it with soil collected from the bottom of the orchard. Soil was impacted with little feet. This was slowly built up until waist height  using same method as building a Cornish stone hedge (luckily Duwayne had experience of building Cornish hedges before). Then the firebricks were laid across the top for insulation and bricks were used to create the arched entrance. Meanwhile we had all been very busy mixing the cob with our bare feet which was a mixture of clay, sand & straw. A big sandcastle (damp sand) was built on top of the level area to create the inside of the oven. (This sand would be removed after the cob exterior had dried. ) The sand was covered with damp newspaper and then the cob mixture when over the sandcastle. We left it covered with a tarpaulin to keep it dry.

Enjoyed sitting around afterwards with our kettle on the fire & apple crumble in our potjie pot cooking on the fire. Can’t wait to fire our first pizza’s. Thank you to The Leach Pottery for donating the clay, Lancelot for all the firebricks & hay,  Senara for filming it all, Leo for the sand & to everyone else for all your hard work. Epic work all of you!

A shelter still needs to be built over to keep it dry otherwise when we want to fire it, it might be too wet which means that it takes a long time to heat up. We also need to do another layer of clay.

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Post written by: Elise Langley