Earth Oven making /Foraging Walk / Work Parties

Excited that we are going to build an earth / cob oven right in our community Orchard which we can then use it to have pizza / bread baking get togethers. Laurence from the Leach pottery is going to assist us in building it, he’s built a few of these before & he has a lot of experience with clay.

Everybody welcome to join us – all volunteer workers will get a free pizza at the first firing of the oven! Visit our Facebook Event page to get involved!

We are starting Tues 23rd Aug 4 pm by choosing the location for the earth oven and starting to gather the materials for the earth oven (rock collecting mostly) plus our usual bramble clearing.

The following Tues 29th Aug starting 10am we will clear the area for the earth oven & our regular volunteer Noah Hall has kindly agreed to take us on a foraging walk through the orchard and nature reserve area. We plan to end it off with a campfire in the orchard where we will do some campfire baking with some of the ingredients that we’ve foraged. Perchance an apple crumble with some of our apples or some chapatis with the greens we’ve collected.

Sat 2nd Sept starting 10am we will start building the earth oven and hopefully complete most of it.  To start with we will make the base with rock collected on site. Kind of like making a circular cornish stone wall, filling the centre with sand. The top layer is for insulation and can be filled with glass bottles. Then you lay the fire bricks on to which you place a pile of sand. Clay is molded over the sand and can be decorated or shaped with lots of different designs. You then cut out a doorway & the sand is removed to create the oven. We need a shelter to keep it dry so that will need to be built too.

Materials needed (please contact us if  you have any of these for us):

  • Clay (or a source of clay that we can dig up)
  • firebricks
  • tarpaulin (6 x 8m)
  • glass bottles
  • wooden poles to hold up roof
  • roofing (to go over it all to keep it dry)
  • Water (we will get from Mathew Stevens)
  • Dirt (subsoil)
  • Sand to mix with mud: ‘sharp'(not rounded or beach) sand is best
  • Material for the oven base: sand,or anything that will make a firm, but removable form (topsoil, chunks of turf, etc.)
  • Firebricks or standard red bricks, new or used, free of old mortar
  • Wood for a baking door
  • Newspaper
  • Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow
  • 20 litre (5 gallon) plastic buckets
  • Tape measure
  • Spoons, spatulas, dull knives, etc., in case you want to do any sculpting
  • Lumber scraps
  • Spirit level
  • also it would be great to have some old scaffolding / sleepers / fat logs for benches so we can have a rest from all this hard work.

More info https://www.permaculture.co.uk/articles/simple-art-making-earth-oven

Photo borrowed from http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/how-to-bake-with-an-earth-oven-zbcz1511

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Post written by: Elise Langley