“Earth turns to gold in the hands of the wise.” – Rumi
Living in a city has left many of us disconnected from the elements of life – clean air, water, fire and earth. This disconnection is unsettling and many of us yearn for a deepened sense of purpose and connection. And nowhere is this disconnection more pronounced than with fire. Yet fire, in the control and use of its energy, is what defines us as human beings, and rekindling our connection with this most basic of elements, its intensity and beauty, is a life-changing experience. Building an earthen oven allows us to reconnect.
Using your hands to build a simple, yet elegant, oven made from sand, clay and straw is an act of creating community and meaning. The process of taking “dirt” and turning it into a functional and beautiful oven that can be used to bake artisan breads, pizzas and stews, is an invigorating and deeply satisfying experience…just ask someone who has eaten a warm slice of naturally leavened bread from a cob oven. It is pure bliss!
It was Aristotle who said “what we learn to do we learn by doing” and this weekend you will have the opportunity to build a cob oven with some great people in an exciting one-day workshop. By the end of the workshop you will have to knowledge and experience to build your very own earth oven out of materials readily available underfoot.
Topics covered in the workshop include how to:
• create a base for an oven
• identify suitable soil for making cob
• lay firebricks
• build a form
• mix fire cob & regular cob
• build cob layers for the oven
• build the perfect door
• use wood efficiently
• bake perfect bread.
The workshop will be taught by Ashley Lubyk of Dirt Craft Natural Building and held at 5839 Bow Crescent NW – the site of the Bownesian Urban Permaculture Project – on Sunday October 3rd, from 9am to 5pm.