Friday, August 13, 2010

Cob Oven

I'm getting a little behind on my reading these days. The novels are piling up as my library reserves come in, but for some reason reading fiction is less intriguing than reading about how to hand thresh and winnow wheat. I want to be outside doing things. (Thank goodness for laptops.) The pond project is slowly headed to the finish line and already I've been thinking about building an outdoor cob oven.

It's been too hot to bake indoors and I prefer to make my own bread. An outdoor wood-fired oven would come in handy. Playing in the mud sounds like great fun too. Community ovens are popping up in some parks now, but I am ready for a new challenge.

I've come to face the fact that I simply love making things. Be it gardens, furniture, cuisine, structures, books, blogs or TV shows, anything made from scratch excites me. The one thing I'm not particularly great at is needlework. Mind you, this hasn't stopped me from sewing all manner of accoutrement, from curtains and lounge cushions to pillow cases and reupholstered furniture. I tackle stitchery regularly, but it's definitely not my strong suit, despite my accomplished ancestry.

The blog-o-sphere has been a rich source of information on cob ovens. There are a tons of different building techniques. Excellent how-to books on the subject are out there too. Build Your Own Earthen Oven is a popular one. I already know I want to go with the most natural materials possible. Luckily it won't cost me a penny. I have a mound of clay in the yard and plenty of sand to put to use. I can score some straw at a friend's farm and use the river stones hauled out of the old pond for the base. Booyah!

People are having fun with cob oven designs.  Look at this one. Monster cob.

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