Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Brick Oven Initiative

Last Friday, September 21, I gave a talk at the Common Ground Country Fair, held in Unity, Maine by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association.

The attendees asked many questions about initiating projects in their area with community brick ovens.  Thank you to the attendees.  Questions are the starting point of solutions.

In preparing for the talk, I composed a range of photos of community brick ovens from the past to the present (the talk was focused on the future).  I asked myself 'what has changed about the need for a community brick oven, from early times to the present?'

The answer I came up with is that the current has switched direction.
In earlier times it was a given that a community needed a brick oven to produce the quantity of bread and other baked goods since every household didn't or couldn't bake their own daily supply. 

Now, the brick oven draws the community of bakers and participants to itself.   The cliche, "If you build it, they will come." applies.

I have found this to be true with brick ovens, farmers' markets, agritourism (farms set up to host people interested in getting their hands dirty while vacationing).

When asked if a town might fund a community oven, I surmised that it would be low on their list of 'to-do's' if on it at all.  We can define community in so many ways; our town certainly, but also our fellow gardeners, our school or university, our extended family.

However we define community, once an oven exists, it will draw new people and the community of the brick oven will grow.

I built my first brick oven (a portable) because a few friends had talked about building one and didn't and because I thought that a portable brick oven would allow communities to share an oven without specifying a location.  It has worked.  Not only has my portable oven traveled hundreds of miles, but now, I am traveling thousands of miles to build them for others.

'Just Do It'

No comments:

Post a Comment