Sunday, August 15, 2010

Oven foundation

In the heat of a 30-plus degree sunny day we began work on the foundation for our earth oven today. I've been collecting rocks along the roadside for weeks, ones with nice parallel surfaces and flat faces. I'm not sure we have enough but we got started today anyway.

We're using lime mortar between the rocks for extra strength. Our stone masonry skills certainly aren't good enough to have the whole thing level and stable using friction alone. We're filling the centre with drain rock as we go to help support the masonry rock.

So far with the exception of a bag of lime we've used entirely scavenged materials. We'll use some clay and straw we bartered from friends for the cob itself.

I'm happy with how it's looking so far. Fiona is of the opinion that the entire area around it needs to be done in flagstone. She's probably right. You can see in this photo that the flagstone really wants to form a patio to connect the deck to the oven space. That will entail a lot more roadside scavenging, probably best done in spring after winter has loosened a fresh bunch of slatey rocks from the slopes near Retallack.

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