Nova Scotia

Outdoor oven eyed for Margaree Forks library

The Drs. Coady & Tompkins Memorial Library in Margaree Forks, Cape Breton, wants to install an outdoor oven on its grounds, which it hopes will become a new community hub.

Drs. Coady & Tompkins Memorial Library hopes outdoor oven will become community hub

The library in Margaree Forks will model its outdoor oven on this one in Darmouth. (CBC)

The Drs. Coady & Tompkins Memorial Library in Margaree Forks, Cape Breton, wants to help locals cook pizzas, slow-roast their favourite dishes and dry their herbs — all in the great outdoors.

The library wants to install an outdoor oven on its grounds, which it hopes will become a new community hub.

The idea springs from the success of a similar project in Dartmouth, the Park Avenue Community Oven in Leighton Dillman Park on the Dartmouth Common.

Margaree librarian Kim Tilsley said she was inspired by how the community came together around the oven there.

"It's become a real drawing card for the community," she told CBC Cape Breton's Information Morning. "We don't have a lot happening like that here in the Margarees, so we were thinking that this would make it a bit of an attraction."

Tilsely said an outdoor oven would offer plenty of spin-off opportunities for the library, which already has a community garden.

'Unique project'

"The workshopping that we can do, the learning, the connections for the kids about where their food comes from, how it's grown in gardens, how we use it to get it to our tables," she said.

"It seemed like a very interesting, unique project that we'd like to see here."

The proposed Margaree oven won't be as big as the one in Dartmouth, Tilsley said, but it will work on the same principle.

"You build the fire right inside the oven and the fire heats the thermal mass," she explained. "So it gets to about 800, 900 degrees to start. At the high, high temperature like that, you can cook pizzas, then as the temperature gradually drops, you can do bread.

"As it goes down you can do slow-roasted dishes, sun-dried tomatoes, you can dry your herbs, culture yogurt. Your imagination is kind of the only thing that limits you." 

The library hopes to have an operational oven by the summer. With enough community support and volunteers, Tilsley said the project can like be done for between $5,000 and $6,000.

An information session about the oven will be held at the library on March 3 at 7 p.m.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now