Outdoor oven eyed for Margaree Forks library
Drs. Coady & Tompkins Memorial Library hopes outdoor oven will become community hub
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.
"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.