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Dreaming of an earth oven – part 4 (the final act)

I’ve made it! Today is Lammas, the 1st of August, and the earth oven is completed! Well it’s nearly completed anyway, the final touch is to scrape out the sand from the cavity, keeping finger and toes crossed that it keeps it’s shape and doesn’t cave in! I’ll do that later today, so if you never hear another word about the earth oven, you know why…

In the last few days since part 3, the following things have happened: I completed the first layer and started adding the second, which had straw added into the mixture to help it bind. It was about 2-3 inches thick:

earth oven 2nd layer

Then, I cut out the door from the second layer, and added the final (cosmetic, not structural) layer, which is a finer mixture made with soft building sand rather than sharp sand, and has 1-inch long strips of straw in the mixture (couldn’t get hold of the preferred goats or horses hair, although I contemplated sacrificing my nieces violin bow for the cause):

earth oven - outer layer

Finally it was time for a few finishing touches. I found some nice tiles from a salvage yard down in Stirchley and inserted them into the final layer:

IMG_2439

And noted the occasion on the outside for posterity:

eart oven - lammas 2009

So here it is, the finished article, which I can’t wait to bake in:

Earth oven - finished

All I need to do now is make sure the bakehouse is 100% rainproof, and plant sedum on the roof in the autumn. Weather dependent, it should be dry enough to bake in about 2-3 weeks, but I will encourage it along with a few small fires I think. It’s been a great little project to work on, and great to have the Lammas target to aim for.  Happy Baking…

Tom.