Last weekend a group of us got together to build a clay oven at Fordhall Farm. We spent the first day mixing clay and sand to form out first layer. The mix was a bit wet but with a bit of ingenuity we wrapped a ‘girdle’ around it to stop it from slumping. On Sunday we proceeded with a mix of clay, sawdust and straw to create an insulation layer which was then covered with a final layer of clay, (from Fordhall’s pond) and horse hair with one secret ingredient to help waterproof it. To finish it off, we moulded a worm, (much loved here at Fordhall) around the outside of the oven. The oven will be protected from the elements by a structure built by Mel Draycott, which will eventually have a grass roof on top. The wooden uprights for the structure are ash and alder and were donated by the Shropshire Wildlife Trust and come from the Ercall a woodland area near Telford. Hazel hurdles will surround the structure to further protect the oven from wind and rain.
But we could not have achieved any of tihs without the generous support from Shropshire Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund – thank you.
I shall soon be trying out the new oven to see how much wood it needs to get hot and in September, will be running a weekend bread making course, using the oven to bake the bread and cook pizzas. For more information about that, please see the events page on our website. Bex