Re: Community Cob Oven
From: Fred H Olson (
Date: Tue, 11 May 2021 05:46:08 -0700 (PDT)
Hafidha Sofia <hafidhaao [at]>
is the author of the message below.  It was posted by
Fred, the Cohousing-L list manager <fholson [at]>

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TL;dr: Requires skill and patience to operate, functions a special
feature for outdoor pizza garden parties where ~50 personal sized
pizzas are cooked. There is no unpleasant smoke aroma (or maybe no
smoke aroma at all, I don’t recall).

Songaia has a cob oven built about four years ago. It sits in a spot
between the garden and the common house. It requires skill and copious
time to get hot, and only a handful of residents know how to operate
it. But it makes delicious pizzas and we hold several garden pizza
parties per year. We have hosted parties of 40+ people, with everyone
getting their own self assembled pizzas. It takes hours but because
these are treated as social events, it‘s not a problem. The oven is
also great for baking bread and making yogurt. Because of the effort
involved in getting it to the needed temperature, bread baking and
yogurt making typically occur right after the pizza party, taking
advantage of the dissipating heat of the oven.

For our community, the cob oven is special equipment, not for every
day use.

Last year we had a garden intern who produced an incredible amount of
art for our community. One of the things he did in coordination with
our “pizza piazza” committee was re-finish the cob oven with an
interesting swirl pattern. The cob oven was transformed from its usual
pocked appearance to something more akin to an egg shape with a
cthulthu or fire octopus pattern. (It’s art, I don’t know how to
describe it.) My then 11-yo child helped paint it!

It helps that we have a resident who is skillful at masonry.

Attached: the cob oven before the re-finish. After re-finish, and then

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