Updates from the Park

There is lots happening in and around the Leighton Dillman Park these days and this post should get you caught up to speed.

Accessible Gardens

IMG_20160521_174629We are pleased to announce the completion of 5 new barrier-free, accessible garden beds in our community garden area. These plots will enable seniors and disabled persons to enjoy the simple pleasure of getting outside and staying active through gardening. Gardening is known to have many benefits for overall physical and mental health such as improving mobility and flexibility as well as reducing stress levels and allowing the person to relax.
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We could not have accomplished this project without the grant from the Dartmouth Community Health Board that paid for the timber and supplies. We were also extremely fortunate to have Sean Murray from Work of Artz and Mick Doran‘s team from Kildare Construction donate their expertise to help design and construct the new gardens. Sean, Mick, and the team showed up on a Saturday at 9:00 AM and worked straight through to 6:30 PM to complete the project in time for planting season. They even donated some additional supplies that were required. 

Kildare Construction

Rebuild, Grand Re-opening & AGM

IMG_20160507_175811_hdrAs we announced last summer, we were the fortunate recipients of a $25,000 grant from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.  These funds allowed us to complete the rebuilding of the Park Avenue Community Oven through a series of community cob-building workshops. It will also allow us to expand our urban orchard with the planting of new trees and bushes happening in the Spring and Fall of 2016.
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With the rebuild now complete, we are excited to have our soft opening scheduled for Saturday, June 4th and our Grand Re-opening and AGM slated for Saturday, June 25th. As always, the oven will be open every Saturday at noon starting with our soft opening. We also would like to extend an invite to any interested members of our community to attend our AGM which will be held onsite at the Park Avenue Community Oven from 10:30 AM-12:00 PM following by our Grand Re-opening at noon. Bring food to cook!

Volunteering

IMG_20160507_161810Our volunteers are amazing! They help bring the Dartmouth Common to life by enabling our unique venue to be utilized by thousands of visitors each year. Last year alone, we hosted 39 event bookings and 26 Open Ovens, with this year promising to be even busier.

For persons looking to get involved in one of the most happening community development projects in the province, now is the time! We are hosting a volunteer orientation and training session on Sunday, June 5th from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM at the park oven. For more information and to RSVP, please email Owen at paco@parkoven.ca.

Well, that’s the story, folks. Glad we could get together.

Rebuild, 2016 Season Launch Update

Spring ‘s here! With the warmer weather upon us (almost) we’re gearing up for our 4th full season of baking in the park.  Given the necessary rebuild of the oven last fall though we’ll be launching a month later than usual in order to complete the final stages of work on the oven.

We’ve scheduled a work-day for May 7th with participants in the first phase workshop around demolition and building to be on hand as we complete the outer layer of the oven. Affording time for the materials to cure/dry, we’re hoping for a soft launch and our first open oven of the season by June.  As we ramp up for the season the volunteers are working to plan an official season launch for early July.

Among other work underway is planning for the urban orchard, reservations of garden plots, construction of accessible garden beds and the development of a new and improved website. Stay tuned for more information in the coming month.

We are Rebuilding!

Park Oven Rebuild

In the summer, we announced that we were the lucky recipients of a $25,000 grant from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation that will help fund two major projects. At that time, we asked you to stay tuned for workshop schedules and additional details as we worked to further grow, and enhance this awesome community hub.

So, it is with great excitement, that we are now able to announce the details and schedule for the first major project – the rebuilding the Park Oven through a series of public workshops. Registration for the workshops is now open. Workshops will be free of charge, and open to the public (see details below).

The construction of the new Park Oven is a partnership between the Leighton Dillman Park Oven, Garden, and Orchard Association, and two local experts in natural building construction; Kim Thompson from The Deanery Project, and Volker Klum from Pictou County Stone.

Park Oven Rebuild Workshop Details

Nov 1st – stage 1:  Join with us as we share stories from the first three years of our beloved Park Oven’s existence, and start the process of dismantling the current oven to make way for the new oven construction. Participants will also receive an introduction to working with clay, and will play an active role in preparing for the construction of the new oven.  Hot drinks and light snacks will be provided.

Stage 1 registration: https://parkovenrebuildstage1.eventbrite.ca

Nov 7th – stage 2:  Participants will receive an introduction to earth ovens, cob, and will play an active role in the creation of the thermal layer for the new oven. There will be lots of fun activities including the building of  “mini ovens”.  Hot drinks and light snacks will be provided.

Stage 2 registration: https://parkovenrebuildstage2.eventbrite.ca

Note: Participation in all sessions is recommended but not required. Early registration notice for stage 3 to be held in spring 2016 will be made available to participants who attended both stages 1 and 2.

There are a limited number of seats available – register now!

Details on the second project will be announced at a later time.

Growing, Together.

PACO is pleased to announce that today we received a grant of $25,000 through TD Canada Friends of the Environment Foundation!  We’re thrilled that the grant will help us to build upon the great work our community volunteers, supporters and partners have achieved in 3 short years.

The grant will help fund two major projects. The first will be building our knowledge of cob-construction which will enable us to repair the structural damage to the oven that’s occurred since it was built, and to offer community members and volunteers the opportunity to learn the skills necessary to maintain or create cob structures. This will allow PACO to become more self-sufficient, and to offer multimedia resources to those interested in community building, space-making and traditional building methods.

The support from TD FEF will also enable us to expand on the urban orchard, a project that was initiated through a partnership with our local municipal government, Sierra Club Canada, and Trees Canada. Our plan is to plant more trees and shrubs this fall, with hopes of almost doubling the number of trees producing edibles in Leighton Dillman Park.

Stay tuned for workshop schedules and additional details as we work to further grow and enhance this awesome community hub.

Are you interested in learning about volunteer opportunities with PACO? Email paco@parkoven.ca

Project Elements:

  • Community Cob-building Workshop
    • Costs include supplies, food, professional fees, coordinator honorarium, video production.
  • Urban Orchard Expansion
    • Costs include Arboretum signage +identification plaques, orchard site map + interactive panel, research + design fees, nut/berry trees + bushes, Belgian fencing, coordinator honorarium.

2015 Spring season soft-launch: Saturday, May 2

On Saturday, May 2nd PACO will host our first Open Oven of the season. After a long (lonnnnnng) winter we’re excited to kick off another season of baking in the park.  During a recent inspection of the oven Tim confirmed what many of us suspected – our crack has grown.  While it’s been around since the beginning, the little crack has grown into a bit of a structural problem. Together with/because of the shifting brick archway, it’s looking more and more like we’ll have to do some repair/rebuilding work this season. Likely a rebuild of the dome portion of the oven. Given that this work requires warmer, drier weather, we’re tentatively planning for an early-June start to this work.  Until then we plan to host our weekly burns and accommodate any booking requests we receive.  Watch for more information about June’s schedule and an update on the dome work. The oven should be ready for baking by noon this Saturday.  As usual, we welcome everyone interested in baking to come out between 12 and 3.  See you in the park!

Garden Meeting & Work Party: May 17th

We’re back! With our 2014 season officially kicking off early this month, signs of spring becoming more present everyday and traffic in the park ramping up, PACO and our friends at Dartmouth Common Community Gardens are planning a Garden Meeting and Work Party for Saturday, May 17th at 12:00 noon.  Interested in gardening in the park?  Want to help spruce up the plots or just catch up with your gardening friends?    Come by Saturday (the forecast sounds amazing).

Slow Food NS Event, Oct. 20th

On Sunday October 20th, Slow Food members, Craig Flinn, Brady Muller, and Peter Jackson, will host a cooking demo on the many different ways to use a wood fired oven to cook wonderful food other than PIZZA!

Brady Muller, one of the caretakers of this community oven, will give a brief history of the oven as well as prepare a dish. Peter and Craig will chime in with some dishes of their own. Since October is Slow Fish month in Nova Scotia and the rest of Canada, expect something marine in the overall mix of Good, Clean, and Fair food. The demo will be interactive and casual, so bring lots of questions as well as your appetite. You can check out the oven at www.parkoven.ca.

Following the demo, anyone wishing to cook something they bring from home can give it a try as well. As Brady has stated, once the oven is lit it stays hot for a long time…shame to waste the heat!

Details and Housekeeping:

The Park Avenue Community Oven is located in the Leighton Dillman Park on the Dartmouth Commons. The Dartmouth Common Community Gardens and Oven are directly inside the gate off Park Avenue.

Sunday October 20th 12 noon to approximately 3:00 pm

Please bring a plate and cutlery (camper style) as well as a portable chair

There are NO WASHROOMS ON SITE…please be aware of this fact before arriving

Non-alcoholic beverages only (this is a public park)…water will be supplied by organizers

Cost is $25 per member; $30 per non-member, cash only

See this post and registration information at Slow Food Nova Scotia

Recipes!

Almost every week an adventurous oven-goer arrives with a new recipe, dish, food they want to try out. There have been far more successes than failures and we’re working to build up a section of this site to house recipes that have been tried, tasted and proven PACO-friendly.  Check out our Recipes page, which, for now, feature recipes from past workshops hosted by PACO volunteer and local chef Brady Muller.

Help us populate this new page!  If you’ve had success with a recipe and would like to share it with PACO, please send it to us in an email (we’ll credit every source!).

Where to buy your picnic in downtown Dartmouth

Harvest Fest is putting a twist on the IncrEDIBLE Picnic inviting picnickers to drop by a local business on their way to the park, choose their favourites from a host of options from either the Saturday farmers market at Alderney Landing or a local business.

A number of local business will be preparing special dishes to cook in the oven.

Businesses offering ready to bake pizzas are:

  • Pie R Squared (at Alderney Market)
  • Revana (29 Portland St.)
  • Hungry Hut (135 Ochterloney St.)
  • Big Life (84 Portland St.)
  • Wooden Monkey (Alderney Ferry Terminal and offering a 15% discount!)

Other special offers near to the oven:

  • Nectar (62 Ochterloney St.)
    – Spicy pork wrap with fresh herb yogurt sauce ($7) – tin foil wrapped to be re-warmed in the oven.

More picnic offerings within walking distance:

  • Midday Bistro (55 Portland St.)
  • Caroline’s Bakery (79 Alderney Dr.)
  • Alderney Market
  • Celtic Corner (69 Alderney Dr.)
  • Ma Belle’s Cafe (44 Ochterloney St.)
  • Just Us! (at King’s Wharf, Alderney Dr.)
  • Two if by Sea (66 Ochterloney St.)

*From 3:00 – 6:00 The Food Wolf will be parked nearby selling their incredible food-on-wheels made with local ingredients.

Harvest Fest Schedule

Planning to attend Harvest Fest on Saturday, September 14th?  Here’s what we have scheduled:

12:00p

  • Open Oven #1 begins
  • Guest speakers 1 & 2 “Welcome”
  • HRM Recreation activities begin
  • Bedford Brass Quintet plays

12:30p

  • Open Oven #1 continues
  • HRM Recreation activities
  • Bedford Brass Quintet plays on

1:00p

  • Open Oven #1 continues
  • HRM Recreation activities continue
  • Bedford Brass Quintet plays on

1:30p

  • Open Oven #1 continues
  • HRM Recreation activities continue
  • Bedford Brass Quintet plays on

2:00p

  • Open Oven #1 continues
  • HRM Rec activities end
  • Bedford Brass end
  • Halifax Public Libraries Children’s story-time begins
  • Guest speaker #3

2:30p

  • Open Oven #1 ends; oven is re-lit.
  • Oven training
  • Children’s face-painting begins
  • Children’s story-time continues
  • Guest speaker #4: Debra Dickey, Dartmouth Family Centre

3:00p

  • Oven training continues
  • Guest speaker #5: Gena Arthur, Eco-Developments
  • Children’s face-painting continues
  • HPL Children’s story-time continues
  • Yoga begins w/ Mandee from yogaheart.ca

3:30p

  • Oven training continues
  • Children’s face-painting ends
  • Guest speaker #6: Billy Lewis, Dartmouth Common Community Gardens
  • HPL Children’s story-time continues

4:00p

  • Open Oven #2 begins
  • HPL Children’s story-time ends
  • Bill Wood Magic Show begins

4:30p

  • Open Oven #2 continues
  • Bill Wood Magic Show continues

5:00p

  • Open Oven #2 continues
  • Bill Wood Magic Show ends
  • Ceti Alpha perform

5:30p

6:00p

  • Event wraps-up; pack-up and clean-up begin.