Park Oven Community Garden Compost Sale

A fact we’d like more people to know about is that we also organize a community garden and orchard within the Leighton Dillman Park at the  Dartmouth Commons. Indeed, for many years before the Park Oven was even an idea, some of our founding members helped to organize the community plots near the scenic gardens area of the commons. Both of these initiatives tie in beautifully with our mantra of Grow, Cook & Eat Together.

Compost Sale

We are happy to announce that will be selling compost for $3 per 5 US gal bucket. Buckets will be on hand for measuring but please bring your own bucket/bags if you are taking the compost off-site.

Whether you are one of our community garden plot holders looking to avoid lifting and transporting compost to the Dartmouth Commons or you just want to purchase in bulk and avoid all the plastic bags, this is a great opportunity to acquire some compost and help support us.

Get Involved

We are looking for some help to spread compost in the orchard on that day as well. Also, we would really appreciate the temporary loan of any wheelbarrows as we have lots of shovels and rakes but only one wheelbarrow. Come pitch in for a few minutes, or a few hours – many hands make light work! The park oven will be fired up, should you wish to bring some food to cook to re-energize.


Date: Saturday, May 20th, 9am-3pm
Location: Dartmouth Commons (Near the Park Avenue/King Street entrance)

Together, we can do so much more

Have you been looking for a great way to give back to your community or to make a difference to the people around you? Are looking to develop new skills or build upon existing experience? (Or maybe you just love pizza and helping out!)

We will be hosting volunteer training and orientation sessions in May. Please see for details.

Every year the Park Avenue Community Oven hosts dozens of “Open Ovens” and other events in the Dartmouth Common. We also have a community garden and orchard that require care and attention. These initiatives require a lot of time and effort from our dedicated and skillful volunteers – after all, we are 100% volunteer run!

Our mission is to provide an inclusive venue for community gatherings and events centered on food education and enjoyment. We strive to:

  • Maintain and improve the park oven, garden, and orchard
  • Host events for community members
  • Share resources and knowledge
  • Increase accessibility to fruits and vegetables

With more volunteers, we could do so much more!

Volunteer Details:

  • May 2017 to Nov 2017
  • Training and orientation provided

We currently have three projects you can become involved with:

  • Park Oven
  • Community Garden
  • Community Orchard

No specific skills or experience are required, however, we could use some help in the following areas:

  • Oven – fire lighters and hosts
  • Orchard – Planting, pruning and other upkeep
  • Handywork (general repairs, upkeep etc.)
  • Web/Graphic design
  • Accounting
  • Grant applications
  • Community garden coordinator
  • Organizers/Board members

You can get as involved as much or as little as works for you. When you join our team, you will not only benefit by the opportunity to give back to the community, but we will also invite you to our season ending Volunteer’s Taco Party in the Park! And if that wasn’t great enough, for each time you volunteer you are entitled to a free booking of the Park Oven for you and your friends too!

We will be hosting volunteer training and orientation sessions in May. Please see for details.

2016 Season Supporters

suppoer-thank-you-2016The 2016 season is quickly coming to and end and while we don’t have the exact numbers yet, it has been a very busy year for visitors to the park. To keep things running and improving, the Park Oven is fortunate to receive a lot of support from people and businesses in the community. Special thanks this year belongs to:

Good Wood Fuel Ltd. for continuing to be our amazing wood sponsor providing the fuel to our fire.

Dartmouth Community Health Board, Gloria McCluskey, Mick from Kildare Construction and friend Sean for making our accessible garden beds a reality.

Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission for providing us with a summer student to run Open Ovens on Thursdays this last summer.

CBC for raising awareness when the Park Oven was damaged after a break in.

Brady Muller from Ciboulette Cafe for organizing our volunteer appreciation party.

Sal for making/cooking pizzas to feed our garden party volunteers.

And thanks in general to the entire community (and anyone we missed). You all make the time spent feel very worthwhile and it is appreciated.

We hope to continue providing a great place to meet and enjoy food for many more years to come!

(We haven’t forgotten all of our volunteers either, we’re just planning special thanks for them – but they rock too!)

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.

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.

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!


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

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

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:

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:

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.