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.

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!

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

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.

 

Saturday, Sept. 14th: Harvest Fest / IncrEDIBLE Picnic!

That’s right! The PACO community has been busy pulling together a celebration of all things Dartmouth, fresh and local.  An (early) Harvest Fest!  Big thanks to the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission and the Alderney Farmers Market for assisting in the coordination; and thanks to Select Nova Scotia and the Dartmouth Community Health Board, whose support is allowing us to put this great event together!  Mark your calendars and plan to drop by the park on September 14th between 12 noon and 6:00 PM. What should you expect?

Food

Like our regular Open Oven’s on Saturday we’ll have a hot oven for those interested, to cook their favourites starting at noon.  A second burn will take place mid-afternoon for a second cooking time around 4:00.

While we’ll be firing the oven and baking some delicious pretzels for picnickers, local businesses in and around downtown Dartmouth will be selling ready-to-bake goodies that you can pick up en route to the oven.  There’ll be variety in price and taste, something for everyone, so watch this space for a soon-to-be-complete map indicating where to buy what.  There’s rumour that there could be a food truck or two for those of you who prefer your food on wheels….

Entertainment

What’s a picnic without some amusements?  There’ll be some guest speakers sharing their wisdom about local food, community health and the neighbourhood.  Kids can enjoy some organized activities, a story-circle and some face-painting.  There’ll even be a bit of dinner music!

As we finalize a few last minute details, a full schedule will be posted.  Please visit this site again soon and make plans to join us in the park on the 14th!

What’s New PACO?

PACO is well into it’s first full season hosting our regular weekly Open Ovens every Saturday (weather permitting).  Those interested in volunteering can come by at 10 each Saturday for training and stick around to cook with our volunteers and others from the community.

Local chef Brady Muller – a committed and enthusiastic PACO volunteer – is hosting bi-weekly workshops where local chefs teach attendees how to make local food meals in the oven to demonstrate its versatility (PACO can cook more than just pizza!).

Another committed volunteer – Ali – has been meeting with HRM Parks to hopefully have signage around the oven and the adjacent community garden to describe the projects and our desire to have the community make use of this truly wonderful addition to the beautiful Leighton Dillman Park.

Alderney Market vendor Pie R Squared has begun selling pre-made, ready-to-bake pizzas (gluten-free options available) so people can take the ferry to Dartmouth, stop at the market en route to the oven and cook their pizza in Nova Scotia’s first outdoor community wood-fired oven.

The group  is still seeking dedicated volunteers interested in learning how to fire the oven and support PACO by helping to host community events and accommodate requests from groups who want to use the oven throughout the week.  Interested?  Email us or just come on down!

PACO will be hosting a Harvest Celebration on a Saturday in early September with support from the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission, the Dartmouth Community Health Board and Select Nova Scotia. Details will be announced soon and will be available here as they are confirmed.