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.

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.

Workshop Series: Chefs showcase PACO’s versatility

Local chef and PACO volunteer Brady Muller has scheduled a series of workshops with local chefs offering their experience and delicious recipes to showcase the range of food you can cook in our community oven in the park.  Attend a workshop and learn how to cook a delicious meal and you get to enjoy the product.  Register for workshops via EventBrite.

Let’s Get Cooking!

Pizza & Leaf**Updated May 1st to change the date of our first Open Oven**

With warmer weather on its way and some small touch-ups to the oven scheduled to happen any day now, PACO is excited to host our first Open Oven of the season on Saturday, May 11th.

Provided there’s no torrential downpour or freak snowstorm, the day’s agenda is: training, then cooking.

We’ll be on site to light the oven at 9:00 a.m. sharp and invite those interested in learning to fire the oven to attend from 9-12 and receive training. (If you’d like to eventually light the oven yourself and host events, training is mandatory. Read more on training.)

Training is typically pretty relaxed and provides a chance for anyone to learn about the structure, care and proper use of the oven. We encourage anyone to come by and hang-out for curiosity sake too. For those interested, training will run until the oven is hot enough to cook—we aim for 12:00 noon. If all goes well, we’ll be ready to cook and will do our best to accommodate food-stuff brought by for cooking. The oven is incredibly hot and while we try to honour the first-come-first-bake order of things, certain items cook best when the oven is hottest while others fare better at lower temperatures. Small pizzas cook in minutes while more dense concoctions like it slow-and-low. There’s always some standing around, so dress for the weather and bring your food in proper containers to ensure it keeps until ready to cook.

Planning to come by on May 11th? For training or just a cook-out? Drop us a line via email at paco@parkoven.ca or leave a note on our Facebook page to help us get a sense of how many people to expect.

Watch this page for updates and a proper calendar as we continue to ramp up for PACO’s first full season.

Winter Fire

park-oven_2On February 2 we will participate in the Christ Church Sunday School Children’s Carnival. This celebration is in honour of a number of mid-winter traditions described below. The oven will be hot from 2-4. All are welcomed and encouraged to attend the Children’s Carnival. As always, anyone in the community wishing to do some baking can stop by as well.

Children are invited to shape flat loaves in the kitchen of the Christ Church Parish Hall at 1 pm (corner of Ochterloney and Wentworth Streets). We will make candles while the loafs rise and starting at 2 pm bring the loafs to the Park Avenue Community Oven to bake. The loaves can be eaten, laid under your first furrow or left on your window sill as you see fit. After the bread is baked we will return to the Hall for carnival and king cake.

Please note, if weather looks stormy or cold we may not be able to fire the oven. If this is the case we will post on our website and on our Facebook page by 10am Feb.2.

Christ Church, Dartmouth

Christ Church, Dartmouth

Traditions

February 2 is Groundhog Day to many, but it’s also Candlemas on the Christian calendar. It’s the day when the Church celebrates Joseph and Mary’s presentation of the baby Jesus at the Temple in Jerusalem forty days after his birth, in keeping with the Jewish tradition of ritual purification and redemption of the firstborn.

Prior to Candlemas there was a Roman holiday, Lupercalia, and a Celtic holiday, Imbolc. February 1st is the feast day of St. Brigid, who began her life as a pagan fire and fertility goddess and ended up a Christian saint.

February 2 falls midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox and in many traditions it is associated with hibernating animals beginning to stir and the beginning of the agricultural year. The promises of the return of the light and the renewal of life which were made at the winter solstice are now becoming manifest.

Medieval Anglo-Saxon farmers took a loaf of bread, kneaded it with milk and holy water and laid it under the first furrow.

To celebrate St. Brigid’s day, people put out a loaf of bread on the windowsill for the Saint.

Fires were built in Armenian church courtyards. People danced about the flames, jumped over them and carried home embers to kindle their own fires from the sacred flames.

Candles are blessed at Candlemas and then taken home where they serve as talismans and protections from all sorts of disasters.

One traditional ritual associated with this time of year is to clean out your hearth and then light a new fire. Sit around the fire and reflect on the seeds you wish to plant in the coming year.