Union Students Build Earth Oven

Tuesday, June 21st 2011, 5:23 pm
By: News On 6

Rick Wells, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- How would you cook all of your delicious summer fruits and veggies if you didn't have an oven, or electricity or gas to power one?

Well, you might build one, which is what the Global Gardens students are doing over at Rosa Parks Elementary this summer.

Erendira Romero and a dozen or so of her fellow Global Gardeners are building a Cob oven, a domed-shaped oven to bake in. Cob is an ancient building material of dirt, clay sand water and straw, like adobe.

The students are digging up and sifting dirt from their garden and mixing it with water and some straw.

Annie Ferris is the summer program director.

"Our site doesn't have a kitchen that we are able to use," she said.

Most of the kids are eligible for government provided lunches but when school's closed there're no lunches. In the summer, gardens still need tended. So how can you cook with no kitchen?

"A campfire obviously," Ferris said.

So they did some research. Some students remembered relatives in Mexico using outdoor ovens for baking, so they built one. They're learning while doing it too.

Rick Wells, News On 6: "So this has taught you teamwork?"
Marco Chinchilla, student: "Yes. Teamwork, courage, confidence."

Erendira Romero says if this works well they could bake bread for the neighborhood.

"Some of us are not afraid to get dirty," Romero said.

The kids told Rick once they get their earth oven up and going, they'd like to invite some area chefs out to try their hand at actually using it.