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Crowdfunding campaign for woodfire oven underway in Wolfville

Duncan Ebata stands at Robie Tufts Park in Wolfville, where he and Adam Barnett have plans to build a community woodfire oven this August. “We’ve consulted with the town and have figured out how to make this work – now we just need a little bit of help to get us there,” he said.
Duncan Ebata stands at Robie Tufts Park in Wolfville, where he and Adam Barnett have plans to build a community woodfire oven this August. “We’ve consulted with the town and have figured out how to make this work – now we just need a little bit of help to get us there,” he said. - Sara Ericsson

WOLFVILLE – Two people cooking up a plan for a community woodfire oven in Wolfville have launched a crowd funding page to help with the project’s building costs.

Wolfville residents Duncan Ebata and Adam Barnett have come together to design plans for the town’s first nonprofit, free outdoor cooking space. With plans to start building in August, they’re looking for some help raising funds and volunteers to help make the project a reality and get more people excited about cooking.

“Culturally, cooking has become like a chore for many people – something that falls last on the to-do list. We’d like to this be a thing of joy for people, and connect it to community and happiness,” said Ebata.

The pair came together in November last year to start planning the project. For Ebata, inspiration was struck at a young age – woodfire ovens are fairly common in his hometown of Vaughn, Ontario.

Ebata holds a mockup of what the oven and its shelter will look like within the park.
Ebata holds a mockup of what the oven and its shelter will look like within the park.

After traveling to Italy in 2016 and seeing community cooking spaces there as well, he started thinking of how to bring the idea to Wolfville.

“You see these spaces in small towns across the world that contribute to happy, healthy communities. And here in Wolfville, a space like this could really work,” he said.

He and Barnett are aiming to raise $22,000 for costs associated with the project, which includes plans to build an approximate 12-by-12-foot shelter for an oven roughly several feet high and four feet high in Wolfville’s Robie Tufts Park.

They’ve received permission from the Town of Wolfville to build and have also consulted with local stakeholders on issues like how to avoid disrupting the area’s chimney swift population.

“It’s really been a win-win for everyone. We’ve consulted with the town and have figured out how to make this work – now we just need a little bit of help to get us there,” said Ebata.

The two men also drew inspiration from a similar woodfire oven set up at the Park Avenue Community Oven in Dartmouth and have followed their already-approved procedures for fire safety.

And most of all, Ebata sees this project creating yet another hub for people to converge at.

“Cooking was always part of my family life, and now it’s part of my community life. This is just a natural iteration, and I wanted a free place people could go and cook together. There’s something magical about that,” said Ebata.

To donate to the crowd funding campaign, visit the project’s Kickstarter page.

To volunteer, email Duncan Ebata and Adam Barnett at hello@wolfvilleoven.com.

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