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Intro - Elephant poo oven in Limpopo - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Intro - Elephant poo oven in Limpopo

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  • Intro - Elephant poo oven in Limpopo

    Hi folks

    Mark here in Limpopo, just pretty much finished building an earth/ele poo oven in South Africa, signed up to here as it looks a good place for pizza and oven tips. Simple as that!

    The elephant poo is kind of abundsant here, as are the dead, standing mopane trees that will provide the wood. What's not abundant is decent flour, but we will work with what we have!

    Hello to you all, but goodbye for now,

    mark

  • #2
    Re: Intro - Elephant poo oven in Limpopo

    Here it is, sorry for the poor photo...
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    • #3
      Re: Intro - Elephant poo oven in Limpopo

      Ok I gotta ask. Other then making me cringe what purpose does the dung serve? Is this a traditional building technique?

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      • #4
        Re: Intro - Elephant poo oven in Limpopo

        Hi shuboyje

        It's basically the same as using straw and clay/sand - elephants are poor digesters so they pass a lot of fibrous matter dpending on time of year and what they've been eating. Here in winter there's no green grass so they eat mostly bark and tree matter, making the dung even more fibrous. We gathered some older dung (the new stuff is quite grassy and also now its summer gets pulled apart by dung beetles quite quickly) and made a sand-less cob mix with clay slip as an insulation layer between two layers of 2:1 sand/clay. The fibres - as in cob - prvide structure and as an insulating layer in theory reduce heat loss from the food-facing inner clay/sand layer.

        I hope that makes sense!

        mark

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        • #5
          Re: Intro - Elephant poo oven in Limpopo

          Mark hope you understand the Oz sense of humour
          .....if it looks like an oven, smells like an oven, and roars like a wood oven well it must be an oven...
          maybe this redefines the "smell" part.

          Jokes aside, it obviously works and adds another thread to the broadness here...

          Welcome and good to have a pic of it
          Last edited by Bacterium; 02-19-2013, 11:59 PM.
          Cheers
          Damon

          Build #1

          Build #2 (Current)

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          • #6
            Re: Intro - Elephant poo oven in Limpopo

            Cheers Damon, and thanks for the welcome

            We have quite a few Australians here - one left only yesterday after 6 months; I'm English... it's the same humour only with less subtlety, I think!

            Thanks for the welcome - I'll be sure to keep the posts coming as and when something happens. Hopefully something good, not a catastrophic collapse. Or methane explosion.

            mark

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            • #7
              Re: Intro - Elephant poo oven in Limpopo

              First pizza today - moderately successful. I'll have another in about an hour, I think...
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              • #8
                Re: Intro - Elephant poo oven in Limpopo

                Thought I'd add some background to the build, foundation up...
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                • #9
                  Re: Intro - Elephant poo oven in Limpopo

                  and so on... including rare and unflattering footage of the author...
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                  • #10
                    Re: Intro - Elephant poo oven in Limpopo

                    Until, finally....
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                    • #11
                      Re: Intro - Elephant poo oven in Limpopo

                      Limpo,

                      That is a benchmark for recycling, very interesting to watch you build.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Intro - Elephant poo oven in Limpopo

                        Hi folks

                        Sorry for the delay - finally took a picture of the oven with dung delivery unit in the background. Enjoy!

                        mark
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                        • #13
                          Re: Intro - Elephant poo oven in Limpopo

                          LOL, can't get anything fresher.......

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                          • #14
                            Re: Intro - Elephant poo oven in Limpopo

                            That is a lekker looking oven! Just wondering if you observed the door:dome size ratio? The door seems a bit large in proportion to the rest of it. Nice build..
                            / Rossco

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                            • #15
                              Re: Intro - Elephant poo oven in Limpopo

                              Thank you very much! For the first few weeks after completion I couldn't stop staring at it.

                              We did indeed make it the magic 63%, and it burns well, fortunately! I'd fire it up a lot more often but 1 i am always a little nervous that today will be the day it collapses (though quite why or how that would happen i am not sure) and 2 it takes a few days off my life every time - I get one of our volunteers to roll them out, then the rest make their own and bring them out to me at the oven, but invariably this smooth and well oiled machine gets stuffed by one of the following:

                              1 pizzas rolled too thick
                              2 roller forgets to semolina the sheet we transfer them to the oven with
                              3 too much topping

                              ... and the upshot is they end up as roadkill or just don't cook as they ought; i have mercifully yet to remove the perfect pizza only to drop it in the sand, though i am sure in time, i will. I could just do it all myself, and have pizza orders on a sheet, but shouldn't have to, really, and I like to think of it as being ''fun'' for the folks to make their own... still...

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