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james 08-05-2005 10:54 AM

Community Brick Ovens
I was thinking about Jim's comment that he's running out of friends and homes that need brick ovens, and wanted to throw an idea out there.

Forno Bravo has been contacted by a community group in Buffalo, NY that wants to build a brick oven in a public park that will be the anchor for a "renewal" project. They want to clean up an area and give the community something to share and work on together. In the end, they would have a nice statement and the ability to throw some great pizza parties.

The company is offering to help any way we can.

Here's the idea. What about putting together a program where Forno Bravo helps volunteers build community ovens. It would be a good thing to do, and the company would benefit from the exposure. I can think of church groups, community centers, urban renewal projects, etc. that could really use this.

Whadya think?


Robert Musa 08-05-2005 03:42 PM

that's a wonderful and generous idea, but, as an ex-attorney the liability issues frighten me. i don't think i'd do it given the current state of tort law. sorry to be a downer ...

PizzaMan 08-06-2005 10:40 AM

I'm worried about dangers, too.
I have to agree, the potential for someone misusing the oven and being injured is significant.

I really like th idea of community ovens, and would love to see as many out there as possible. But I think we live in an environment where very few have the skill and responsibility to use them well. Even some forum members have discussed losing arm and facial hair. :eek:

I admire the motivation, but fear the potential problems when no one is able to regulate the appropriate use of an oven.

Just my $0.02.


ColonelCorn76 08-11-2005 05:53 PM

Interesting responses. This is one area where Alan Scott does a lot of work that I admire him for (although he often charges for his time/labor). Personally I wouldn't have a problem doing it. After these responses I might ask for a liability waiver & cover from the sponsor but I believe the positive karma exceeds the probable likelihood that anyone would exceed my personal liability insurance coverage (including the umbrella policy). I'm actively involved in Boy Scouts and we are always building things for the community (including bridges and other potentially "misuseable" stuff) and I don't recall any suits or claims.

However, it now comes to mind that perhaps I (and James) have some liability for the efforts of people building a Pompeii oven. In fact, everyone who suggests an answer to someone else's question probably becomes extensions of that liability, no?


dmun 08-11-2005 08:08 PM

I have to say:
There is SO much about this idea that I admire. First, People who live in inner cities have dreadful nutrition. Alice Waters has done a lot of work in the area of school nutrition, and she encounters schoolchildren who are actively repelled by fresh vegetables. What she's learned is that kids will eat almost anything that they have grown themselves.

Here's a link to her edible schoolyard project:

She recently did a demonstration garden in DC at the Smithsonian folklife festival to promote this project and healthy eating. Her garden included a wood fired oven.

Pizza is a wonderful way into the world of good food. Everybody loves pizza, and they love it even better when it tastes like woodsmoke and real wheat and fresh tomatos and good cheese. Getting inner city kids contact with a wood-fired pizza oven could open a world for them.

I also like that project arose from a communtity group. An awful lot of urban redevelopment is a top-down affair with do-gooders thrusting their ideas upon the less fortunate. When people get together to develop their own initiatives, they tend to have better, longer lasting outcomes.

Finally, urban neighborhoods like Buffalo are veritable brick mines. There should be mounds of used bricks, even fire bricks from old factory boilers, available for the labor of cleaning the old mortar off them.

Sure, there are liability issues. We live in a litigious society. There have to be ways of working around this problem and supporting this worthy effort.


paulages 08-11-2005 09:08 PM

yeah, what he said...

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