Next to the 300 years old cherry tree, at the corner of the school entrance, stands a new communal size wood burning oven. It was built following our belief that food brings people together. A truck full of sandstones, concrete blocks, and oyaishi stones brought to the school the materials we used to make the lower compartment to be used as a firewood storage. On top of it a 15 cm thick concrete slab was cast to support the oval footprint of the oven composed with 250 firebricks, 300 kg of local clay, 400 kg of sand, and a mix of 50 kg of lime and cement plus a big pile of dry rice straw. An A-frame timber structure timber structure serves as the house for the oven, with shuttering designed to protect the oven from rain and snow.
50 pizzas, a roast-beef, several sweet potatoes, pumpkins, a big fish and a roast-beef were successfully cooked in the oven’s stomach and were enjoyed during the Momijihiki festival. In the next few days we fed 35 school children with 50 slices of Margarita and also conducted a pizza school with the villagers short after the festival. We had a feast again, this time with Koshirakura styled pizzas combined with our Napolitan instructions. The locals are planning to use the communal oven to make Koshirakura style pizzas for the annual agricultural event (Jimankay/local pride) in mid-November.