Cob Oven and Benches…take TWO

QUICK NOTICE for plant sales on Saturday Oct 7th from 10am-2pm.  It’s been a slow fall season at the nursery…mostly due to being TOO busy to properly market our plants.  (We are writing a book on compost toilets AND everything else we do) So…depending on how this goes on Saturday, this may be our last open house at the farm nursery until next spring.  However, we are always available year round for private appointments to come on out to buy some plants.  Send us an email at or to set up an appointment.

Cob OVEN and outside seating area.  In 2010, we built our Earth sheltered greenhouse out front of the house and the following year we built our cob oven into the north wall.


We created an outside patio and cob benches with a tiny living roof over the cob oven.  We used this area a lot while the kids were growing up enjoying many years of pizza, bread, and beans cooked in this oven.


These days, we are not eating much pizza or bread, but once and a while for a treat, we do enjoy a pizza.  If you would like to know why we don’t eat much sugar or simple carbs any more it’s because we have learned how unhealthy these are for our gut micro-biome.    Our bodies are simply not designed to have these foods as part of our regular diet…and who are we are argue with 200,000+ years of evolution and a few million before that.  Here’s the best book on the subject written by a geologist and a biologist.

“The Hidden Half of Nature” by David R. Montgomery and Anne Bikle. Basically, the rhizosphere (area around plant roots), and our colon are remarkably similar. They are both teeming with microscopic life in an amazing symbiotic dance sharing food, communicating, and playing a key role in health and immune function of plants and our own bodies. Both of these environments require lots of mulch. 

Good human health requires eating for your gut microbes. LOTS of fibre and very limited sugar or refined carbohydrates (like bread, pasta, etc). Your colon is your fermentation vessel where indigestible plant tissues are broken down by a very diverse community of microbes releasing metabolites that feed us essential nutrients (even serotonin), AND control the right amount of inflammation in our bodies…this is the control centre for our immune system. Our gut microbes release SCFA’s (short chain fatty acids), that are picked up by dendritic cells which them show these to the Tcells to control the amount of inflammation in our bodies and trigger the right immune response. It’s complicated, read the book to learn more about the scientific literature…and eat your veggies…lots of them.   

Gord and I now refer to dinner as “MULCH”, and our colon as our “indoor fermentation vessel”.  After reading this book, I came away with the thought that industrial agriculture with it’s microbe destroying chemicals and tilling practises are an unbelievably arrogant and stupid process.  To think that we can just decide to destroy the soil life and think everything will be ok…is simply INSANE.  The soil life is the basis of ALL terrestrial life…ours included.  So, if you are able, please don’t buy nutrient deficient crap food from this system.  The solution is EASY, support local, organic, and soil BUILDING methods of food production.  This is one of those action items that contributes to many positive things all at the same time.  Better health for you, more local jobs, better for the climate, better for biodiversity, better for farm animals and even better the ocean (no toxic run off).  

Back to the cob oven…The little roof just wasn’t enough… especially after this last winter with the very unusual freeze and thaw cycles.  Much of the plaster simply exploded.  So, we have redesigned it all and put a roof over it.  WOW…we love this new area…it’s so much more cozy and we have the addition of some outside tables for pizza preparation and for potlucks.

So rather than write a million words, here’s our photo journey of this project.  You can click on each photo to see more.



And so Gord does not feel left out of this post… sometimes, like today, we ate the un-hidden half of nature with our lunch.  Due to Ann not wearing her glasses… we supported our microbiome, (our colon cauldron) with the following vitamins A, P, H, I, D and S.    Sorry there is no photo journal of that.  Happy Thanksgiving.

Hope you enjoyed.

Ann and Gord

3 responses to “Cob Oven and Benches…take TWO

  1. Ann, you crack me up and edjumakate me at the same time. Like receiving these notices and will see you tomorrow!
    Brent Harrison

  2. Keary Conwright

    Hi Gord and Ann,

    Nice work ! I keep meaning to visit one of your open house days, but have not so far made it happen. I greatly admire your vision and commitment !

    I am presently in Nelson, BC, to view a round show home by Mandala Homes for a client who wants something similar built in East Sooke. Very impressive ! There is something special about being in a home crafted with forethought and care, no matter what the walls are made of.

    I hope our paths cross again soon.

    Regards, Keary

  3. Francis Kremler

    Happy Thanksgiving, You folks are amazing!!

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