Stone oven, nutritional autonomy and communal living
In the mountains of Tarifa (Cádiz, Spain) one can frequently find the remains of community sandstone ovens. They were mainly used for making bread, one of the principal components in poor families’ diet until the 70s of the 20th century.
Ovens were a necessary and common resource until a few decades ago and stand for two important values: autonomy and community life.
Women where the ones in charge of kneading and making bread, and each oven was shared by several families. The families built the ovens, always using local materials: reddish sandstone or «jabaluna» (wild boar) stone in the structure, clayey or calamocha soil as dough, and «mastranto» (Mentha suaveolens) at the top, to prevent it from burning.
In the image, a community oven in the little hamlet of Betis (Cádiz, Spain). It is located near several cottages and is currently maintained by their inhabitants.
Beatriz Díaz, environmental biologist and freelance researcher