Funded! This project was successfully funded on October 30, 2012.

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Our wood-fired oven will be the anchor of our sustainable gardening project, that has served as a community building venture.

We built this!Update #4 · Oct. 06, 2012 · comment

All you've done:

In just three weeks, you and other good people like you have turned Bootleg Batard from an idea into a community of caring, sharing, inspiration and excitement! From Maine to California, more than 125 caring people like you joined us in reaching the first goalin the journey to build this oven. We are so grateful that you believe in the vision of sharing a traditional oven and helping to forge a community centered on naturally good, real food.

The first $11,000 that you helped us raise allows us to complete building the oven. We've finished the heart of that work, and hope you can stop by and check it out. Volunteers of all ages and sizes are welcome - whether it's to move bricks, clean tools, or "supervise." Just drop us a note at info@bootlegbatard.com, and we'll let you know when we'll be working on the next parts of our mutual project and show you our progress.

The next jobs involve building the external brick facing and insulating the oven. Then, we need to locate a competent designer to plan a shelter that the Village of Skokie will approve. Once that shelter is built, funding for tools and structures to increase our capabilities of the over for our community are needed.

* Professional peels and brushes for loading doughs and cleaning the hearth will set us back about $500

* A wood proofing cabinet to house rising loaves will cost about $1,000.

* Stainless steel work surfaces and vermin-proof flour storage bins meeting National Sanitation Foundation Standards will require about $1,500.

* Ouftitting the bake lab to make our prep kitchen Code-compliant will enable us to sell bread to more folks. That could cost another $6,000.

What Can You Do?

Please continue to let your friends, neighbors, family and colleagues know about Bootleg Batard: share our page on Facebook or Twitter, send an email or two with a link here, or just talk about us over dinner. The more people who join us, the more people we can share with.

If you already made a donation and would like to add funds to sponsor any of the items listed, you can make a directed donation of any amount. If you already made a donation and want to add generally directed funds to increase your support of the community and the speed at which we can increase our capabilities, we welcome your deeper support. We will add more bricks - if you already have your name on one, you can choose a friend, child, or pet to honor!

Ovens have been a meeting place for thousands of years. For centuries, neighbors brought their meals or their dough to the village baker to use the retained heat of their oven. We look forward to the day when Bootleg Batard community members can revive this tradition.

Our Story and yours...

A GARDEN, ITS FARMERS AND AN OVEN 

Five years ago, Melina Kelson and Pete Podolsky dug up the sod around their small, suburban Skokie, Illinois, home and transformed it into organic, edible landscaping. Since  then, they have watched their garden (featured in Chicago Magazine) become a place where the community unites.

 Friends of all ages pitch in to help turn the soil, pull weeds, plant and harvest the bounty. Since then, friends and neighborhood “farm hands” are invited back for canning parties and to share and celebrate the harvest each year. Strangers and neighbors ask questions about planting gardens of their own. They share ideas and frequently taste (and bring home) delicious, wholesome varieties of produce and plants they may not have known about before. Neighborhood school kids tour the garden and local scout groups help harvest food to donate to area food banks. 

 Pete, a talented chef with experience in some of Chicago's best restaurant kitchens, and Melina, a chef instructor at Kendall College and one of only a handful of Certified Master Bakers in the United States, have worked together on the garden and in their catering business, The Edible Complex. They believe that their garden is their personal entry to  a greater mission: teaching and inspiring the community and others like it with lovingly prepared items that are sustainably grown and minimally processed. Speaking to groups at public libraries and the Chicago Botanic Gardens has helped spread the word. Now the work will go a giant step forward, with the building of a wood-fired brick oven and hosting community workshops. 

 Melina has built two wood-fired ovens: one at The Experimental Station, which is an inner-city community oven, and a second oven at Kendall College that she uses when teaching her culinary students the centuries-old traditions of baking Artisan Breads. 

Melina and Pete, with the help of fellow bakers, a prominent oven builder and hopefully a few volunteers from the community, are planning to build a wood-fired oven in a corner of their backyard  garden. The new oven will produce artisan breads dotted with herbs from the garden, savory tarts made with fruits and vegetables just picked within inches of the oven’s walls, and the wonderful variety of crusty pleasures that nature can provide with three simple ingredients — wheat flour, water, and natural fermentation from the airborne yeasts that cling to the foods we eat. Out of this miraculously simple formula comes an innumerable variety of breads, products that vary by how they’re shaped, left to ferment as they develop their flavors and textures, the ways they’re reshaped, and further enhanced by special ingredients (eggs, herbs, cheeses — you name it!). 

 The oven will be the hub of learning, the place around which conversations will flow, ideas will grow and friendships will build. Those who want to learn the techniques of mixing, kneading, shaping, and baking will have the rare opportunity to learn how people around the world have, through the centuries, imagined and baked and created pizza to sourdough to cream puffs. Community members will take that knowledge, apply their own creativity, under Melina's guide, and come away with their own creations and stories to share with others. Those who simply want to learn - if not do any hands-on baking, still will come away with a deeper understanding of what they eat, how and why it affects them as it does, and a rich appreciation of quality and knowledgeable eating - something they, too, can share with others.

Your support will fund clean running water, electricity, a professional mason to help construct the oven with care, and a shelter to protect the oven from the elements. Should we exceed our goal, additional funding would be used to procure fundamental equipment.

Thank you for being a part of our community!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

UPDATE!
In just three weeks, Bootleg Batard has proven to be a community of caring, sharing, inspiration and excitement. One hundred and twenty five of you, from California to Maine, joined us in reaching the first goal we set in our quest to build this oven. We are so grateful that you believe in our vision of sharing a baker's oven and bringing our expansive neighborhood together over good food.

The first $11,000 that you helped us raise allows us to progress in building the oven. We've started that work, and welcome you to stop by and check it out. Volunteers of all ages and sizes are welcome - whether it's to move bricks, clean tools, or "supervise." Just drop us a note at info@bootlegbatard.com, and we'll let you know when we'll be working. But the work is just beginning. Next, we need to face and insulate the oven. Then, we need to find a designer to create a drawing for the shelter that the Village of Skokie will approve. Then we can build the shelter. Additional funds also can be used for tools and structures that will increase the capabilities of the oven and our community:

* An additional $500 will be used for a peel and a brush, for loading doughs and cleaning the hearth.

* $1,000 will build a proofing cabinet to house rising loaves. $1,500 will purchase a table and bins for flour.

* $6,000 will outfit the bake lab make our prep kitchen code so we can sell bread in more venues.

What Can You Do?

Please continue to let your friends, neighbors, family and colleagues know about Bootleg Batard: share our page on Facebook or Twitter, send an email or two with a link here, or just talk about us over dinner. The more people who join us, the more we can share. If you already made a donation and would like to add funds to sponsor any of the items listed, you can make a directed donation of any amount. If you already made a donation and want to add generally directed funds to increase your support of the community and the speed at which we can increase our capabilities, we welcome your deeper support. We will add more bricks - if you already have your name on one, you can choose a friend, child, or pet to honor!

Ovens have been a meeting place for thousands of years. Neighbors brought their meals or their dough to the village baker to use the retained heat of their oven. We are excited for the day when Bootleg Batard community members can revive this tradition.

FAQ

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160
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    18 backers

    A shout out on Facebook and our website, thanking your for your generosity.

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    19 backers

    "I Break for Bread" bumper sticker and you can come pick up a plant from our garden!

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    49 backers

    Artisan bread and preserve (jam, pickles or brandied fruit) delivered to your door, USPS if necessary, and 3 plants from our garden for locals. (Plants are for the Chicagoland area)

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    39 backers Limited (11 left of 50)

    Invitation to the celebration of the wood-fired oven! Sample pizzas, breads and other wood-fired delights featuring home-grown produce.

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    4 backers

    Learn how to bake in a wood-fired oven! A workshop for you and 3 friends. From crusty sourdoughs to rustic tarts.

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    1 backer

    Private garden dinner for 6, using as much from the garden and the oven as possible.

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