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Bringing the oven back: what happened next, Part 1

Sept.21, 2022: Training

staff Vijay and Rose at the rolling table

trainer Shauna, Kamryn at the oven
Sept.22, 2022: first pizza day, during the farmers' market

before: making the pizzas (two tables)

individual boards, rollers for every child

after: cutting and plating (two tables)

individual plastic bins for ingredients

The tables were arranged in a long L, with the garden on the third side, forming a u-shaped barrier. That made a big no-man's land inside the enclosure.

There were 80 dough balls. The Thursday homeschooling group came from 2 until 3 p.m.. Then there was a break until the market pizza-making. That was scheduled from 3.30 to 5.30. But there were so many kids that the dough ran out at 4.20.

Note: unlike the long-time Dufferin Grove oven $2.50-per-pizza days, these pizzas were free, i.e materials paid for by the city. Two young girls who were making pizza said: "That's why there are so many people here, everybody comes if something is free." But we told them -- "no, when it cost $2.50, lots of people came anyway!"

levelling the coals at the end

Two staff went across the street to the No Frills and bought 6 more bags of dough. Four of the bags were needed to get to 5.30.

Each bag of No Frills pizza dough was enough for 6 dough balls. The remaining 12 dough balls were frozen for the next time.

Staffing was the equivalent of 5 people from 10.30 until 8. At pre-construction pizza days, three staff were enough, so hopefully that will be possible when the new location and the new routines are worked out.


Sept.29, 2022: second pizza day

Oct.3, 2022, to the Parks supervisor

The cob serving counter cupboards are a mess again. The lightweight hinges are not meant for public spaces. But as you can see, the storage sheds in the park have much stronger hinges and padlock closures:

Oct.3: doors are a mess

better fasteners on bigger sheds

Would it be possible to replace the lightweight closures with these tougher ones? These cupboards were built by city carpenters but at the moment they are not useful, and they're also unsightly.

Oct.4, 2022 Jutta to the dufferingrovefriends listserv

Last Sunday was the third time the oven was used (see my other post to this list for a description), and this Thursday October 6 will be the fourth time.

This is what I posted on the back of the oven today:

Thursday Oct.6

kids-and-parents/park friends: make -your-own- pizza (in the bake-oven by the farmers’ market) 3.30 – 5.30 p.m.

$2.50 donation for basics: dough, sauce, cheese. Add your own extra toppings.

New to try:

5.30 p.m. oven-roast your market tomatoes/peppers

6 -7 p.m. roast your market eggplants, onions. Park staff will show you how!

I will also try making some sourdough pitas whenever there's a pause in the pizza-making. If they work well, we can add pitas to the "new to try" items next week. The roasted eggplants were delicious last week.

This week there are way more tables by the cob kitchen, for people to sit and enjoy each other's company.

I have written "$2.50 donation for materials," as we used to charge to cover the costs back in the old days.
-- Rec Supervisor Anthony and I disagree about this, he feels the materials should all be free, i.e. paid by the city, i.e. our taxes. But the rest of the market food is not free!
So Thursday will be a chance for everybody to give their opinion. Should be a lively discussion. And the weather forecast is very nice.


Oct.6, 2022: third pizza day:


Oct.7, 2022, from Jutta to the Dufferin Grove market news:

Oct.7, 2022: to rec supervisor Anthony from Jutta:

I let people know on Thursday (yesterday) that they could pay $2.50 per pizza, or not, as they chose. That got us $84.50, and more people want to bring money next week. I spent $4 of that in buying Roma tomatoes one of the farmers, so that I could see how well they oven-dry the following day, i.e. I put them into the residual oven heat this morning.

I had intended to give you the rest of the money, but we may have to put it toward better staffing for next week. I can see that you are still unable to get staff who can do the support that's needed at the prep tables. I am concerned about the level of hygiene and the absence of system in arranging the program. It's very popular as you know, but it needs better organization. Two of your afternoon staff need moment-by-moment supervision, and they had none.

So I will ask among the homeschooler parents to see who would be willing to take turns doing do an hour at the prep tables for $20 an hour, using the voluntary donation money. If you have no objections to that solution, please do not keep the two extra staff for Thursday -- they are very visibly not doing much, and that gives a bad impression.

On the other hand, Vijay has been teaching those parents who wish, how to bake the pizza, using the peel etc., and how to maintain the fire at the right level. Since he is instructing park users, I am wondering why you are not paying him as an instructor --?

Oct.7, 2022, response from rec supervisor Anthony:

We have agreed to use the ovens for pizza making to align with the farmers market up until October 27th 2022. These pizza days at the market are meant to be for the community as a good will gesture to accommodate the long awaited completion of the Dufferin Grove Clubhouse . In our past discussions in the past, we are using these pizza days to give back to the community and to enjoy pizza making in the park. Therefore, we are not planning to charge for the pizza days between September 22th 2022 - October 27th 2022. I have directed my team not to collect any funds for these events for this period.

Once the state of good repair is complete at Dufferin Grove Park, we can continue our planning to return to collecting funds to participate in pizza day. The dollar figure amount has not yet been discussed, but are open to conversation in the future.

Oct.7, 2022, response from Jutta to Anthony:

The people who donated -- and in fact pretty well everybody congregating by the oven -- said they don't like getting free food from the city. And in terms of giving back, it seems like everybody knows that PFR is using our taxes, so nobody feels like they're getting a freebie.

As you know, the staff were not collecting money -- I'm happy to find people to do that, and it seems like nobody is worried that neighbourhood people will steal from each other. But the big issue is that there are staff who are collecting a paycheck for very little work. There are no walls, so everybody can see it -- plus they can see the chaos at the tables. Let's talk about this on Tuesday, okay?

Oct.7, 2022, from parks supervisor Jonathan:

Parks staff have removed the chain and lock from the picnic tables.

Oct,7, 2022, from Jutta to Jonathan:

Yes, thanks Jonathan, I was lucky to bump into Kelly and he unlocked the tables. We had a dolly and one of the rec staff helped move the tables so we could put them in long rows, close together. It works beautifully now, as a neighbourhood social space:



What happened next Part 2

What works, what doesn't

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