Build a bonfire

Even if I’d had access to a mulcher or shredder, there was just too much wood left from the removal of the apple tree. So, after constructing that new woodpile:


I set to work burning the remainder. First I built a kind of rough kiln out of bricks on an enormous paving slab, to try to contain the fire. I’m only sorry I couldn’t take a picture as it looked quite neat; but the daylight was starting to die. If only I could have some form of artificial light to illuminate the garden by…. Wait!

In constructing the “kiln” I tried to leave ventilation holes, but it was still difficult to get the wood hot enough to burn itself:


Firelighters went nowhere, and so I resorted to occasional capfuls of methylated spirits. This raised the core temperature of the fire enough that it went off like a rocket (stove):



At this point, I think I tweeted merely “Blimey.” Once it all died down, the great pile of ashes happily glowed on:


The next day, they were wildly hot and smoky when disturbed:


And two days later, the stored ashes would still give off heat when moved in any way.

Although it felt initially like there was a lot of ash, after transferring from the kiln to an almost-empty compost bin (to stop rainwater leaching it of nutrients for a day or two); then from the bin to a trug; then back to the active compost bin to be mixed in: there wasn’t a huge amount left. Still, at least that goodness will go back into the soil. When we start using it in earnest!


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