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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Disposal and Reclamation

I have in mind to produce biochar and synfuels from pyrolysis of wood waste, for soil amendment and to power machinery. As a first step I want to learn to make charcoal, which involves burning wood under reduced oxygen conditions. A large brush pile in the far corner of the northwest field seemed a good spot to begin my experiments but beneath the brush were the leftovers of years of dumping and burning and burying. A common enough practice on farms but one that violates my aesthetic and conservative sensitivities. This is a large topic but today I'll confine myself to practicalities.

So, I got out the big tractor, pushed and hauled the brush to the side and began excavating, uncovering, and removing decades' worth of junk of every description. In the end I had to go about four feet down before the big metal stuff gave out. I wasn't exactly deft with the bucket's hydraulic controls when I began but I'm a lot better at it now! This was a day-and-a-half's work.

I sorted some of the stuff as I went, the plate glass in particular and other household items that might find a place in art projects.

Enameled cast iron basin. Thermos. Door bell. Christmas tree stand. Flatware. On and on.

We have some other stockpiles established near Baby Grave and I'm making a new pile there, a testament to how not to reduce, reuse, recycle.

West garden update.

And the east garden. Check out the tomatoes. Behind them are pickling cucumbers, melon, squash, and sunflower.

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