In praise of fire


Alex Féthière

Fun but gross: burn piles can produce something approximating biochar, but you have to cuddle them and not just lash them with diesel.

I thought "On fire" would be a better title for this week, but it's vague and misleading.

Misleading assumes I'm trying to go somewhere. I've been meandering through the gardens doing maintenance as I tend the season's fires.

Last year the burn ban caught some of us by surprise. I was stuck with several piles of 20-year tree stumps, perfect labyrinths of dirt and roots in which rodents hide. Though I chip thinned trees for mulch every spring, last year's stump backlog (pun intended) kept me from this routine maintenance.

These stumps are piled or fill burn pits. Their roots still clutch clu...

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