Thursday, 11 April 2013

Making Charcoal.

At this time of year, on the roadside between Braye and Braslou on the edge of our local wood a couple of temporary structures appear. Last year it was basically a small tent-like framework, the use of which was not really clear but after a bit of pondering we decided it was making charcoal.

This year it has increased in size and design and its purpose is now unmistakable..

Typically, charcoal burners have a steel kiln which can be three metres in diameter and a over a metre in height.  This is loaded up with mostly hardwoods such as oak, which have a very slow burn. The kiln is then sealed with a large lid.  To make charcoal the burn must be slow and incomplete so that the wood dries out and its structure and capacity for burning remains.  This process – converting wood to charcoal – takes about 14-16 hours and produces ready-to-use lumps of charcoal. There are clearly two stacks coming out of the main structure so one can assume two burners. 

Business must have been reasonably successful last year given the increased capacity. We would love to have a look inside but there is never anybody around when we go past.  

Given that it has rained here all day, none stop and the garden looks more like a lake than a lawn, we haven't even contemplated getting the barbecue out yet!

This poor magpie says it all...


Jean said...

That poor magpie looks how we feel - rather soggy and sorry for ourselves!

Susan said...

How interesting! I've not seen charcoal making in progress, so I'd love to get a better look at it one day too. Wasn't the weather dismal today!

GaynorB said...

It rained for the whole of our journey back to the UK :o(

The magpie looks BETTER than I feel... :o)

Tim said...

Poor Magpie... feels like I look!!