It was still light out and I needed to empty an ash bucket so here is the procedure. I use a fine screen to separate the biochar and nails. pick out the nails with a magnet. I am burning a lot of pallet fencing that is falling apart and much of it is oak. use a drop spreader to put it on mossy areas. Notice most of it is brown from an application a few days ago. The coarse biochar serves as mulch around my tomato plants for the first year..
Nothing new here, I also have used ashes on driveways to melt snow/ice and provide traction. Also, My Grandparents had a bucket of ashes in the outhouse to "sprinkle after you tinkle". Helped to soak up liquid and cut down on the smell. One caveat that I have learned the hard way. Even metal buckets are not the safest to hold ashes. My wife cleaned out the stove and left the metal bucket sitting on the carpet next to the tiled floor. Came back to find a scorch hole in the carpet and melted padding underneath. We got lucky the ashes weren't hotter.
1. Welding flux - it can be used to forge-weld steel and wrought iron. Straw ash is better than wood for this, and horsetails are even better.
2. Ceramic flux. If you can't seem to get your kiln or pit firing hot enough to vitrify the clay, you can mix in sifted ash in +5% increments in test tiles and get it to vitrify that way. - Another use is to make glaze. A mixture of ashes, clay, and ochre should yield a medium-high firing glaze. Add brown bottle glass to make it low firing.
"Of all the beings that exist, man is only one. Among all the Millions of men on Earth, those that live by farming are only a small portion. smaller still are those that have office or wealth and ride in carriages. Of all these, a man on a carriage is nothing but a fleck of hair on a horse's flank."
My husband gave me the coolest book as a (belated) birthday gift; The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen. The author Sean Sherman says;
"Culinary ash seasoning dates back thousands of years. Just as smoke was an important, primal flavor that cues our original use of fire to transform raw ingredients into delicious foods, burning trees and the hard, inedible parts of plants is an ancient method of creating flavorful spices....
Corn ash is slightly sweet, dark, and a bit creamy.
Sage ash is peppery and assertive.
Juniper ash will turn the foods it seasons a dark, inky blue and add an earthy, piney, peppery note."
Culinary ash was probably an important source of minerals as well as flavor.
Some people put wood ash on fresh wood when pruning trees - to help the tree heal.
You're not kidding about the ice , we got hit HARD this winter and the ash is perfect for driveways, steps anything icey you may fall on. It was a huge lifesaver. Word to the wise, make sure you wipe dogs paws off before they enter the house.... trust me .
I forgot to add last time that if creosote is built up on the inside of the glass in the door of your wood stove dip a wet cloth or sponge in fine white ash [ ma,e sure no scratching grit is in it] and rub it on the creosote to dissolve it, then rince it clean.