Burn Pile

The temps this morning at 7:30AM were a balmy 30-degrees, and we watched steam rise up off the deck as the sun got higher and the frost melted. Other chores were in store until the afternoon, when I rolled the green-waste bin down and out across the prairie, and went to attack the burn pile.
Leaves and sticks that we had tossed onto it during the summer heat, I expected to be dry as tinder – but what I found was a soggy mess that was turning itself into damp mulchy goo.
I was expecting the pile to be a bower, a haven for animals and critters of the small feathery kind – but I don’t think anything could survive in it. Maybe a possum.
I started-in, heaving branches with dead but wet leaves into the waste-bin and chopping the contents of that into smaller bits with the loping shears to optimize the space between the interstices.
Most of the branches from this summer, despite the scorching heat, were still green. Leaves below the dead top-layer were still green, and the zillions of the tiny fruits from the miniature pear were squishy and made a mess. Gaah!
I heaved away until the waste-bin was full and practically immobile, then leaned down onto its handle to find the neutral tipping-point and roll it up again – full. It was a long pull up the steep driveway, then out to the ranch-road where the garbage trucks pick it up at 6:00AM.
I figure the rest of the burn pile is in as-bad shape, so it may be a few more weeks before I get it cleared-up and maybe Spring before I burn anything. It sure looked like there was enough ventilation to dry stuff especially given the heat this Summer, but the canopy of leaves really put an end to that. Ok boys, what next?

About NotClauswitz

The semi-sprawling adventures of a culturally hegemonic former flat-lander and anti-idiotarian individualist, fleeing the toxic cultural smug emitted by self-satisfied lotus-eating low-land Tesla-driving floppy-hat wearing lizadroid-Leftbat Califorganic eco-tofuistas ~

3 thoughts on “Burn Pile

  1. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, burn piles have always been a challenge. I remember a number of them that we had to help along with what turned out to be gallons of gasoline or diesel before they would finally burn out.

    I discovered in my teens the best way ever to burn a wet burn pile, and I’m shocked it never occurred to me before. Simply start whatever part of the pile you can to burning, as deep in the as practical, but don’t obsess about it. Then, using a cheap leaf blower and any yard tool with a long handle, start lifting the pile and blowing underneath it. A pitchfork works great, so does an old shovel. Anything to create a flue into your “wet wood furnace”.

    You can burn down an amazingly tall pile of wet soggy green wood, mouldering leaves, spongy moss and compost, in about 2 or 3 hours, using a blower on its lowest idle speed to turn the whole thing into a furnace. Try it, if you have a blower. You may be shocked at how easy it is to burn really nasty stuff.


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