Charcoal is a major ingredient in the super-fertile, man-made, Amazonian soil called Terra Preta. Terra Preta is being intensively studied as a hopeful solution for the impending agricultural and climate crisis. People have now been experimenting with a lot of complicated methods for making charcoal for Terra Preta, in as clean and efficient a manner as possible, involving double chambered barrels, and tubes and chimneys, and such. The quest is to make charcoal with as few greenhouse emissions as possible, while utilizing the heat generated from the fire for something useful. I've become involved with experimenting with some of these methods on a home-scale, and I will let you know how it goes in future articles. In the meantime, I came across a very simple way of making some charcoal, in a substantial enough volume for your garden beds, in a video on YouTube by Greenpower,.
I've been meaning to write this all summer. Pictured here at left is a Picard combination scythe hammer, and a very nice little Peddinghaus combination scythe hammer. In my peening manual, I rave about what a great peening hammer the Picard Company makes. Excellent steel and hardness, and I like the camber of the hammer face and cross-peen better than the Peddinghaus. I received my first shipment of Picard hammers in 2007, and I picked out a hammer for myself, and sanded the face and the cross-peen smooth, with 320 and 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper. I've been using the same hammer ever since.