Photographer's Note

Each time when I pass through the valley of the headwater of Sieg river here in my region I try to find out - by sniffing - whether the charcoal pile there is "in action". Yesterday my nose "announced" that there would be "activity" at the upper end of the valley.
The charcoal pile at the edge of the forest smouldered in a wonderful light and I couldn't resist to take again pictures of this fascinating procedure.
It is a pile of many cubic meters of 1 m long thin logs which are layered close-packed to this form. In the middle there's a vertical shaft in order to fill in the fire. This pile is covered airtight with dry leaves, sod, earth and charcoal. The charburner has to stay here in a nearby hut day and night for about two or three weeks while carbonizing is proceeding. Then 100 kg wood will make about 20 kg charcoal...
In former times there were hundreds of charcoal kilns in my region because the charcoal was needed for smelting iron, which was carried out here since about 600 B.C. In order to produce one ton of iron by smelting then about 12 tons of charcoal were needed.
For getting enough wood a special form of forest cultivation was practised then, which was common for centuries only here in my region. Please see here.

Still today charcoal is in great demand because sausages or steaks grilled with this charcoal taste much more better than prepared e.g. with briquets...


In the workshop you can see it from another angle.

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Additional Photos by Frank Kaiser (Buin) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4253 W: 48 N: 10771] (42580)
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