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There is one vague account in Farmer's of Fourty Centuries that may refer to charcoal. He says ash, but refers to it as black. It made me wonder how often he may have meant charcoal when he said ash. I guess we'll never know. If I remember right, it was in reference to a woman growing rice seedlings and the "ash" was either rice straw or rice husk. Another really interesting account in that book is using the stove beds for fertilizer. Basically, they built these adobe type bed platforms with a fire chamber underneath, something like a rocket stove heated cob bench, or masonry heater, or along those lines. every so many years, you could sell your bed to somebody to be used as fertilizer because the creosote or combustion oils were valuable as a fertilizer. Weston Price in his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, of about the same time period, talks about residents on the Isle of Lewis harvesting the thatch off their roof every year to use as fertilizer. They left no smoke hole so that the peat smoke would have to sift through the thatch. Even after they got more modern houses, he says they would still thatch and keep fires burning in the old stone houses, just to collect the fertilizing value of the smoke. Both books are kind of Pedantic and often boring, especially Farmer's of Fourty Centuries, but worth reading for little gems like those.

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