Pictured below is a steel ash carrier sitting on my front porch.
The ash carrier is full of fly ash and cinders from the daily morning clean out of my cook stove and parlor stove. Believe it or not, seemly cold ash, cinders, embers and stove coals can sometimes keep heat and reignite for up to a week or longer.
Many an accidental house fire has been the result of the improper disposal of ash. The tragic 2011 Stamford, Connecticut Christmas fire in which a woman lost her 3 children and parents is a grim example of how ashes can seem to be cold but aren’t.
In my own life I’ve had a couple of close calls with ash and cinders sitting forgotten in a coal hod (scuttle) in the living room and on the front porch. There’s an indescribable horror to walking into a room filled with papers, books and cloth and seeing a coal hod glowing and cherry red next to a wooden bookcase.
Steel ash carriers keep coals and ash contained and safe. Steel ash carriers can literally be life savers.
Ash carriers with feet keep the heat of the ash and live coals off the floor and carpet so there’s less chance of burning a wooden floor or carpet.
Some stove manufactures sell ash carriers as a stove accessory, and prices range from about $45 – $75 the last time I checked.
My parlor stove is a Hitzer, and the ash carrier fits the stove ash pan perfectly so that less fly ash blows into the room.
Hardwood ashes are a valued commodity on this farm. They can be used to make soap, clean wooden floors, shine silver, melt ice and in the garden.
Without a doubt, the garden is my favorite place to use wood ashes. They are most often used in the garden to top dress the rows of asparagus . Hardwood ash is rich in potassium and calcium and other minerals.
Asparagus thrive when hardwood ashes are applied to the soil and tomatoes love it when they are put directly into to the hole at planting time.Hardwood ash should never be applied to a potato patch as it may contribute to the development of potato scab.