Fire party!


Now that the heat is giving up the fight (sort of), it’s time for a fire party!
True, the pollution from burning wood is offensive and environmentally unsound, but the simple joy of lighting things on fire with a group of friends under the stars (and city lights) seems, selfishly, more important.
We built our fire pit one early spring night, several months ago. Friends and I gathered rocks from a vacant lot down the street and from near the river. I marked a white circle in the grass about three feet wide as a digging guide. Then we dug a hole about one and a half feet deep. In the center of the pit I dug a deeper pit about one foot in diameter and another foot deep to act as a drainage hole.

The pit

We added gravel to the deeper part until it was level with the rest of the pit. Luckily, my boys were in bed and didn’t witness me thieving enough sand from their sandbox to cover the base of the hole (about an inch deep of sand). Then we arranged the rocks around the rim. Finally, I laid a cast iron grate in the pit and we attacked the pile of brush that had been looming over our compost pile and our neighbors’ yard for months. That first fire was glorious!
Our fire pit has since become quite the gathering spot. The other night, we had plenty to cook over the fire from our garden: potatoes, zucchini and onions. With friends, we stuck some hot dogs from The Organic Butcher on sticks and roasted them in the flames. And Aaron’s “boys only” club spent a late night tossing in peanut shells (and, most likely, peeing on the embers).
Despite living in the city, whenever we watch the flames and smell the smoke we feel the peace of the outdoors and a connectedness to those around us.

Yes, fall has officially arrived and with it a whole cornucopia of good stuff. From Charlottesville Open Garden Project’s community garden bike tour (October 3rd) to the apples ripe for the picking, it’s going to be a delicious season. And, man, I can’t wait to start designing a backyard goat house! Thanks, City Council.
The time has also come for me to sign off, dear readers, as I pass the all-organic-recycled-eco-blog baton back to Erika.
Thanks for sharing the last few months with me as I ramble on about poop and sewing projects. I’ve really had a fabulous time reading and responding to your comments and questions.
See you ‘round the ‘ville, friends!