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Charcoal As A Microorganism Hotel


Charcoal can be used as a soil amendment to improve soil health and fertility. Charcoal is a form of carbon that has a porous structure, which can help to retain water, nutrients, and microorganisms in the soil.


Adding charcoal to soil can also help to increase the surface area available for microorganisms to colonize, which can lead to increased microbial activity and nutrient cycling in the soil. This can in turn benefit plant growth and overall soil health.


However, it's important to note that the specific use of charcoal in a hotel setting for soil building may depend on factors such as the type of soil, climate, and other local conditions. Additionally, it's important to ensure that the charcoal being used is clean and free of any harmful contaminants.


At Finca Las Hormiga, we use a specific technique to make charcoal without covering it with sand is called the "water quenching" method. Here are the steps:

  • Choose a location for the fire pit that is away from flammable materials, such as dry grass or bushes.

  • Dig a hole in the ground that is approximately 1 meter wide and 1 meter deep. This will serve as the fire pit.

  • Gather a large amount of dry, seasoned hardwood. Hardwoods like oak, maple, and hickory work well for making charcoal. Cut the wood into small pieces, about the size of a forearm, so that they fit easily in the fire pit.

  • Build a fire in the pit using the wood. Stack the wood in a cone shape, with the larger pieces at the bottom and smaller ones on top.

  • Light the fire and let it burn until it is hot and glowing. Then, use a shovel to spread the coals evenly across the pit.



  • By using the water quenching method, you can make charcoal without the need for sand or other materials to smother the fire. However, it is important to take precautions when working with fire, such as wearing protective clothing and having a bucket of water nearby in case of emergencies.

  • Allow the fire to smolder for several hours, until all of the wood has been converted to charcoal. You can check the progress by digging a small hole in the center of the pit and looking for small, black, charcoal pieces.


  • Once the charcoal is ready, it needs to be extinguished. Do this by pouring water over the coals until there is no more smoke or steam.

  • Let the charcoal cool completely before removing it from the pit. Once it is cool, it can be bagged or stored for later use.

By using the water quenching method, you can make charcoal without the need for sand or other materials to smother the fire. However, it is important to take precautions when working with fire, such as wearing protective clothing and having a bucket of water nearby in case of emergencies.


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