As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.
I like to think I know a great deal about Germans , but saying you know a great deal about Germans ignores that Germans were Israelite and Assyrians, and that Germans are everything from Danube Germans, to Russian Germans, the Saxons, the Prussian, the Bavarian etc...they are all Germans, but as different as Yankees are from Southerners to Westerners.
That is why in the above photo from a homestead on the American Great Plains, I was puzzled when it was a pile of shit bricks which the Russian Germans had created out of barn manure, which they burned in their stoves all winter to keep warm.
These Russian Germans were lured to Russia in the promise of land and built the actual Russian economy in agriculture and commerce. When a new Czar appeared and ordered these German children to be in the arm, the majority simply began a mass migration to America.
In America, they had less than in Russia, but their ingenuity in a land of nothing compared to Crimean gardens was remarkable. In the 40 below Dakota winters, they created rammed earth homes which were cool in summer and warm in winter. Kansas was too cold for the English, but the Germans moved in and created the Kansas breadbasket.
In those same Great Plains which had little wood, they brought with them the idea of creating their own buffalo chips. Yes the great cowboy bakeware in buffalo and cow dung dried, was actually something with German Lutheran Inspiration from God in they were not waiting for cows to make chips, or wasting time gathering them. No these Germans were creating the ultimate green fuel, in they pitched chit out of the barn, let it work in a pile, and then spread it out in hot dry weather about 6 inches deep, compacted it, and created their own primitive lignite coal.
They waited for it to dry, cut it into bricks, stacked them in a shed to protect them, and had instant fuel for heat and baking all winter.
This is quite remarkable as this is something which has passed from history, as these noodle Germans had created the ultimate heat source.
I call these Germans Noodle Germans, because they were the group who ate noodles. The Germans I knew were potatoe Germans. It is a remarkable reality in the differences in the diets, as Bugsy my old neighbor was a Noodle German, which is remarkable in his gram was my gram's best friend, and my gram besides being the worst cook ever, had nothing to do with noodles.
I looked up the terminology and manufacture of this chit brick as I am all for something like this, as it is free, easy if you had a tractor and a shed, and this is the ultimate home heating fuel for someone like me.
These is the order or process of the Mistch.
Mischt: The Mix
"Mischt" was the byproduct from cows and horses - the manure that collected in the barns and animal pens. These areas were always kept well-bedded with straw, of which we had an abundant supply. When the manure was cleaned out on a regular basis throughout the year from the areas that housed the animals, the underlying bedding of straw was also taken up and became part of the raw "Mischt. "This raw "Mischt" was carted outside and collected in a pile called a "Mischt Haufa" or simply "Mischte" toward the rear area of the farm yard. Here it was left until the weather became dry and hot enough to turn the raw "Mischt" into blocks of dried "Brennmischt. "Often the "Mischte Haufa" would become quite warm, even to the point of steaming as the mixture began to rot.
Brennmischt: Burning Mix
In the early summer, the manure that had been collected over the winter in the "Mischt Haufe" was ready to be further processed into "Brennmischt". It was taken and spread quite thickly on the ground in an area known as the thrashing square which was a hard-packed dirt area in the back section of the farm yard. Every family farmstead had one of these thrashing areas. At harvest time this area was used to thrash grain by use of stone-rollers pulled by horses.
The raw "Mischt" was spread out evenly about 4-6 inches thick on the thrashing square, then was "batschat" (beaten down) with any available device to compact it. The method used depended on the amount of manure to be compacted, the implements available, and the custom of the family. Mostly this process was done by human strength, although some families also utilized horse power to get the job done. The compacted end product was referred to as "Brennmischt".
Mischt Haufa is incorrect as it should be Mischt Häufen which translates as The Mixed Heap
After compacting, the "Mischt" was left to dry sufficiently until it could be cut into blocks that would hold together. Some folks cut the "Mischt" into squares, others cut it into rectangles the size of a large brick, like my folks did. The "Mischt "blocks were generally referred to as "Mischt Batza. "After cutting, the "Mischt" "Batza" was piled up into a "Kopitze" (a stack) that was generally a somewhat round pile 6-8 feet high and 4-5 feet wide. As the "Mischt" "Batza" was stacked up, plenty of spaces were left in the stack to allow moisture to escape, since even by this time the "Mischt" was not entirely dry.Mischt-Schopf" is incorrect, as this is a Russian regional in Mixed Shed, but the shed is from the Thatch of the type of mud structures with straw roofs of the area.
Before thrashing time, as weather and work schedules permitted, the "Kopitze" was dismantled, and the" Mischt" was taken and stacked in a "Mischt-Schopf" which was a shed used exclusively to store dried "Mischt". Because there was a lot of straw in the "Mischt", the blocks held together and were fairly easy to handle when dry. The straw also enhanced the amount of burnable energy that was contained in the blocks of "Mischt". These blocks of "Mischt" could be counted on for burning quite a while in our mud-brick furnaces that were our means of heating our houses.
Batza is also not German. Bauklotz is, and means a building block
Besides the German lesson, I think with a skid steer loader, this would be a simple task of making the bricks. A heavy tractor to compact would help like silage packing, and I think they are called a colter from a plough which is a blade that cuts the soil, would cut this if you have like a dozen of them into nice flat noodle things, cross cut it and you got your bauklotz.
For the oven, I would think a multiple layer stove would burn like fire. Think of it like cardboard with air holes in it, and being a flame thrower for heat.
This is a work in process.