As I may have mentioned in an earlier post, the new house had a fire ring which was placed over part of the drainage field for the septic tank. It was suggested we move it to lessen the chances of melting drainage pipes. I don't think the fire ring had been there too long because there didn't seem to be much ash build up.
However, there was another spot, surrounded by stones, that had a huge ash build up! That is located next to the long raised vegetable bed.
I spent some time out there removing stones but found as I did so, that there was a lot more "foreign" materials in the ash than I'd known about. My original plan was to take the old fire ring (we'd bought a new and larger one.....more on that in a bit) and place it over the pile of ash, fill it with organic materials, add some top soil/compost, and use it as another raised bed for some pepper plants we had bought when we bought the huge cherry tomato plant. I decided the area will take a bit more clean up before I will feel comfortable eating from vegetable plants that grow above and into that ash.
So I placed the old fire ring off to the side of that area, filled it with hay, stamped it down, added peat moss, then commercial compost, and cut a large piece of cardboard to size and wedged it down on top of all that. I then sliced an X in the cardboard and planted the sweet bell pepper plants into the compost. My last layer in the fire ring, now my raised bed, was cedar mulch around the pepper plants. Below is my newly finished raised vegetable bed........very well watered, too. ;)
I did take a photo of the new fire ring/grate while sitting in the screen room the other morning. We've not had a fire in it yet, but like the placement of it. The long raised vegetable bed is to the left and back from the small raised bed (can be seen in the background in the first photo), so the fire ring placement is bit closer to the house and decks than when over the septic drainage field.