Well, I finally got around to burning three winters worth of ground fall wood today. My goal was to build a smokeless fire, sort out the old burn pile where the #%&*! fence people had left a bunch of pressure-treated wood, and keep the fire from being large enough to affect weather patterns all over the state.
So I built my fire and kept it open, adding wood to it as it needed and as I got motivated (fried my fingers though -- I always end up burning my fingers under the nails when I burn wood). The wood is a hardwood/softwood/new wood/rotten wood mix. About 3/4 of the way through the process I realized that not only had I burnt a bunch of trash wood, I also had a _big_ pile of charcoal smoldering away. So I let the last of the fire burn down & overhauled what was left, raking it out and spraying water on it.
Now I have about 4 to 6 cubic feet of nice looking charcoal for a mornings work, and most of that work I had to do anyway.
Now I just have to figure out how to store it, and learn how to use it.