nikonmom wrote: would it be hard to convert and oil burning boiler to a coal burning boiler
The way that is worded it sounds like you want to burn coal in an oil boiler.... that's not a conversion that's releasable. As for the chimney, coal likes a mason chimney. The stainless will last a while, but not forever.
Coal ash isn't considered hazardous, but it shouldn't be used in a vegetable garden. It does have low levels of stuff we shouldn't be eating.