The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Black Walnut and Box-Elder

Walnut and Box Elder woodCutting, gathering, and splitting wood are nearly daily chores without the aid of the golf cart.  Most of the trees in our young forest are Black Walnut and Box-Elder, which together seem to make a nearly perfect firewood. 

The Black Walnut weighs about twice as much as the Box-Elder, and the weight difference equates to a slower burning wood which keeps us going all through the night.  The Box-Elder, on the other hand, is full of air and ignites quickly, perfect for a nice hot morning fire to take the chill off the house.

Unfortunately, the Box-Elder also rots much faster.  We're still working on cleaning up trees chopped down by the power company three years ago, but the three year old Box-Elders are now too punky to split and burn --- the maul sinks right into the decaying wood and we have a devil of a time getting it back out.  The three year old walnuts, on the other hand, are still crisp and hard.  I can't quite describe the satisfaction of whipping your maul through a hard walnut, hearing the deep thud echo against the hills as the two log halves fly off in each direction.



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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.



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