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

Cascade of stuff


After burning the first of what I suspect will be several piles of flammable debris, I wish I'd caught on to the value of fire earlier. Because Mark and I are both seeing how our early actions on the farm started the cascade of STUFF that eventually took over the barn, and one of those actions was putting away not-very-good lumber/furniture for later use.

Smoke ring

While it's great to have a stash of two-by-fours and other quality building supplies on hand, odd-shaped debris and ancient particle-board furniture that came with the trailer really should have been burned a decade ago. Live and learn! I suspect we won't make the same mistakes in our new place. (We'll be sure to make new mistakes instead.)

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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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Your cleaning is a good motivation for me, with a dirt-floor basement and wood I've saved, some of it for nostalgic reasons --also because my basement is only accessible from the outside. Likewise my father saved finished wood pieces, inherited from his father's framing business. And at our summer camp, there were boards of all kinds, shoved under the house, some as "special" boards for repairing homemade wooden boats two of which were being stored out back, too long to move, and too beautiful to take apart, themselves storage area for wasps...

Storing a few rough hewn, oak tobacco sticks was madness, since I would not be using them. The best-case scenario for such wood is to photo it, but when there is too much of it, if your hobby is not woodworking, better to dispose of it.

The problem with having a water-tight storage area is that it then becomes a veritable "lumber-room" which used to be the attic storage area in big old houses.

Comment by adrianne Tue Jul 11 07:24:51 2017
I have the vague impression that burning wood isn't great from a carbon perspective, although I don't know much about it. Why not let it decompose into the ground, though?
Comment by irilyth Tue Jul 11 14:42:29 2017
Irilyth, leaving it to decompose isn't an option for Mark and Anna, they are trying to clean up the place for sale and don't want heaps of rotting old wood and such lying about!
Comment by Eric Thu Jul 13 13:20:50 2017

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