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

Filling up the woodshed in 2013


Moving firewoodMy goal is always to get all of our firewood into the shed to dry by early June...but that's never happened.  This year, the new pasture project resulted in enough firewood for the winter, but we were too busy to move most of that wood to the shed in a timely manner.  Luckily, Dillon was kind enough to come lug firewood for two mornings and get it all under cover.

Last year, I stacked the shed a little differently.  I separated out the harder woods to one side March woodshedand the softer, kindling-woods to the other, which made it easy to manage my burns.  But that meant I had to leave an aisle down the middle, which took up a lot of space.  Since we have a vast array of different kinds of wood this year, I let Dillon stack it all together, with the result that I think we currently have as much wood in the shed as last year, but have room for more if we track some down.

Burning prolifically like I did last winter, I figure one row of wood will last through a warm month (like November or March), while the cold months take up two rows of wood.  It looks like we've got a bit of extra wiggle room already, so maybe we won't run out in March.  As I've typed before, every year gets a little better here on the farm!

Our chicken waterer is an innovative way of keeping coops dry and chickens hydrated with clean water.

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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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Anna we are in the same situation this year with the firewood. Our wood is usually cut by April ( done ) and split by the end of May ( in the midst of doing now!) and stacked by the end of July ( in the process of starting. I live in central Ontario Canada and we have had so much rain and horrible amount of mosquitoes and now extreme heat. I am questioning if the wood will ever dry. That said I love the whole process of cutting and splitting wood. Once all stacked it feels like a huge accomplishment. One of great joy.

Am reading your book and absorbing each chapter as I go through it. Most is not new to me ( been farming 26 years) but you are so real, unlike other books that make it all sound easy. I also read your blog daily.

Comment by Marlyn Wed Jul 17 09:44:29 2013

As I looked at the pictures I could not help but notice you cut your wood in very shot chunks. Is this on purpose? How long of a piece of wood can your stove take?

I use a simple homemade stick about one inch wide 54 inches long. It has markings at 16, 18, 32, 36, 48, and 54 inches. It is very fast to lay it on a log and quickly mark with the chain saw, or chalk to cut each piece of wood to the proper length for the stove.

You can also guess by laying the chain saw bar along the wood to get a quick estimate of where to cut (depending on bar length).

These have worked well for me for years now; thought I would share.

Comment by M Wed Jul 17 10:26:34 2013
M --- We have a tiny woodstove since the part of the trailer we heat is so small. So we cut the wood to size. We could get away with lengths a bit longer than those in the picture, but I'd rather have a few inches wiggle room when piling it in for the night. We measured at first, but now Mark has the size in his head pretty well and cuts by eye.
Comment by anna Wed Jul 17 15:04:48 2013

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