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

Where to put a wood chopping station

Firewood station

When we first started heating with wood, we sited our chopping station as close to the woodshed as possible. While that made intuitive sense at the time, our new location this year is a thousand times better. We have to pull the wood further the first time in the wagon, but after that it's just a matter of hand delivering split firewood over short distances. Step one --- stack the wood on the edge of the porch. Step two --- carry an armload through the back door and five steps to the wood stove.

Carrying firewoodIf you're currently siting your chopping station, you'll want to consider a couple of other factors as well. Unless your ground freezes solid over the winter and stays that way for months at a time, mud around the chopping block can turn into a major issue as you churn up the ground cover with your busy feet. Not only is the mud messy and annoying to work in, but your firewood also gets damp --- a no-no for optimal burning. So try to site your block high and dry.

My final admonition --- flying chunks of wood can also be a hazard to nearby plants, animals, and structures. I've knocked over whole raspberry bushes with badly placed firewood-chopping sessions. Don't repeat my mistake!

Mark's always improving the ergonomics of our daily life like this so we work smarter rather than harder. Of course, as our current chores get easier and easier, I start thinking of other things to add to our work load. Better be careful with the streamlining, Mark, or I may bring home a baby elephant!

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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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Mud at the chopping center is a problem for me also. I turned some of the space into a flower garden and come Spring i'll plant my sunflower seeds there to see what will grow there.
Comment by hilary Mon Jan 4 13:57:03 2016
I've often read that you need to be careful where wood is stacked to not encourage snakes, spiders, wood borers (Carpenter bees) and termites into your house. How do you handle that?
Comment by NaYan Mon Jan 4 16:09:20 2016
My neighbor is an industrial engineer and she keeps hinting that she wants let loose on my homestead to improve my layout . . . particularly after she covers my chores for a few days!
Comment by Charity Tue Jan 5 10:59:21 2016
I hear llamas are fun... ;D
Comment by Emily Tue Jan 5 18:51:38 2016

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