A big part of our new lives here this time of year is collecting processing and stacking wood for our Esse and logburner. The Esse allows us to cook, heat water and heat our home and the log burner tops us up on chilly nights and even sometimes allows us to cook tea on it (like baked spuds or a simple something in a saucepan)
Luckily here on the smallholding we have 9 acres of woodland and lots of very overgrown hedges round the rougher pastures…. So this time of year if the weather is good we have to get out wood collecting every chance we get!!
Yesterday we spent two hours out cutting and collecting wood!! And luckily a friend called past with his tractor to cut our hedgerows in the fields which entertained the small man for ages and allowed us a wee bit more time!! He adores vehicles!!
Today however the weather has turned miserable so in between small bean wrangling and going to our nursury Ti a Fi session we have been processing and stacking what we brought up!!
Phew!! A few more days of wood burning NEXT year!!
We have continued to process the wood that we have been cutting down…..
The logs have been cut and chopped and stacked!!! And we have rearranged the barn a smidge to make more room to stack wood!
We have been sorting the wood to be sawn and the wood to be chopped….
And even chipping the branches so we can use them as path or bedding mulch!!
We have mainly cut goat willow (Salix Caprea) and tidied up some branches and the leylandii!!!! And have been trying to work out how much we will use/need to have for a year of stove use!! James’ parents brought us a poem a while back…
Beech-wood fires burn bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year;
Store your beech for Christmastide
With new-cut holly laid beside;
Chestnut’s only good, they say,
If for years ’tis stored away;
Birch and fir-wood burn too fast
Blaze too bright and do not last;
Flames from larch will shoot up high,
Dangerously the sparks will fly;
But ash-wood green and ash-wood brown
Are fit for a Queen with a golden crown.
Oaken logs, if dry and old,
Keep away the winter’s cold;
Poplar gives a bitter smoke,
Fills your eyes and makes you choke;
Elm-wood burns like churchyard mould,
E’en the very flames are cold;
It is by the Irish said;
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread,
Apple-wood will scent the room,
Pear-wood smells like flowers in bloom;
But ash-wood wet and ash-wood dry
A King may warm his slippers by.
This gives you a start as to what will burn… I.e. The leylandii will burn quick and bright….
But we have been hunting further…. Willow is apparently also a poor wood…. Mmmmmmm we have a few oak branches…. And a load of bits to tidy up!!!