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Farm Work, Sort Of

I guess you can get a little weird about this reduce, reuse, recycle stuff. Personally, I hate heat pumps in the winter. They're cold at this latitude. We have one for half the house, the bedrooms being on an old oil furnace. So I can't say our taste for the burn started as pure reduce, reuse, recycle. It started because I hate heat pumps. This house came with a guzzling woodstove and a pile of hardwood. It took pretty big logs, but it was 50% efficient or maybe less. After one winter, for the family xmas present, we had a new one installed and one installed in the living room as well.

Photos and discussion continues
This is the old family room before the addition was built. My office door is just to the left so I get some heat from the woodstove seen here, the new, highly efficient model. Behind where I'm standing is the kitchen. To the left what we use as a dining room, part of the addition, leading to what I call the living room. The mantelpiece is covered with E's artwork.


This is woodstove #2 in the living room, which takes very small logs but throws the heat nicely once the soapstone sides warm up.


Here is the woodpile we keep by the house out of the wet. It has to be up against the brick part of the house because of bugs in the wood. E and the Dude set up this woodpile over the weekend and filled it. The glass door leads into the dining room (woodstove 1 to the right, woodstove 2 to the left). From now on this winter, it's my job to restack this pile once emptied. PD wants me to open the door.


I restack from this. Last winter was mild. We burned these two front piles. There was no wood left on either side, except some small sticks to the right, where we stack kindling. Note how much has already been stacked for this winter.


The Dude's job is to split. They make powered splitters, but they cost $1,000 new and use fossil fuel. This is what the Dude uses to split the wood: a maul or splitter, wedges, and I forgot to take a photo of the mallet. Also lots of bicep power and elbow grease.


E and I stack the wood. E was resistant until I made the first fire last week. Now she's "warming" to the chore. This is what awaited me this morning that I didn't get to on Sunday. We're currently stacking split Black Locust, seasoned from my tree that was struck by lightning (blew the bark off, very cool).


And this is how it looks now. That's all bark pieces and the stumps he uses to split the wood.


This is what the front woodpiles now look like, in the After shot. I'm done with these or they will fall over under their own weight. They do that sometimes anyway. This should be about 2 cords of wood. The Dude will no doubt correct me if I'm wrong.


But wait, that's not all. Behind that pile is this pile, which needs to be restacked to that height. It's mostly very seasoned cherry.


And this is a drying rack for Very Big Logs


This is what the Dude splits. Which wouldn't fit in a powered splitter anyway.


And here is what he's split that has been stacked for this winter. The seasoned wood has to be cleared out so that "new" fallen wood can replace it and get seasoned.


I've put the cityslickers to sleep with my story about life in the country with woodstoves. The Dude is probably riveted by comparison, thankful that I'm finally posting about something Important. We were saying on Sat night at dinner with friends that we feel like Ma and Pa Kettle. We really do. They talk of visiting spas and staying on the eastern shore and have million dollar houses. We talk of chickens and splitting wood.

Traci I hope you're keeping notes. January is cold.

Frog Out

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
tcastleb
Oct. 30th, 2007 09:18 pm (UTC)
One winter jacket, check. One pair of gloves, check. One fuzzy, over-the-ears-hat, check. One pair warm snow-proof shoes, check. Sweaters and sweatshirts, check. Will it all fit into my carry-on? Ummmm . . . . (But at least I still have SOME things from Denver winters.)
birdhousefrog
Oct. 30th, 2007 11:33 pm (UTC)
Actually, we have a lot of down vests, sweaters, hats, and sweatshirts to spare. Over the ears hat, no. Dude says not much snow this year, but there might be in PA. Bring gloves. And I was thinking you might be keeping track of how to haul wood and where to get it for the fires.
tcastleb
Oct. 31st, 2007 12:14 am (UTC)
Ohhhhhh. Big wood pile. Careful so it doesn't fall over. Load next to brick wall 'cause of bugs. Got it. :>)
(Anonymous)
Oct. 30th, 2007 09:20 pm (UTC)
Amount of Wood
As requested, I will provide a correction. The front two piles are a little over 1.25 cords of wood total, a cord being 128 cubic feet. I've split about one cord of wood over the last three weekends and need to split another cord or so to make room for the next batch of dead trees around the property that need to be cut down. I have about three cords or so of seasoned wood waiting to be split, so I won't run out things to do should there be extra time on the weekends during the winter.

Pa Kettle
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )