cutting trees, making firewood, heat & room for solar – year 2

Last winter we cut a lot of trees to open up space for more planting.  This wood has been drying for the last year.

This fall we installed a huge wood burning stove in the ground floor apt.  This is where full time residents of the farm live and this is also where we will be attaching a lean to or half hoop greenhouse.  We took out a building permit and put a steel chimney up through the center of the house that ou can see smoking in this picture.  Tony and Andrea lent a hand and we got everything done in a day.

We were not quite ready for wood splitting on a large scale and since we had delayed in splitting the wood it was not yet dry enough to burn.  We got just under 2 cords of wood from our neighbor Jay to get us started for the season.

Within a day of starting the stove we heard the oil burner switching on less frequently.  The plan seems to be working.  we can really tell a difference with the new wood stove.  Understandably it has been a mild winter, but we do feel the effects upstairs.  Downstairs we are not using the electric heaters and since the apt. is sunken into the ground it maintains its heat beautifully.

Our electric log splitter came in late january and we assembled it and have gotten it into service.  We chose electric with the thinking that since we would be taking down more trees blocking sun to the solar panels it only seemed fitting that the energy from the panels should help process the wood for heat.  furthermore it is one less engine to maintain and it is a heck of a lot quieter than a gas engine.  there is something romantic about sustainable heating and energy moving towards less fossil fuel dependence.

The splitter has a horizontal and vertical position so you can split wood without lifting it off the ground.

We seem to be moving through the piles of firewood that we made last year pretty quickly.  Anthony and Kristen are out there regularly and seem to enjoy the work.  It certainly is gratifying.  and very exciting to see a real wood pile forming.

We still have a lot of pine that we need to process – aka clean up-  from trees that I took down to open up more light on the house and from a neighbor’s tree as well.  We plan to split that for use in bonfires.  We have quite a supply, but first we are going to focus on cleaner wood that we can burn in our wood stoves for heat.