I’d say we’re ready for winter. We’ve been squirreling away since April and, if I don’t say so myself, we’ve done a damn good job.
I remember last year – I went a little nuts scouring the entire property for every little bit of wood, whether it be dead or alive. What I ended up with was a pile that looked like a lot, but was, in fact, a bunch of junk. Dead wood feels heavy and valuable when it’s soaked with water while laying on the forest floor, but once it dries out in the garage, it makes perfect kindling. I wouldn’t say it’s a good burning firewood. I did have some quality birch and maple, but beyond that, nothing to write home about.
This year is different. My first thought was to have six cord of tree lengths delivered and to cut and split them myself. I may still do that in the future, but I’m uncertain of the log truck being able to make the turn into our driveway. To just “get it done” this spring, I called Logland over in Madison, Maine and had them deliver four cord for $210 a piece. Not a bad price. This was in April when the ground was still thawing. The delivery guy sank right into the driveway and had to dump where he was. He put the truck in 4-wheel drive and made it out of the hole. I thought he was going to tip over as he was dumping because the truck was on such a tilt.
Anyway, that four cord in addition to the one and a half I had left over from last year (good stuff) makes five and a half cord for this year. Also, at the end of the season last year, I went out and grabbed a ton of pellets. Then, this spring, I grabbed another one. And just yesterday, Laura and I drove over to Athens, Maine and picked up what I hope to be the last one.
Five and a half cord of firewood and three tons of pellets should do it. If if doesn’t, we have problems.
By the way, the junk you see sitting in front of this pile is the baseboard heating pipes that I cut out of the house before my parents came to visit in July. Have I expressed my lack of enthusiasm for oil heat on this blog yet? Well, as you can see by the cut pipes, I don’t like it much.
The species of wood that Logland delivered is Ash, Yellow Birch, Maple and some type of Hornbeam (Ironwood). It’s good stuff and after having it dry out over the past six months in the garage, it burns nicely. We’ve already had a few cool nights that prompted me to get a fire crackling. Of course, I heated myself right out of the room, but the logs burned wonderfully.
Last summer some time, Sam from up the road dropped off a pile of white pine trimmings for me to use as kindling. After having it sit there for a few months, I decided to head out and cut it up. I did that and now we’ve got about a half cord of dried white pine. I use this for cool (not cold) nights, just to take the edge off. Since I clean our chimney a few times a season, I think it’s a good idea. It’s cheap (free) and it does the trick. And what’s nice is that some of the pieces are a good size.
So that’s that. We’re ready. Are you? What’s your situation?