Tiny farming: firewood

Winter persists

Winter: snow on firewood

Wintry-looking winter is hanging around for a bit, with a little more snow adding to the fairly massive fall a few days ago. It’s already clear that we can expect anything, any time, from the weather, still, I was hoping for a bit of a warm and summery winter, like last year! Oh, well. The main stacks of firewood split last spring have been pretty much burnt down to the ground in all the cold snaps. Now, snow everywhere but not so cold. It’s an in-between feeling month of February, waiting is in the air…

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It’s crispy out there

image

It’s crispy out there. The latest crazy weather trick seems to winter acting like…winter. Except colder. And with less snow. Still, the sun is getting higher, the days are getting longer, another season in the field…comin’ up! I’m quite excited!! (In the pic, next year’s firewood is a real wood pile, a motley assortment of softwood, hardwood, and the occasional bits of lumber, gathered from around the farm, and so much of it that it was easier to cut, split and pile for a while and sort and stack later.)

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Bush cord meter

Stacked 16" firewood

Our first wood order of the season arrived a week ago, just as we ran out of the leftover from last year. It’s a bush cord. At least, that was what was ordered, bought and paid for. One bush cord of well-seasoned hardwood, in 16″ pieces. The wood is great on the seasoning end, but when I finished stacking it today, in our custom-built, holds-one-bush-cord rack (below), even taking into account the wood we burned over the last week, we are CLEARLY WAY SHORT!!

I’m kinda shocked at how short we are. When I looked into what exactly a bush cord comprises, the definition seemed pretty clear: 4′x4′x8′ of tightly stacked wood. A volume measure. With 16″ pieces, that equals one long 24′ row, 4′ high. “Tightly stacked” is a little vague, but after asking around, and looking at photos, it seems like common sense: you don’t fit the wood together like a jigsaw puzzle, just stack it nice and solid. OK.

I built a simple rack out of 2x4s that should fit…exactly one bush cord. Of standard 16″ pieces. It’s kind of a bush cord meter. To fit in the narrow side yard, the rack has two 12′ rails, with 4′ high ends. I stacked it reasonably solidly. And we seem to be at least 1/3 (that’s 33%!!!)…short.

The firewood guy came recommended, he’s apparently been doing this for decades, how could this BUSH CORD be so off? It’s a mystery. I’m new to firewood, maybe the counts are loose, but this is extreme. I’m on the phone…

Bush cord stacking rack

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