Thursday, August 29, 2013

Firewood with the littles

When I was a little girl, growing up on 100 acres of mixed deciduous forest on the Canadian shield, every year my little sister and I would help our parents stack the split firewood to dry down by the turnaround, and move the dry wood up to the house and re-stack it inside the woodshed. I have fond memories of the bouncing of the tractor trailer as we rode it back and forth as we were moving the wood, the smell and feel of the wood and the grit associated, and the various critters and their trails we would uncover as we moved the wood.

I remember moving the wood from the trailer into the wheelbarrow, and then wheeling it across the plywood ramp from the trailer into the woodshed, having to adjust the plywood as the load in the trailer got lighter with each wheelbarrow-load, making the trailer approach and then get higher than the woodshed floor. Moving wood was a family affair, and although it was fun, it was serious - we needed that wood to stay warm in the depths of winter. Heating pretty much exclusively with wood, as my parents did and still do, was pretty common where we lived. They had a woodstove in the basement, a cookstove in one side of the kitchen with a large brick chimney behind it, and a fireplace coming off the backside of that chimney in the family room.

Now with 2 little girls of my own, and a wood stove that is our main source of heat, bringing in firewood is again a family chore. This year is the first year Little M has been an active participant, and although she's only stacked a handful of pieces of firewood, I'm glad she's sharing this piece of my childhood.

Every winter we go through between 3 and 4 cords of wood. In our woodshed, that means the lean-to is filled with 4 stacks of wood, and the breezeway has 2 additional stacks. We try to have another stack at the end of the carport, although that usually doesn't get touched. In future years, we want to convert the small closed off room off the breezeway into our main wood storage area, and use the lean-to for equipment storage (like the wood trailer), and thus be able to have nearly 2 years worth of wood on hand, but we're not quite there yet.

We cut our wood (well, the mister cuts our wood) either on the wooded portion of our property, helping to get it thinned out to reduce the forest fire risk, or up on the national forest land using a firewood permit. Normally by this time of the year we've got more, and have just a few loads still to get, but with Baby E we're running a bit behind. Worst case scenario though we just would need to buy some from a friend, so I'm not that worried, and most likely we'll get the wood taken care of mid-fall in the lull before duck hunting, or later once the lakes start freezing and the woods get a bit chillier.

1 comment:

  1. What a great family activity. Your girls are sure to remember that for a long time.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...