Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Gathering in The Wood As a Family

    One of the last things we have to do every year is make sure we have enough wood for winter. All of the wood we need is right out there in our forest, but it has to be chopped up, hauled and stacked in the woodshed. It's a big job, but the whole family gets together to do it. The first Wood Gathering has turned into a family tradition that we all look forward to.

    There's a creek that cuts through the forest and most of the wood that we cut this year is on the other side. So, instead of crossing the creek we drive on the road and cut into the woods on the other side. We bush-hogged a trail through the brush a few days ago so there was no trouble getting to the pile of wood.
    One of the best parts, in my opinion, is riding in the trailer as Dad or my older brother pull it down the road. I always love to wave to our neighbors as we drive past. We are blessed to have good neighbors.

    This is the first time we've driven out new trailer. We've used the hay wagon in years past, but it's just really large and hard to maneuver around trees and things in the woods. This new trailer couldn't hold as much as the hay wagon (the hay wagon held close to two chord!), but it was definitely easier to handle.

    We have multiple piles of split wood in various places in the forest. We find dead trees, fell them, chop them up with the chain saw and split them all before bringing it up to the shed. This tree was an elm that had already fallen. Elm wood (if it's completely seasoned) burns really hot because it's so dense. We like to use Elm when we tap maple syrup.

    Here's the next tree on our firewood list.

    This HUGE Beach tree fell a couple years back and we haven't chopped it up yet. It is so huge that we had a company out to see if they wanted to buy it for planks and boards. They didn't think it was worth coming out for just one tree and we didn't want them cutting any more so we're just going to use it for firewood. Until then, it's a fun Jungle Jim.

We let this pile of wood lay here a little long and a couple mushrooms found a home.

Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success. 
~ Henry Ford

It's feels great to be a member of such a hardworking team. Farm life and family life have taught me lessons that I can't learn anywhere else.

    What a great day! We're slowing filling this shed, one stick at a time. Someday we want to keep a two year supply of wood curing in the shed, but right now, we just keep enough stored for the coming winter.
    With our masonry heater (which I'll be doing a post about soon :) we only use five to six chord of wood a winter, but that's still a whole bunch, which means we'll be heading back out to the forest pretty soon.