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Friday Favorite: Being Warm & Toasty

January 16th, 2014

We definitely stay warm & toasty all winter long thanks to all the work we put in cutting & splitting firewood. It’s that time of the year to start working on the wood we’ll be using this coming winter. Mr Chiots has been out the past few weekends cutting down a few trees close to the house that are half dead and have been dropping large branches when it’s windy.  Some of them are pine trees which we won’t be using for firewood, but one was a nice big cherry tree.  Most of it will heat our home, but there’s one nice piece that he’s going to mill into lumber for further furniture.
firwood 1
firwood 2
Harvesting your own firewood is a lot of work, but it’s satisfying work. Mr Chiots usually cuts down all the trees and when the splitter comes out I step in and help out. It’s a great chore because it makes you get outside in the winter when you might not otherwise. We always enjoy the days we spend splitting & stacking, usually we try to pick a beautiful sunny winter day if possible.
splitting wood 4
Every year we hope to get a little extra wood put up to get a year or two ahead. That way, should injury or some unforeseen circumstance prevent us from doing it we’d still have enough wood on hand for the winter.
firwood 3
Last year we stacked some of our wood in holz hausens and really loved the look and technique. We’ll be stacking all of our wood in these as we cut this winter.

Do you or have you ever helped with cutting/splitting/stacking of firewood?

Our First Holz Hausen

March 19th, 2013

A long time ago I pinned this article from Mother Earth News for Mr Chiots. I thought this European method of stacking firewood might be something he was interested in. As we were splitting and stacking wood last weekend, we decided our next stack of wood was going to be made using this method.
holz hausen 1
It’s a round stack with all the good pieces stacked around the exterior and all the gnarled pieces loaded in the middle. It’s really quite simple to construct. First, you build a circle on the ground out of pieces of firewood in the diameter you want your stack. Then you start stacking wood in the circle around it.  This first ring of pieces of wood will start you pile off with the pieces of wood slanting inward, this give the pile stability.
holz hausen 4
Every so often, if your pieces of firewood start to slope outward instead of inward, you add a horizontal piece across the stack, you can add one in just that area or all the way around. You can see a few of these in the photo below if you look. All the gnarly hard to stack pieces get thrown into the middle vertically.
holz hausen 2
Sunday, we spent the afternoon splitting wood and we worked on our very first one. It wasn’t difficult at all and it went up fairly quickly. After a couple hours of work it was about 5 feet high (ours is about 6 feet wide).
holz hausen 3
I rather like stacking wood this way, it is like putting together a puzzle. The interest it adds is also worth the effort of doing so. All-in-all, I think it’s actually quicker and easier than traditional stacking methods. We’ll see how the wood seasons in this pile. No doubt we’ll be building more of these, it’s always nice when you can find a more beautiful way to deal with something like firewood.

Have you ever seen one of these or another artistic way of stacking firewood? 

Reading & Watching

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.