The primary heat source in our house is the wood stove. This makes getting a year's supply of wood cut, split and under cover a priority job each summer so that the wood has plenty of time to season and dry before we need to use it. As our little red pine squirrels are stashing away their supply of food for winter, we're stashing away our wood.
Here's Roy (resting) in front of an almost full wood shed. He did all of this by himself and it bums me out. I really, really enjoy putting up wood but so far this year I've been so busy in the garden and elsewhere that I haven't helped with any part of the wood working. Okay, I did get in on two huge flat bed trailer loads of lengths of dead trees Roy took down early this spring but that's all. Now that the garden is in pretty good shape, in between harvesting and processing the different crops, I should have some time for playing with the wood.
Much of our wood comes from the dead, standing trees on our land, but occasionally we'll buy a few logger cords of maple in eight foot lengths and work them up. We have a lot of birch, poplar, and pine to harvest from our property but no maple which is best for the really bitter, cold winter weather.
We have two wood sheds. Ideally (true confessions now, there have been years when this didn't happen), one shed is full of wood from a year ago and that's the one we will use for heating this winter. The other, the one we're currently working on filling, will be for burning a year from this coming fall.
In one shed, we partitioned off a small area that we fill with kindling for use in starting fires. We went into last fall with it chuck full and used about two-thirds of it over winter and spring so that will have to be topped off again. Roy saves odds and ends from all construction projects to be made into kindling and this year we also have a good sized pile of dry, old slabwood that we'll cut into about 12" lengths and then split into kindling sized sticks.
Whether it's felling, cutting, hauling, splitting, or stacking, squirreling away a good supply of wood feels like money in the bank. Sure, we expend a lot of time and energy on those BTUs that keep us cozy and warm from September through May, but it's also total body exercise in the fresh air (with a great companion, I have to add) and gives a true sense of accomplishment when we see our wood sheds full of nuts. I mean wood.