Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Could We Actually Be Getting Wiser?

We made the decision last summer that we were no longer going to take the time to cut and split the firewood that heats our house.  We would order it cut, split and delivered and all we would have to do was stack it in our wood sheds.

We've always used all the wood from trees taken down on our property and, in the past, ordered loggers' cords of wood delivered in 8' lengths.  If we figure the cost of the 8' lengths, the expense of using our chainsaws and fuel, and the time we both put into processing the wood, we came to the conclusion we'd be ahead to pay and order our wood cut and split.

So we did.

This past winter, we used all but this small amount of wood left in our big shed.

Ah, but don't get the idea we have no seasoned wood in reserve because we do.

This smaller wood shed is stuffed full of wood we put up last summer.

As is this make-shift wood crib we cobbled together and filled then also.  Both of these areas together equal more than the big shed holds.

Oh, and we also were gifted these logs by our good neighbor recently.  He has a heavy equipment business and often clears land for construction.  In the past he's given us untold $$$ worth of wood and we're so very grateful for it.

So it's not that our wood working skills will become rusty by now ordering the main part of our wood for heating.

This is the first load of four that was delivered yesterday.  Each load is a cord and a half which means there will be six cords to be stacked in our main wood shed.

Annnnd . . . this is what four loads looks like.

Papa Pea is currently involved in the reconstruction of our poultry yard, fencing and building a new composting system (one heckuva big job) so I told him I'd stack all the wood myself.

Eeeep!  WHAT was I thinking??


coffeeontheporchwithme said...

Break out the back pain meds! Do you think you might go a year where you have enough already and won't even need to order any? That's a heap of wood. We have barely put a dent in all the wood we stacked from a "take down a tree or two" project. However, it isn't our main source of heat. -Jenn

linnellnickerson@gmail.com said...

I don't know what you were thing!! That sure looks like a lot of wood, but I think your smart to buy it. It will cut down a little on your physical bodies, hopefully , especially if you have to stack it all. Maybe Papa Pea will feel sorry for you! (Tee Hee) take care!! xo

tpals said...

I decided to just leave my last load in a pile to bake in the summer sun then stack it just once this fall. It's a good feeling to have it all for the next winter already.

farm buddy said...

I have that exact amount of firewood to stack by myself too! Let's see which one of us gets done first! I wanted to start last week, but then there was the garden to plant, the lambs to be delivered, etc. Now it is supposed to rain tonight, so maybe tomorrow I will get my start! I am using the wheelbarrow as part of my strategy. What is yours? Good luck!

SmartAlex said...

that does look like a lot of work at the moment. But stacking firewood is a very satisfying job. Just stay aware of your body position and try not to overwork one side and not the other.

Susie said...

Wow...how much wood would a woodchuck....well I guess you guys know. LOL We have two small row left in our bin. But a dozen dead ask trees in the woods behind us. If Ted can get his strength or his brother to help him. I guess I'll be stacking. Blessings, xoxo, Susie

wisps of words said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mama Pea said...

Jenn - We always manage to have two year's wood on the property ready to go, but don't have adequate storage for more than that. Which means if we skip a year of putting up or getting more wood, we'd be down to nada in two years. Make sense?

linnellnickerson - Rather than the physical labor of cutting and splitting our own wood, it's the tremendous amount of TIME it takes to do so. Our summer season (when outside projects can be easily accomplished) is so short we've sacrificed time by wood working for perhaps more important jobs. Not good!

tpals - So true that it's beyond measure to have it in your yard and paid for!

farm buddy - Definitely using the wheelbarrow. But our race to see who gets done first won't be even because Papa Pea has said he absolutely won't let me do it all by myself. (Gee, and I was looking forward to all that time to listen to audio books!) He's a good guy and insists we work on it together most of the time. We worked together for just one hour today and made a big dent in (at least) the first truck load dumped closest to the wood shed. Good luck with your pile! I'll send my dear husband to help you if you get in a bind. ;o)

SmartAlex - I will be careful. I have to agree that jobs like stacking wood feel good to me as there is a concrete visual picture of what you're accomplishing. I'm a person who needs to see a "product" at the end of a work day. Reading and research type jobs (for instance) aren't for me. I would have been a great worker on a factory line!

Susie - Standing, dead trees are great wood. Hoping the two of you (or maybe with a little help) are up to tackling the job this summer.

wisps of words - The current social situation which has erupted is sad, horrible, disturbing, scary, all of the things you mentioned. I don't have the answer as to how we're going to get through it. Man's inhumanity to man is simply horrifying. I've been thinking a lot lately about those short "golden" years during the 50s and 60s when we couldn't imagine the way things are today. Of course, I realize even then racism was rampant and I feel so terrible that humans have been so programmed that hate overflows still yet. Our country was once great; it is no more.

Cockeyed Jo said...

Work smarter than harder. Sounds like you an papa are delegating well. Just wondering, how much woud they charge to stack it?

Mama Pea said...

Cockeyed Jo - I don't know of any of the wood providers around here that even offer that service. I suppose an option would be if there was a teenager wanting to make some money who you could hire. But, of course, now during this coronavirus situation we're all still working through . . . that throws another complication into it. The way I (we) are thinking of getting it stacked in the shed . . . well, it's good bending/twisting/lifting exercise. If one if wise about it. :o]

Sam I Am...... said...

I think you are wise to get your wood as opposed to cutting it all your self. You'll still have planty to keep you busy and in shape!

Mama Pea said...

Sam I Am - Thanks. There's always something around here to do that gives us good exercise!

wyomingheart said...

Holy wood stack!!!! That is a lot of handling!!! My thumbs hurt for you!!! That is going to look awesome, and so satisfying! There is truly a comfort in knowing that yes,.. the winter heat is secured. We have our propane topped off and wood stacked as well, which is why my thumbs are aching right now...lol... have a really great week!

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

Good for you ordering some, you both work so hard! Better to always have more than you need. What kind of woodstove/s do you have? Photo please? Looks like sunny weather as well!

Hummingbird said...

My strategy for a big job like that is to break it up into one hour increments. Literally set a timer and work for one hour, then on to the next one hour project, or maybe an iced tea break. I find that helps from getting over tired or sore from doing one thing for too long. Downside is many partially completed activities, but then nothing is completely neglected.

Cockeyed Jo said...

Mama, you don't get enough bending, twisting, etc exercise around the homestead already without stacking the wood too?! I want your homestead. LOL I get yelled at by my doctors enough by doing all that I do especially after surgery. My neurologist is amaze by lifting 25-50 lb feed or food sacks one-handed. It's all a part of homesteading.

Mama Pea said...

wyomingheart - Same here! Except for the sore thumbs. But that may come! We just had our L.P. tank topped off, too, because they were offering a special summer rate. Every little bit helps.

Nancy - I'll send you a note with pictures of our wood stoves. Stand by!

Hummingbird - That's exactly what we're doing with the wood stacking. We (that would be me and my very helpful husband) have been spending one hour each day on the stacking. We've found that it takes 4 hours (that's the two of us working together for 2 hours) to stack one truck load or 1-1/2 cords. This morning we had our hour in before breakfast! I often "trick" myself into doing jobs I don't want to do by saying I only have to work at it for one hours. And it works. Most of the time! ;o)

Cockeyed Jo - You KNOW one gets enough exercise on a homestead. And you don't let anything hold you back, we all know! In the farming community where we lived in Illinois before moving up here to Minnesota, a girl was born into a farming family with only one arm. When she grew up, she never married and stayed on the farm after her parents died. To supplement her income, she started a farm store on the property. All the farmers around looked up to her and thought she was one heckuva woman because she unloaded trucks of feed and could sling square hay bales around as well as any two-armed man. Bottom line, it's better to wear out than to rust out, don't cha think?

Goatldi said...

Good for you and Papa Pea!

I too am hiring a friends uncle who has a monster fuel driven wood splitter. For $25 an hour he will split the wood and start a pile. Not stacking as the new wood shed with a pallet overlaid plywood floor. Also walls and a roof . Almost all materials I inherited when I bought the property. So the cost should be minimal when my handyman/contract puts it up this September. Then a family weekend to stack the shed and a BBQ.

Between the oaks PGE paid to have taken down and about a cord to two cords I have left after last winter I should be good for two winters . Unless something goes wrong. Never!

Leigh said...

All that firewood! Nice that you have a neighbor that gives it to you.

Last year Dan and I looked into buying firewood, but were dismayed at how much the price went up. From $50 to $65 a cord to $125 a face cord! That gave us pause, so we didn't buy any.

Retired Knitter said...

Wow that is a whole lot of wood. And you only heat with wood? Is that right?

Mama Pea said...

Goatldi - Yay for lotsa wood . . . for both of us! We once had a wood stacking party/picnic at our daughter's when California relatives were visiting. I thought they might be put off by the sweaty work of it, but they had the time of their lives. (Okay, now when should I send out the invitations for OUR big pile of wood??)

Leigh - We're in an area where a lot of logging is done. Unfortunately, for the loggers, right now with the coronavirus and all it entails, the chain has been broken and there is no market for the loggers' wood so many are selling their harvests as firewood. Therefore, it was a good time for us to get this delivery.

Retired Knitter - Right! We do have an L.P. wall furnace on our main floor and an L.P. furnace in the basement should we need it for when we're gone for a length of time (seldom!) or as a back-up, but don't use them.

Granny Sue said...

Yes--as we get older, we have to make adjustments that suit our lives and peace of mind. And muscles! I am so grateful that we got free natural gas 10 years ago and no longer had to deal with massive amounts of firewood. We still cut wood for the wood-burning fireplace because we can't see life without a real fire. But the gas is a blessing.

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Kev Alviti said...

That's a lot more wood than we'd use here! I keep struggling to figure out what we need, but sometimes when I'm making lots of stuff I produce enough for that night in offcuts in the day!