Self-Imposed Jail Time

Jackson and Butler, the two farm dogs, keep us company while we are working. They complain and pout if we go across the river for any reason and don’t take them along. The John Deere Gator is a sure fire clue to the dogs that someone is about to go somewhere. If we head toward the Gator, the dogs perk up and begin to anticipate the next adventure.

A crib made to haul firewood sitting in the bed of the John Deere Gator with dog insideOn this day, Mike had just completed another crib to hold firewood. This crib was fashioned with a regular sized pallet for the base and salvaged wood from the house that we tore down about 10 years ago.

It fits nicely into the bed of the Gator so it can be hauled across the river where a stack of wood is waiting to brought inside before the rains begin that are expected to last a week. Continue reading

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I Didn’t Like That Fork Anyway

There is just something about the nature of things that change when Mike is away. The universe seems to sense that there is an imbalance and works to counter with unusual force.

A broken pitchfork on a hay baleMike had only been gone on a short get-away and less than 24 hours after he left, I ran into an issue. I skewered a slab of hay to toss into the manger for the three young bulls and the tines flew off the top of the handle still stuck in the slab.

A broken tool now and again isn’t unusual on the farm, but this fork had survived a good long time without a warning that the handle was rotting away from the metal tines. There had been no looseness about the tool, it seemed sturdy without any wobble. Continue reading

What I Thought Was A Bird

Working in the barn bundling kindling or firewood is not the nose to the grindstone kind of job. We have music playing in the background, the dogs come by to check on us now and again, we can watch the traffic that travels along the county road and I watch out the open end of the barn to see clouds as they scuttle across the sky, or the distinct V shape of honkers heading one direction or another. While doing all this we do make bundles but it is more enjoyment than work.

Something white in a distant treeThe other day while bundling I noticed a rather large white something in a tree over by the show barn. Between bundles, I saw that a big white bird kept moving around the top of a crab apple tree, then moved over to a tall elderberry tree. I had to stop bundling to grab my camera to get a picture since we do not normally see big white birds around this area. Continue reading

A Couple Of Mud Drying Days

The sun made its appearance with a couple of warm, dry days and we were able to get the Big Red Beast that is loaded with dry, seasoned firewood out of the barn across the river and tucked safely into the bundling barn.

Truck filled with wood with loaded cribs tucked around itThe truck is nosed in tight to the hay stack and is within inches of the far wall so she is out of the way leaving us plenty of room to do the cattle business on the other side of the barn and store equipment. This is considered ‘reserve’ wood, our five cord to be used when the cold weather hits and we are scrambling to keep up with firewood orders.

With the truck, Mike also moved several 1/2 cord cribs of firewood and kindling into position around the truck where they are ready to be the most current supply of ready wood for bundling. Continue reading

So You Think You Can Wood 5

Part 5 in a series of stories about our farm, the firewood production project and our involvement with Oregon Woodland Coop.

The first story of the series looked at history, growing conditions and what kind of wood that is available with our farm/forest protocol. The second story got into the volume of wood, the manner of storage and how much space is needed for the process. Story three examined our steps of how to get from log to firewood. Story four showed the bundling process. Story 5, the order and delivery. Continue reading

A Slow Fill

The Big Red Beast is done with her regular jobs for the season. The hay has been harvested and hauled. Rock loaded and spread along roads and pathways. This is the time of year when the old farm truck gets tucked into the barn for a good long rest while fall and winter months take hold.

Dry firewood stacked, ready to be split and loaded into farm truckLast year we tried something different and used the empty bed of the Big Red Beast to store a supply of ready to bundle firewood. It gave us an extra five cord of wood holding power of dry, seasoned firewood in a space that would be taken up by the truck anyway.

I have been running into the same problem as loggers of trying to find dry weather to actually get the truck filled. I have to have several consecutive dry days in order to get the wood split and loaded into the truck. Continue reading