Keeping Up With The Kindling

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Our week of cold weather has had us furiously processing firewood bundles for the OWC (Oregon Woodland Cooperative) project. Seems like we have been going through the half-cord cribs at an amazing pace this year. It was the end of December when we had worked through the main supply last year.

For extra supply, we have begun to break into the Big Red Beast, the farm truck, that is loaded to the max with nearly five cord of cut, split, seasoned fir ready to bundle. We have six loaded cribs of split wood sitting in the barn across the river, but we are going to have to wait a week or two before their moisture content is low enough to consider them ready to sell. We try to have a minimum of three pallets of stacked bundles available to ship each week with a pallet each holding a minimum of 52 bundles.

This is our first year selling the Premium Bundle, that is made of hardwood like cherry, maple, oak or ash. The hardwood has been stacked in the corner of the show barn since hay season so it is ready to bundle also. We try to have at least one pallet full of hardwood available for delivery each week. Since the stores we supply are neighborhood sized, it is rare for a single delivery to purchase more than a pallet at a time of the Premium bundles. Having a pallet each week seems to be about right to make sure we have enough for demand.

The kindling bundles are a different matter. Seems like we have been on the short side of the kindling availability each week since the cold October we experienced and have been spending time in the barn across the river splitting seasoned chunks of firewood into small, one-inch kindling pieces. This order that is going out today has sixty bundles of kindling on it which is nearly one-third of the whole pickup load. Out of our supply of bundles for the next delivery, we only have two of kindling bundles left.

Looks like once this load is delivered, I will be back in the barn across the river spending quality time with my fun toy, the SuperSplit splitter that we purchased through the OWC when we started our firewood project. I may still have to fight Marilyn for my time on the splitter since she enjoys running the equipment as much as I do.

A Race With The Weather

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I may have bitten off more than I can chew. This last trip to the nursery for the riparian seedlings tempted me to get a full pickup load of plants since the last batch had went into the ground so quickly. Continue reading

Cleaning Up The Back Landing

Salvaged firewood from the log landings are what we use on the farm for our domestic heat source. The landings always seem to collect those end pieces, tops that are too small for logs, large branches and other chunks that have no value to sell. We clean up the landings by making pieces small enough to fit into the outdoor wood-fired furnace. It is a win-win situation, the log decks are free of debris and the wood pieces heat our home.

We have been in the process of cleaning up the back landing where there are very large pieces of logs strewn about. It takes the large, hydraulic splitter attached to the back of the big tractor to split the chunks with some weighing several hundred pounds. Continue reading

Autumn Work

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It was a crisp autumn day, the sun was shining and the wind had finally stopped blowing. A perfect afternoon to split up a few chunks of wood to feed our outside wood-fired boiler. We have wood stacked in the woodshed and an extra supply outside the woodshed already, but I had a few big end pieces that had been sitting around by the log landing that needed to be cleaned up before winter.

The dogs, Jackson and Butler were busy with their own tasks of chasing a grey squirrel that had holed up in the limb pile and was chattering noisily. The sounds of squirrel chatter sends the dogs into a frenzy and the game is on.

While I attended to the wood, the dogs could be seen going round and round the limbs, twigs and rotten wood. They would stop and dig for a while then stick there nose in as far as it could go before moving to another spot to try it again. A couple of times the squirrel would pop out of the pile and scamper over to the trunk of the large maple tree at the other edge of the landing where he apparently has a vacation home set up. The dogs follow to try to extricate the squirrel, but the vacation home is as armored as the limb pile.

Between watching all the excitement I was able to get about a Gator load of wood chunks split small enough to fit the boiler and began loading the bed. Two pieces of wood were loaded before Jackson, all tuckered out from squirrelling, commandeered the bed space for a much needed rest. I could not get him to move so I stacked a few pieces around him and called it a day. I figured that wood will still be there tomorrow and maybe by that time the dog won’t be so tired.

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