It’s been ridiculiously mild here in Tennessee, so have been working on our wood for winter 2017-2018.  We are estimating that we need 10 cords.  Yes, I know that sounds like a lot, and when you are out there doing it, it sure feel like a lot!!

Our house has high ceilings and in retrospect for heating purposes, this isn’t a great situation.  A flatter ceiling would help keep the heat down where the people are and ultimately use less wood.  Live and learn!

We went into this years heating season (2016-2017) with a best guess.  We thought five cords ought to do it.  We are right….sort of.  We have enough, but like I said, this has been a mild winter.  Right now, I cannot imagine how much wood we would would go through in a few months if the temperature never came above freezing.  img_2448

We are currently at five cords for next years season, so we are halfway there and it isn’t even Spring yet!  We hope to get the other five cords in by the next six weeks.  What will we do after we have 10 cords?  Keep on cutting wood!!  There is nothing wrong with having 2-3 years worth of wood stowed away!  We will have to come up with different places to stack and store all that wood, but we will have it.

Properly cut, stacked, and covered wood will last a LONG time.  Here in Tennessee, you really MUST have the wood off the ground!!  I’ve heard other homesteaders say it doesn’t matter too much.  In this part of the world where we get an average of 52 inches of rain per year and have heavy, heavy clay – you better believe it matters!  Wood touching the ground is like a wick.  Your bottom layers of wood will be soaked and it will just keep going to the next higher level.  We use pallets and they do a very nice job, although that cord on the left of the above pic we used a few pine trees as our sacraficial layer.

Yes, we use a wood splitter.  Is it easier?  Sure, but there is still a lot of work involved with cutting trees, dragging them to the splitting area, splitting, and stacking.  We have a nice layer of tree bark in and around the splitter, which helps with keeping the mud down.  That cart is what we use to transport the cut rounds to the processing area.  It’s been a great help!img_2449