Firewood A Major Summer Task.

Reader Contribution by Bruce Mcelmurray
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Finally, our firewood is sufficient for next winter.  It has taken long hours of work, cutting, hauling, splitting by maul the 11 cords of firewood we require to stay warm in the winter.   Since we have had a relative dry winter this past year we started to cut, hand split and stack firewood the first week of April.  Three and one half months later we have what we hope is sufficient firewood to see us through a hard winter.  The above photo shows an area about 20′ by 14′ and 4′ deep.   

In addition our wood shed is completely full and holds about 6 cords of firewood.  We also have another half cord of  firewood set aside just in case.  This has been long hours of hot sweaty work but as they say the longest journey starts with a single step and then you just put one foot in front of the other and next thing you know you have finished another vital chore that is very necessary when you live on the side of a mountain in a fairly remote area.  I believe that this is modern homesteading done the old fashioned way which still works very efficiently providing that you are willing to expend the time and effort to see the job through.  

It was also time for a new saw buck.  After  many years the old one was pretty wobbly and not exactly safe.  The old one also required a cut between the two end  cross supports and the log would pinch on the saw blade as you got to the bottom of the cut.  This one has one extra center  cross support which will hopefully eliminate that situation.  It is a little heavier to haul from one place to the other but will work better. 

We heat with aspen firewood since aspen  is actually classified as a hardwood albeit at the very bottom of the quality  firewood list.  Pine, spruce or fir tends to creosote up  the wind cap and chimney and requires a mid season cleaning.  Since you never know how much snow you may end up with at 9,750′ of evation it can be pretty hazardous to climb to the top of the roof in the winter to clean the chimney.  Aspen does bury pretty clean and can be burned an entire season without a problem providing you apply a creosote cleaner on a regular basis. 

    So the long hard job is finished for this year and next year we will start all over again.  Thank goodness the annual job list is getting short.