Winter woodfires: preparing firewood

May 23 2012 0 Comments Tags: fire, firewood, gum trees, woodstove

When we first moved into Eight Acres there was a massive pile of wood in one of the paddocks, and even though we knew it was a big job to clean it up, we were pleased to have access to free firewood.  I didn't take "before" photos of this pile, but I did take some part way through the clean up process.  It took us about a year to pick through all the logs and cut them into rounds.  They were branches from iron bark gum trees that were felled for fence posts by a previous tenant on our property.

A kookaburra comes to help pick up bugs from the firewood pile
As the branches had been in the pile for at least a few years we thought that the rounds would be ready to burn right away, but it seems that iron bark takes a little longer to dry out!  When Farmer Pete tried to split the rounds with an axe it just bounced off the log.  That's when we realised that the wood might need more time to dry.  We set up a wood pile using "besser blocks" to support a few sheets of old roofing iron, with the wood piled as neatly as possible on the iron.  Its important for us to keep the wood off the ground to prevent termites and/or snakes making a home in the pile.

moving firewood on the ute
One year later, the rounds are starting to crack, so they are ready to split, but the wood is still very hard and I usually find it difficult to split (a good job for Farmer Pete).

staking firewood as neatly as possible

Unfortunately I wasn't aware of the benefits of hugelkultur at the time, so we had a big bonfire to tidy up when we were finished cutting all the decent firewood.

potential hugelkultur wood going up in smoke, if only I'd known!

More about our woodstove - cooking in the woodstove and installing a woodstove.

Do you cut your own firewood?  How do you prepare and store it?


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