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TBF 128 :: Our Wood Burning Workflow, Goodbye Grass, and a Hard Lesson Learned

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firewoodsavesWhen we began looking for a place to start our farm we quickly realized that we could either have roughly 40 acres of land or a house and about 20 acres of land for the money we were able to scratch together. If you’ve been listening to the show for awhile or reading the blog from the beginning you’ll know that we went the 40 acres route which meant we were going to be building a house … as inexpensively as possible! One way that we saved money in the construction (and during the cold months) was by forgoing ductwork and central heating. Now that I think about it though we do have central heating, it’s just in the form of a centrally located wood burning stove. Heating with firewood has been a learning curve for us over the years, but the further along this journey the more we learn and the more efficient we become.
Over much trial and error I have become much better at cutting, splitting, stacking, and of course burning firewood. I now have tools that I enjoy using and trust and I feel like I’m not only being more efficient, but also more safe! Check out the links below for great resources related to cutting/splitting/burning firewood and if your looking for some good equipment (safety or otherwise) follow the links below and you can help support The Beginning Farmer Show.
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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Rich October 31, 2015, 2:00 pm

    After the tornado hit the farm, I spent a year or so cutting firewood from all the downed trees. I had a “system” where I’d take two chainsaws with me so I wouldn’t have to worry about sharpening chains or not being able to get one started, etc.

    I’d cut a couple of tankfuls worth of wood with the first saw, I’d take a break and wolf down something like a peanut butter covered bagel (lots of carbs, protein, and fat), and then I’d load up the pickup bed. After another short break, I’d get the other chainsaw and cut another couple of tankfuls worth of wood, and then head for home.

    The next day, I’d come back to load the rest of the wood I’d cut, and I’d start splitting and stacking. I had so many trees laying around that I only bothered with the “pretty” wood (nice straight, easy to split logs), which really sped up the splitting and stacking process.

    Then I’d take some time off from cutting firewood because all of that was a heckuva workout, especially since I did most of it during the summer.

    So after all that, my only advice about cutting firewood is to work at a steady pace, take breaks once in a while, keep your chains sharp, and try to cut “pretty” logs.

    I ended up with about 5-6 years worth of firewood when I finally stopped, and that work cleaning up after the tornado eventually also led me to farming. It’s funny how things work out sometimes, isn’t it?

  • George January 27, 2017, 10:58 pm

    Do you guys have “Spare the air days” in Iowa? Days when it is recommened to avoid wood or coal burning because of air quality?
    Have you ever had to clean out the chimney because of creosote?

    George

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