The nice thing about country living is that even if I am too weak to hold a job I always have something to do when I do have some energy which i typically seem to have most days a couple hours of puttering around in me.

One fall project is processing firewood.I try to have  my firewood cut and stacked in a main pile by the end of April so is is well cured by fall. As the autumn arrives we move it into dry storage near the two stoves we have. One area is in the basement.

basement wood

This is inside the basement. It is about 3/5 s of a cord of wood.  A cord is 4′ x 4′ x 8′. I have another area just outside the basement door that is about 2 x 4′ x5′ so the total is over a cord.  The outside is sheltered by a large fir tree and an overhang so it mostly stays dry except in really windy weather.  We use that wood as it is dry to preserve the wood inside so we are always burning cured dry wood. No use losing heat up the chimney in the form of steam.

! cord of wood  = 3.6 cubic meters

Note the solar thermal water heater in the background of the picture which does have an electric element in it for back up.  I unplugged the back up in April and didn’t need to plug it in again until end of October. We still get a lot of gain when the sun shines this time of year but it doesn’t for weeks at a time occasionally.

We have a space heater in the basement and a wood cook stove  upstairs in the kitchen.   Next to the kitchen door we have another sheltered area.

porch wood

Note my beloved wheel barrow and the ash cans on the pile.

It holds about 2/3 s of a cord so we have over 1 and 2/3 s of a cord of wood in dry areas. We use in a typical winter about 2 and 1/2 cords of wood so they do need replenishing as we progress through the winter but enough good weather days occur that is not a problem to get dry wood out of the main pile.

I have historically split all the wood by hand but this year due to weakness and distractions I had to have a guy come with a splitter and do the main splitting.  Note that the wood for the cook stove is split a lot smaller than the basement wood. That I did, taking the already split pieces and splitting then further.

Getting the wood split and into the pile took me several weeks as I only have a little bit on any given day.  Plus because it took so long we were already burning a lot of wood as November turned out to be cooler than normal. The average high temperature for the month was 48.9 (9.4 C) degrees, 3.2 degrees cooler than normal, while the average low of 29.8 (-1.1) degrees was 4.1 degrees below normal.

As well as being cooler than normal, despite it being the driest November ever, it was cloudier than normal so we weren’t getting as much passive gain as we might otherwise have from our attached greenhouse.

Being cooler meant that we were burning porch wood even as I was filling it and it was quite a feeling of accomplishment to catch up and be able to get a picture of it full.