Although I have never been to Norway I am full blooded Norwegian and was raised in a Norwegian  American community. I also heat with wood and cook on it in the winter. And yes, I am particular how my wood is stacked.

As far as bark up or down — other than having to put it up occasionally due to circumstances when it makes it fit better, of course bark down. Bark up traps water and slows curing and makes it wet when you take it out of the pile. Only a fool would stack bark up.

Note: Norwegian humor tends to be on the dry side.

Norwegian wood

OSLO — The TV program, on the topic of fire

wood, consisted mostly of people in parkas chatting and chopping in the woods and then eight hours of a fire burning in a fireplace. Yet no sooner had it begun, on prime time on Friday night, than the angry responses came pouring in.

Courtesy Lars Mytting

In a country where 1.2 million households have fireplaces or wood stoves, the subject naturally lends itself to television.

“We received about 60 text messages from people complaining about the stacking in the program,” said Lars Mytting, whose best-selling book “Solid Wood: All About Chopping, Drying and Stacking Wood — and the Soul of Wood-Burning” inspired the broadcast. “Fifty percent complained that the bark was facing up, and the rest complained that the bark was facing down.”

He explained, “One thing that really divides Norway is bark.”

One thing that does not divide Norway, apparently, is its love of discussing Norwegian wood. Nearly a million people, or 20 percent of the population, tuned in at some point to the program, which was shown on the state broadcaster, NRK.

In a country where 1.2 million households have fireplaces or wood stoves, said Rune Moeklebust, NRK’s head of programs in the west coast city of Bergen, the subject naturally lends itself to television.

“My first thought was, ‘Well, why not make a TV series about firewood?’” Mr. Moeklebust said in an interview. “And that eventually cut down to a 12-hour show, with four hours of ordinary produced television, and then eight hours of showing a fireplace live.”

There is no question that it is a popular topic. “Solid Wood” spent more than a year on the nonfiction best-seller list in Norway. Sales so far have exceeded 150,000 copies — the equivalent, as a percentage of the population, to 9.5 million in the United States — not far below the figures for E. L. James’s Norwegian hit “Fifty Shades Fanget,” proof that thrills come in many forms.

“National Firewood Night,” as Friday’s program was called, opened with the host, Rebecca Nedregotten Strand, promising to “try to get to the core of Norwegian firewood culture — because firewood is the foundation of our lives.” Various people discussed its historical and personal significance. “We’ll be sawing, we’ll be splitting, we’ll be stacking and we’ll be burning,” Ms. Nedregotten Strand said.

But the real excitement came when the action moved, four hours later, to a fireplace in a Bergen farmhouse….

“What I’ve learned is that you should not ask a Norwegian what he likes about firewood, but how he does it — because that’s the way he reveals himself,” said Mr. Mytting. “You can tell a lot about a person from his firewood stack.”…

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