Monday, November 25, 2013

Harvesting firewood!

Over the weekend we organised a friend to come over to our forest and help us take down some trees. He works in the forest for a job, although much of the time he is in giant tree grabber machines. He was so fast and took down about 20 trees. We are very grateful for his help as we are not that good with the chainsaw.

We have 2 new WWOOFers staying for a few weeks so we had plenty of hands to make light work of it all! After the trees are down, we go around with machetes,  bill-hooks and axes to clean off all the branches. We then cut the trunks into 3m lengths and pile them up ready for the tractor to come and pick them up and deliver them to the farm. The picture below shows all the piles of twigs of birch and pine branches all in piles ready to rot down. We have a few more days work collecting firewood, and we have even made a start in the dense section to have a go at encouraging a coppice to grow. We are cutting at a little above ground level and also we want to pollard some at waist height so that we can easily harvest twigs with leaves on for the animals to eat in the winter. We are doing a bit of an experiment to see what works and what does not.....

The weather has got cold very quickly and the river is starting to ice up. It will ice over completely later on and to a thickness of about 1 to 1.5m thick! The coldest we have had in the past few days has been -12 and it has not been above freezing for a while now, even with the sun shining. We hope it will warm up for a few days midweek so that we can put the corrugated roof on the wood shed. It will be easier to handle when it is not covered in ice! We will need to work quickly!!

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