We heat our home with firewood in an old woodstove that truly needs to be updated. However, we are thankful for it - for the warmth and coziness - and were especially thankful as we prayed for the many families that lost their power or their homes in hurricane Sandy.
Our firewood we gather tree by tree, branch by branch with the strength of our bodies. Mike has just about finished thinning out the trees on our small 3.5 acre homestead. We also get offers from neighbors to come gather wood from dead trees on their land. We are thankful for the trailer from our neighbors that they gave us when they moved away, as it is strong enough to hold a decent load.
After the lengths are cut with the chainsaw, the older boys split the wood. They enjoy this process as it works their muscles and builds strength.
We had a very bad accident, however, on Thursday. Nolan was using the wedge and maul to split a larger piece of maple and shard from the wedge flew up into his face. In less than a second after the maul hit the wedge, blood began to pour out through a hole right below and to the left of his mouth.
Mike brought him right to the emergency room - oh how lucky we are to live in this modern age of medicine (yes, at times a mixed blessing, but it is wonderful that we have choices and need to continue to fight for the freedom of being able to choose) - and they removed the metal and gave him two stitches and some antibiotics as the hole went all the way through to his mouth. He is doing fine now but...
(This is how we stack the ends.)
There were some hard lessons learned. Always wear eye protection - gosh, didn't we know this and why didn't we insist? Second, don't use an old wedge. The one that he was using had mushroomed out on the top and left a bit of metal on each side - that is from where the piece broke off.
Just wanted to share these simple lessons so that maybe it will help prevent another injury.
(We use bits of roofing metal that we have gathered from here and there to cover the pile.)
Generally, however, we enjoy and appreciate the process of using wood for our heat. I particularly enjoy stacking the wood. Each piece, one at a time, providing for our family for the winter.
Do you have any firewood tips to share?