Monday 18 January 2016

A bio-fuel cooperative for the village?

"Bio-fuel coop"  means trying to get neighbours to share a 25 tonne ( 4 -5 cord if you are N. American) load of firewood.

According to Dormouse I'm too old for this!
The Forestry Commission firewood depot is sixty miles away  at Torlundy. Bringing ten tonnes home with the pick up and sheep trailer in six loads means 70 fuel miles per tonne,  wear and tear on the truck and wear and tear on me.  At 40 pence a mile this brings the direct cost of the wood to nearly £50 / tonne.

Twenty five tonnes of firewood calls for a large articulated timber truck with a crane so access to the unloading site is important. Unloading over the fence into a field seems to be the best option.

Those of you who received a copy of, "Norwegian Wood" for Christmas and have read it rather than just looked at the pictures will know that winter felling when the sap content of the wood is low speeds up the seasoning process. When it's stacked outside with it's waterproof covering of bark, in the rain, its not going to get much wetter but it is important to get it logged up into small pieces and into store as quickly as possible.

And this.
In this climate two years of seasoning under cover is ideal but six months of Spring and Summer is almost as good if small logs are stacked under cover in the wood shed in May. Size does matter. Small logs have a much bigger surface area relative to their mass than bigger logs so can lose moisture more rapidly.

I am told that a polythene tunnel with the ends open and the sun beating down is the fastest way to dry firewood but at some expense so will continue to rely on the corrugated iron roof that heats the shed like an oven on good days.

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