Keeping the home fire burning, or the log burner in our case, is one of the most important things we do. It's the heart of the home every evening throughout Winter, and even occasionally on a chilly Summer's night.
Chopping, stacking and fetching wood is an ongoing thing, and seeing the wood store full of logs ready to use is one of the most satisfying things of all. It nestles between the man shed and the chicken shed, sheltered from the worst of the weather but open to the elements at the front and slightly at the back. Good airflow is vital to let your wood continue seasoning.
Of course we cheated a bit this Winter, our own chopped wood ran out fairly quickly and although we could have gone and chopped some more, it was damp and not seasoned enough to give us a good heat when burnt ..... so we bought three large builders bags full of chopped, seasoned hard wood to see us through this Winter and to give us chance to get ahead with chopping our own ready for burning next year.
Whether it will last as long as the cold weather I don't know ... but we are hopeful.
One of my first 'house' jobs of the day, after seeing to dogs, chickens and that all important first coffee of the day, is to lay the fire ready for the evening to come. Sometimes I have to wait until mid morning as if I'm not careful the ashes and embers from the previous evenings fire will still have enough warmth in them to catch light to the bottom layer of paper and fire up my newly laid fire much too soon.
We have perfected the art of this log burner now, each one varies slightly and our last one was much smaller. It's vitally important that you leave enough ash in the ash tray underneath so that the airflow around the burner is just right. Emptying it out every day may seem nice and tidy ... and the right thing to do, but right depth to that layer of ash makes the fire burner hotter quicker. We've found that emptying it approximately every three days is about right for this one.
We are careful on the day we do take out the tray outside not to disturb the previous nights ash lying above. We tip the contents either into the compost bin or onto the chickens dust bath under the henhouse, and when we bring the empty tray back in and slide it into position only then do we sweep the previous nights ash down into it, giving us a least a bit of a head start to the level of ash we need for optimum burning.
We seem to be getting it right ...... Rosy definitely approves :-)