Notes from Windward: #67


A Winter Chore

dealing with the stump pile

     We're pretty good at getting a lot of value-added materials out of the trees that we harvest each year, whether it's saw-milling a pine into lumber and materials for making things to sell such as jewelry boxes or picture frames, or converting an oak into traditional shitake logs and chipping up the rest to create a bed for growing morels.

Todd and Barbara tending the stump fire

     The one part of the tree that we can't do much with at this point is the stump, and so we transport the stumps into a pile in the upper garden, to be burned during the winter when there's no need to worry about causing a forest fire. Stumps can burn for days, so if there's any fire danger at all, you have to keep a watch on them. Instead, we wait until there's snow on the ground to burn them--but this winter has been unusually warm and snowless, so when we had a inch of snow fall last night, we decided it was time to light off the stumps before winter got away from us altogether.

     In addition to the stumps, we had a couple dozen old pallets that had been pulled out of the barn when we installed the liner, and an old chicken coop that needed to go--so all in all it made for a merry blaze once the wet wood dried out enough to burn.

using the old pallets to set the stumps ablaze

     For the next week, we'll keep pushing the stumps together so that they'll keep each other burning, and eventually they'll be converted back into ash which we'll distribute around the gardens to sweeten the soil and provide the minerals the plants need to grow and prosper.

Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 67