Would that our wood would dry!

My paternal grandfather was a very clever man but one who despaired at the state of the world he lived in. As he grew older he regularly told my father and his siblings that he fervently believed that society would collapse in my father’s lifetime, and that the best thing any of them could do would be to move to the countryside, find a plot that would sustain their family and live there so they’d be ready. I wonder what he’d think of our current little smallholding setup. I hope he’d approve of our stockpiling mentality! We’re trying to reduce our wastefulness here in this new way of life, and so when we felled a load of diseased and overcrowded trees, using them for firewood seemed a natural next step.


We actually had a woodturning stove (albeit a very small one) in our London house but didn’t seem to have the difficulties that we have here in finding dry wood to burn. The previous owner of our house very kindly left us a huge pile of wood under a tarpaulin that had unfortunately ripped but we’re hoping that a year drying in our new wood racks will bring it back to life. We’ve been pulling out the driest bits and my wonderful husband has turned his hand to efficiently chopping the wood into pieces that will fit in the woodturner. I’m finding it very hard to buy dry wood this year, as every sack we try appears damp, so I’m looking forward to next year when the wood from our trees and that from our existing pile has all been seasoned and is usable.


This may seem like a bit of an extravagant use of a part of garden but the little section we cordoned off and added the wood stores to is a north facing patch that would never be used for anything else and we do get through unimaginable tonnes of the stuff so it seems like a sensible use of space. I hope it gets a lot of use from next winter!


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We farm a three acre smallholding in Hampshire, England, having fled London in pursuit of the good life for our little family. We mess about with an assorted menagerie and try to be as self-sufficient as possible in meat and fruit and vegetables whilst enjoying our plot and an outdoors lifestyle with our son. I am the luckiest person that I know.

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