01 September 2008

How much wood...

...can we deal with? We will find out. We got 14.5 stères — cubic meters — delivered yesterday. That's four cords. Even if you don't know a stère from a cord, I can tell you that that's a lot of wood. The two men who delivered it also stacked it as you see it. Last time we got wood they delivery guys just dumped it on the ground and it was up to us to stack it.

The woodpile is bigger than our car.

We think this is enough wood to last three winters or more. However, it all depends on how cold the winters are. The last few have been pretty mild. Whatever wood we don't cut for burning this winter, we'll cover with tarps and cut it next year or the year after. Tarps will protect the wood from our winter rains.

Tractor and trailer for wood delivery

The big job is now ahead of us. Each log is one meter, or 39 inches long. Our wood-burning stove will only take logs that are 15 inches long. That means that each log needs to be cut into three pieces.

A Renault tractor

So there is much work to be done. Not all of the wood needs to be cut this fall, but we do need to cut enough of it to get through the winter. Our chainsaw is electric, so going out in the rain to cut wood is not a good idea. And the real rains begin in late October or early November.

The wood-delivery "crew" on their way out
to pick up the next load

On Saturday, I went down to the winery to talk to Bruno, whose family arranged the firewood purchase and delivery for us. He asked me if we were equipped to do the job of cutting the wood into sections of the right length for our stove. I said we were.

We went on talking, and he said that we should be very careful with the chainsaw. It seems that a neighbor in the village injured himself very badly last week as he was cutting wood with his saw. He somehow dropped the saw and sliced his calf open, and might have cut a tendon. If so, he may never recover full use of the leg.

It turned out that this injured man is the one with the red 2CV who dropped by to see me one day a few months ago because he'd been reading the blog and was curious to see who I was. I haven't seen him again but I did see his car parked in front of his house a few weeks ago, so I know that that house is the one he and his wife live in.

Cutting wood is dangerous labor, that's for sure. But it has to be done.


  1. Impressive pile of wood!!! What kind is it? Oak, birch ... They last the longest in a woodstove and give best heat! Good luck with the sawing ... and be careful! Martine

  2. Martine, this is mixed wood — some oak, some birch, some other kinds. We hope it will burn well in the stove.


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