Is lumbersexuality still on the rise in the big cities? Or are rugged looking hipsters -carefully groomed beards, denim and expensive flannel – about to be replaced with the newest man trend? I’ve no idea, but I know that I’m living with the real ticket at Lescure. The installation of a hungry wood eating beast of a stove in the château cellar has made us realise we actually need to forage for our fuel. Over the past year, we’ve been trying to get to grips with the wood cycle. Collecting dead timber, cutting trees, splitting and stacking the wood, leaving it to season, transferring it to the house, burning it to heat water and to keep us warm in winter. If you enjoy tales of frontier life, read on.
As absolute beginners in Lumberland we’ve made every mistake there is, wasting time and tiring ourselves out. We cut down trees in the wrong season, needlessly lengthening the drying time of the logs. We’ve since bought and read ‘Norwegian Wood’, the global hit book about firewood. We started harvesting wood without knowing where to store it. We’ve now cleared a large space in the forest, easy to reach, but nicely out of view from the main house. We chopped away to a solid size log, alas the wrong length for the stove. We now use a token log. We had stacks collapse because we built them with bad technique and wishful thinking rather than art and science. We now quote a solid base off the ground and vertical ends as gospel. The work never stops, but we love it. For Thomas, there’s the primal connection to the earth and the satisfaction of providing for his home, his loved ones and his guests. For me, I most enjoy the end result, the simplicity of a warming wood fire. And the romance of course. Some men, you see, say it with firewood.
Norwegian Wood:Chopping,Stacking,and Drying Wood the Scandinavian Way.Lars Mytting.2015