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Our new woodstore

posted 9 Jun 2014, 14:41 by Marina - Mark O'Connell   [ updated 9 Jun 2014, 14:42 ]

We have just built a new wood-store and filled it up with split logs and boxes of kindling – it is immensely satisfying and makes you feel warm and safe just looking at it.

So why am I telling you this ? Apart from the huge sense of showing off the lovely new structure ? It is a permaculture wood-store and it tells a story.

The log store itself is placed on the north side of the apricot centre giving is shade in the summer and keeping out of the driving rains mostly from the south west, it also adds an extra layer of insulation on the cold side of the centre from the bitter easterly winds that whip across our farm.

The kindling is from coppiced willow grown on the south west side of the glasshouse this gives extra wind protection to the glasshouse in the winter (and yes it needs it ) as well as creating a woodland feel for the chickens underneath. We harvest the coppice in March when the worst of the winds have died down and to let the light in for the newly emerging  spring crops. (this is called multifunctionality)

The broken up wooden boxes have come from next door, where they have been used to import strawberry plants form the Netherlands. I buy them from my neighbour and use them for a few more years for my fruit crops and finally when they are completely   finished with we smash them up and use them for kindling. (this is called input out put analysis)

We burn this wood in the Apricot centre in a beautiful ceramic stove that we load in the morning  or evening and burn @ 13 kg of wood – the flue is then closed and the heat builds up in the body of the stove heating the room for about 12 hours. If you have been on a course in the centre in  deep winter you will know that you also need a jumper in the morning and sometimes we have to supplement this with a bit of electric heat, but on the whole we heat the 80 square meters with this stove through the winter.  We also have a rayburn in the house to supplement our central heating that is currently oil based but hopefully soon  we will switch  to an air source heat pump( this is called resilience) .

Some of the wood is harvested from our own small farm where we grow coppice hazel, willow ash and sweet chestnut after only 10 years we have a small fuel harvest from the site. The rest of the logs we buy in from a local forester who manages a woodland of coppiced sweet chestnut less than 10 miles away where a colleague of mine produces organic lavender. ( this just feels friendly)

So our lovely new wood store tells a story of permaculture principles and practice all on its own !