The fun of good firewood

I keep a little woodstove burning in my basement which keeps the upstairs floor cozy warm, and heats the whole house until just before sunrise, when the furnace kicks in. I don't get up in the middle of the night to stoke the fire like my Dad does. Add a few years, and I probably will.

Dad has cut enough fire wood to supply his house and mine for years. It is stacked on pallets inside the Morton building at the nursery. Every couple of weeks during the winter, I drive in there with my pickup and load up.

We have an abundant supply of ash firewood, thanks to the beaver, who dammed up a ditch on our property, which raised the water level of a swamp, which drowned the surrounding green ash. There they stand, ankle deep in water, dried, ripe for the sawing as soon as the ice is thick enough.

Ash is the ideal firewood. Oak sometimes slows to a smolder; aspen burns too fast, elm is impossible to split and box elder is too wet. But ash splits with one stroke. It starts easy, even if its a little green. It burns slow. It stores well.