Friday, 16 November 2007

Hibernation preparation

You may have seen better, you may have built better, but this is the neatest log pile I have ever seen on my premises. And yes, it warms you many times, in the cutting, the dragging, the chopping, the stacking, the barrowing and the restacking by the fire and finally in glorious combustion. This little lot will last til Christmas or perhaps just into the new year when the dragging, chopping, stacking etc starts all over again.
There are at least three huge wood piles dotted in various semi-sheltered places about the farm where lumps of dead, fallen or lopped tree are stored for seasoning until the time is ripe for dragging, chopping and stacking (ad nauseam) that finally produces the ready to use hunks and chunks.
Once the poultry is bedded down by 5pm and farm activity comes to an abrupt dark-induced halt, my hibernation instincts kick in. All I need to keep me content over winter is a vast heap of dry logs and kindling; a freezer full of home grown meat, poultry, veg and apple juice; and a larder stacked with jams, chutneys, strings of onions and cider. I sound like Ma Larkin in little grey rabbit mode, but to be honest there are also plenty of ingredients that Nigella would approve of on the shelves (I haven't yet learned to produce wasabi or smoked sweet paprika) and Waitrose still beckons.
The other winter necessity is a heap of new books, and post birthday I am all catered for; mostly fiction with a sprinkle of cheesemaking, preserving and owl guides. I don't intend to preserve owls you understand, just learn more about them. And in the next couple of days I'll be visiting a newly discovered bookshop in Torrington, so it's entirely possible that the heap will grow, thanks to all your recommendations.

4 comments:

GeraniumCat said...

Might I detect another Little Grey Rabbit fan? I lost my childhood copies, but I found a boxed set of four facsimile editions in charity shop a couple of years ago. I think the illustrations are so beautiful.

Your well-stocked larder sounds wonderful (envious sigh - I have neither time nor space).

Flowerpot said...

so you're almost entirely self sufficient Mopsa. Well done you! I used to love Little Grey Rabbit too...

paula said...

love wood piles – something so very satisfying about them. The ones on the continent take the biscuit though…truly works of art.

Mopsa said...

G-cat - not a fan exactly, but I was once, when years were more tender than they are now.

F'Pot - not as much as I should be considering the opportunities the farm presents - perhaps retirement will see to that - but I can't make that excuse for 20 years...

Paula - I saw gorgeous woodpiles at a stately home converted into flats just outside Tiverton. The various owners shared the garden and worked together to keep it beautiful and stacked their logs in beautiful circles - real cairns.