Since that major asshole Vladolf Putler had nothing better to do than to wage an imperialistic war of conquest, the prices of firewood and wooden briquettes have skyrocketed here, together with delivery times being months and not weeks. Because some governments within the EU decided – irrationally and daftily – to oppose nuclear energy and moved to burn Russian gas (and sometimes even low-quality coal, destroying in the process more area than Fukushima did) and now that supply is threatened, people are looking for alternatives. We could already have a mix of nuclear and renewables if it were not for supposedly green parties being so staunchly not green… Where was I? Firewood. People are stockpiling firewood now if they can.
Thus, my grudges aside, I have a problem. I normally keep a stockpile for two years, but my mother’s health deteriorated significantly and I had to heat the house more than before for her comfort. So now I do not need to buy a year’s worth of wood just to top up my stockpile, I need to buy it to not freeze in the winter because I only have about two months worth left.
I have ordered wooden briquettes, at an exorbitant, 50% higher price than last year, but I do not know when they arrive. If they arrive. But I got lucky, one of the suppliers from whom I was buying in the past had firewood at still a very reasonable price. Here it is, delivered today:
From the picture it may be apparent why it is so cheap – not very many people are willing to buy this, apparently. These are offcuts from making palettes and thus it is lotsaf tiny pieces of wood with occasional bigger pieces of board or a squared timber. It is a lot of work to sort it out into some usable form. Today I have spent six hours working on it and the results are eleven bags of tiny offcuts and approx 1 cubic meter of bigger boards, together ca 500 kg.
Two bags = one-day heating on average over the whole season.
If I estimate it correctly, today’s work was 1/8 to 1/10 of the total, so I should have about 4 to 5 tonnes of firewood. That should see us through the winter even if the briquettes never arrive. But it is a lot of work, I will now spend at least a week sifting through this mass daily and then during winter, I will have to carry it into the cellar in baskets (now I am keeping the cellar empty in the hope of getting the briquettes, and anyway this is twice the volume of briquettes and thus would not fit in there). It is cheap, but for a price – essentially I have to take each piece of wood three-four times in my hands.
Before the firewood arrived, I was sorting through my stockpile of wood for crafting, cutting out usable bits, and bagging everything else as firewood, a task that I will continue doing after this lot is sorted out. I also had a tiny wood inspector. I do hope that cherry log is not full of holes.