If you tell enough stories, perhaps the moral will show up.



I still mull over the wasted capacity of the paddocks to grow woodchip and the shanty town to store it. But a woodchip boiler is a big investment and while I suspect the prices won't come down, the features ought to improve as they become more common.

I need a reason to start planting willow coppice now, so I'm running an experiment. Every year I cut down the mass of decorative dogwood that the previous owner liked to contrast with the birches. She may have been right -- she certainly demonstrated that cornus does well here. This year, instead of burning the switches, I've shredded them to get a cubic metre or so of brightly coloured woodchip. It's sitting in a basket made of old wire fireguards, drying off, I hope, in the woodshed. Provided they don't ferment, and they don't seem to be doing that, I'm going to try them in the woodburner to see how they do.

[3 May -- Yes they are fermenting. Arses.]

The most likely outcome, I suppose, is that they'll have failed to dry, or they'll suffocate the fire. But the next most likely is that I've got two hundred pounds of low-grade firewood essentially for free, and that's going to have me sticking in willow slips in the wet part of next winter....

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