Why I built a Holz Hausen Wood Pile (A circular wood pile)

We have always stacked our wood on landscape timbers and cement blocks without any issues.  But living in the city we bought a half a cord at a time at the most.  That amount of wood would last a couple of winters, since we only used it for ambiance and not warmth.

Log-Splitter Required

We had some mulch delivered that came with “some logs” and we have had to fell a couple of trees and suddenly we had a couple of cords of wood.  I decided to buy a log-splitter to take care of it all.

Squirrels Attack

Our new fireplace is huge to look at, but actually has a very small firebox.  So the old style wood stack wasn’t working for us.  The squirrels were making the wood fall and we were afraid of the whole thing coming down.

Internet Search Begins

I started looking on the internet for some ideas and came across the Holz Hausen method that is used across Europe.  It looks so neat and tidy and quite frankly, just looks freaking awesome.  I thought I would give it try.

The advantages that I read are:

  • The logs are slanted inward, so the water runs off and keeps the wood drier.
  • It cures faster due to the chimney effect
  • Can use different lengths of wood to build
  • Will stay neat looking as you use the wood
  • It is strong and won’t fall down (I have verified that so far)
  • You can build it tall

    A Holz Hausen Wood Pile, the European style of stacking wood.

Please watch the video for more details.

 

Log Splitter

Yardmax Log Splitter

When you buy a new property you plan for many expenses.  You also know that you will have unexpected expenses and the log splitter was of those.  We had a dozen or so trees on the property that had to come down before they fell during a storm and hit a car or building.  But luckily they were punky wood and we were able to use them in the raised bed garden.  But one of the things that we found easy to do in the city was call up tree trimming companies and have them drop off their shredded “trash” that we could use around the house instead of buying mulch.  Free!  Is isn’t as pretty as what you buy, but we used so much in our landscaping,  that we just didn’t care.  We would buy a couple of pretty bags to put on top to finish it off.  But the thick layer was down and free.

When we moved out here, we knew we needed lots and lots of mulch to help amend our sand.  I started calling around and didn’t find many companies that would deliver out here in the boonies.  I needed some immediately to help fill in my garden bed and put around the beds to make them look nice.  So I had to go buy my first load.

Free Wood

Then I got lucky and and found someone who would deliver a load to me, free.  But he said it would have some logs included.  No problem.  We have a fireplace.  We have a fire pit.  Bring it on out.

Wood for the new log splitter

We need a log splitter: NOW!

We did a little bit of research and decided that we needed a 27 ton splitter.  When we went to buy it, they didn’t offer it in our area, so we got a Yard Max 28 ton for the same price that we were looking at.   As we told you about in out mower article, you cannot get an 18 wheeler down our driveway.  We met the truck on road.  He put the crate in our pickup and we brought it out to the barn area.  When you order one of these off season and get it delivered, you have to assemble it.  It will take at least 2 or 3 men to put this thing together.  It is not difficult, it is just heavy and unwieldy to handle.

Looking forward to winter!

We got a beautiful load of mulch and a ton of wood.  Lots of wood.  We have split about 3 cords of wood from our first delivery.  We need lots more mulch so we are expecting more wood.  This log splitter makes it so easy to do.

From this stack of Wood

The above stack of wood become the stack below!

Wood Pile from Log Splitter

Wood Pile from Log Splitter

Garden

The Garden

After gardening on a zero lot line property for over 30 years, I was very excited at the unlimited possibilities of gardening on 20 acres.

Reality

Gopher’s, Deer, Sand

The reality hit me really quick: first it was the sand.   We are talking pure sand.  Beach kind of sand.  Great for drainage.  Nutrients in the soil, not so much!  Then we can talk about the gophers.  Sometimes you can look out at the field and it looks like an old world war two practice bombing field.  Craters everywhere.  Then deer.  We love deer.  They are so sweet to look at.  People come out to visit and we tell them we have deer and and they ask if they can come shoot them.  We say sure, as long as it is with a camera.  But seriously, they can really hurt a garden.  So bad soil, gopher’s to eat the roots and deer to eat the tops.  Great garden potential.

Solution One: Gophers

So the first line of defense is raised bed garden, with a 1/2 inch hard cloth underneath..

Bottom of Raised Bed Garden

Solution Two: Sand

I am doing the hugelkultur method that I have used before.  I have topped it with compost and potting soil that I picked up on clearance at the end of the season last year.

Raised bed Huglekultur Garden

We treated the wood with the Shou Sugi Ban Method to hopefully make the plywood last a long time.

Raised Bed garden with Shou Sugi Ban Plywood

Solution Three: Deer

To keep the deer and birds at bay I will building a structure like the chicken run with deer netting.  It will be enclosed on all sides as well as the top.   It will be next to the run and they will share a wall and I will have a door from the garden to the run.  When the garden is done at the end of the year, I can let the chickens in to clean up the old plants.  Treat for them!

We have started with two raised beds, but I will be enclosing enough area for a total of 5 large beds.

Huglekultur beds are ready for planting