Stihl Crazy After all These Years

As we have been whittling our way through this epic journey of felling, cutting, splitting and stacking all the wood from the 5 huge, dead, eucalyptus trees in and around our 7 acres. We experience a curious sense of exhausted comfort in working our way through the last tree. Tomorrow should see the end of it.

We couldn’t have done this so quickly without the help of friends and students to do some of the carrying and stacking. We worked quite hard today in the light showery sprinkles of rain to get half-way through the last tree. It’s hard to say exactly how much wood we have processed and stacked to season in the last 3 weeks of part-time labour, but I imagine that it must be somewhere approaching 20 tonnes. I’ve gone through almost 8 litres of bar and chain oil and the same of two-stroke mix in maintaining the saws. Chain saws are such a great invention. They make so much work possible. I couldn’t have done all this without them.


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Of course we were aided at every moment by the chickens. They know the sound of the chain saw and the splitter, and as they are free ranging all day, every day. They know where we are and what we are doing from the sounds that we make. It only takes minutes for them to turn up. Freshly split wood means fresh bugs and termites.


After all this work, we reward our selves with a high carb, but low GI meal of solid wholemeal pasta topped with a home-made tomato passata sauce and a side dish of lightly steamed broccoli from the garden. All this without the addition of oil, salt or sugar. Not to mention, there are no preservatives, pesticides, or fertilisers used along the way. This is wholesome, fresh, homemade, nutritious food. Simple and plain, but not boring. A green garnish of fresh-picked basil and parsley completes the meal.

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Our little small holding here produces fuel for our stove and kilns, but also fuel for our bodies. Real work with a defined and obvious purpose, that leads to a positive and creative outcome along with home-grown and home made whole foods, these are all part of a well-considered complete life. I’m not sure if all this is working, but we are certainly having a good go at it.