The yearly cycle of the affuage has just drawn to a close. It starts in November when we can apply to work a plot in the forest. Then many days are spent in the forest over winter, chopping down the trees, cutting the wood to metre lengths, then splitting and stacking. It is a great occupation on a cold winter’s day, especially for me as I love making big bonfires to burn the twigs.
The cutting has to be done by mid April and then the forest is left until July or August when the wood has to be fetched out of the forest and stacked in the village. We were a bit late this year with Cluny 2010 but managed to get finished today. We clocked up 26 trips with the van and trailer, plus one huge load brought in by our neighbour who has a tractor.
The wood now has to be left for a couple of years, but we can start to use some of the wood we brought in last year. The birch and poplar does not take so long to dry as the oak. Although I am enjoying the hot summer weather we have been having this week, a part of me is looking forward to the cold, dark evenings when we can sit around the woodburning stove enjoying the results of our labours.