One four-hundred pound piece of steel – installed in the kitchen, attached to at least fifteen feet of stainless steel, insulated Selkirk flue; it is fit for some serious, professional quality baking – as soon as we can get some good stovewood, and the insurance transfer has taken place. Our house owners are changing insurance companies, we have almost half a tank of fuel oil to burn off; and the stacked seasoned wood is still under ice and snow at the landlord’s house. So we get to admire its pristine beauty for a while longer.
Our landowners have 100 acres of property, much of it in woodlot. Eastern forests have been cut over for centuries now; virgin forest is almost unknown. The trees in the East are species that never live more than three hundred years – short-lived in tree time. Judicious cutting keeps the woodlot productive and healthy. The old growth stands are on mountains too steep for logging machinery, or in swamps too treacherous to cut. I do hate to see a clear cut, though – but most of those are the decades old monocultures planted by paper and lumber companies. Monocultures, especially pine, aren’t much use as habitat.
I had a good conversation with our landlady today. She told me what used to grow here, how there was corn behind the house, and potatoes across the driveway, where the peonies are, and the rhubarb (which she is welcome to – I can’t abide it.) This helps me make my garden plans. There is a spring on the property, which I think we will dig out and rock wall for pasture water. I love messing around with springs, cisterns and ponds. I had so hoped tha tin adfdition to a woodstove, we would have a spring of our own!