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debbie

our own small thing

Well, its January now so only two months to go.  As at mid March we will have not had our heating on for a whole year and 500 ltrs of oil will have lasted us two years.  all our heating has come from the wood burner fueled by our own copiced wood - not a lot I know but I am quite proud of the fact that when we first moved here we were using 2000 ltrs a uear and now its 500 ltrs in two years - if only I could have a back boiler installed we wouldn't even use that I think.  How we live and learn.
grannieannie

I agree with you Debbie, we'd love a back boiler on our woodburner.  I burn the old wooden door and windows cills and frames from the conservatory place I clean for. When the fitters bring it all back to the yard.  It also saves it going in the skip.

Also as our woodburner has a flat top I've now got a kettle that sits on it, and I cook casseroles and other dinners on it too to save a bit of electric.

We've not been able to afford oil for 2 years, but I got some in November when I had a little pension payout, but we've just discovered its got a leak in the tank, right down the bottom!!  So my precious very expensive oil is dripping into the garden!!!
ilan

Just out of intrest how much wood do you coppice each year ? ie what sort of acerage would you need to be sustainable in heat/cooking thanks Ilan
camillitech

Well done Debbie  me I'm a complete softie our oil stove has not been switched off since i fitted it and there are very few days even in the summer that we don't light the wood burner :smt103

Ilan i read somewhere years ago that an acre of birch coppiced properly will keep a family of 4 in heat and cooking indefinitely. We have quite a few acres of birch which we coppice and i can well believe it.

cheers, Paul
Lloyd

camillitech wrote:
i read somewhere years ago that an acre of birch coppiced properly will keep a family of 4 in heat and cooking indefinitely.

cheers, Paul


Definitely. I know it to be true as I've done it.
dtalbot

Well done,
I've switched to wood burning for all cooking, heating and hot water, bar one fireplace which is just burning the last coal from the cellar then will have me woodburning stove from freecycle installed. Have to buy my wood from the local tree surgeon but still has to be way better than coal.
Have also gone from using 50l of petrol a week to about 10l of diesel and 30l of veg oil in my car.
Still more I can do but its a start!
dtalbot

Lloyd wrote:
camillitech wrote:
i read somewhere years ago that an acre of birch coppiced properly will keep a family of 4 in heat and cooking indefinitely.

cheers, Paul


Definitely. I know it to be true as I've done it.


Thats what I dream of doing!!!
camillitech

 That's part of the grand plan guys, the oil stove's going and a bigger wood burner with back boiler intergrated to a thermal store with a few solar panels and the excess from our wind turbine.

cheers, paul
Lloyd

dtalbot wrote:
Well done,
I've switched to wood burning for all cooking, heating and hot water, bar one fireplace which is just burning the last coal from the cellar then will have me woodburning stove from freecycle installed. Have to buy my wood from the local tree surgeon but still has to be way better than coal.
Have also gone from using 50l of petrol a week to about 10l of diesel and 30l of veg oil in my car.
Still more I can do but its a start!


I was quite surprised when looking at prices in various evil supermarkets, etc....In some, cooking oilis the same price per litre as diesel!!! :angry4:  :angry4:  :angry4:
dtalbot

Lloyd wrote:
dtalbot wrote:
Well done,
I've switched to wood burning for all cooking, heating and hot water, bar one fireplace which is just burning the last coal from the cellar then will have me woodburning stove from freecycle installed. Have to buy my wood from the local tree surgeon but still has to be way better than coal.
Have also gone from using 50l of petrol a week to about 10l of diesel and 30l of veg oil in my car.
Still more I can do but its a start!


I was quite surprised when looking at prices in various evil supermarkets, etc....In some, cooking oilis the same price per litre as diesel!!! :angry4:  :angry4:  :angry4:

1l bottles of Pura rapeseed oil in Sainsburys 56p/l is the best deal at the moment so near enough half price, most expensive I've seen was Iceland of all places, well over DERV prices
Lloyd

 :-)
debbie

Our chimney sweep was saying last time we saw him that all the oil burning rayburns and stioves he put in 10 years ago he is now going around and replacing with wood burners and back boilers!

Not sure how much woodland we have - over 10 acres I think and its a mix of Ash, birch, beech and some oak.  To be honest we have barely started doing anything with the woods themselves we are still using the wood from last years hedge laying - and that was only one hedge.  We are going to be laying another 200 meters of hedge this year and trim back the over hanging branches on the inside of one hedge (another two hundred meters) where it is overgrown on the inside although it has been kept trimmed on the road side and top.  We reckon that will be enough to last a couple of years but will take done a few self seeded and slit trees in the top of the woods to allow for some new growth - apparently 40 years ago it was field!
ilan

Hi thanks for the replies . conventional  wisdom seems to think 5 acres of woodland is required to be selfsufficiant I have always thought this was to high so perhaps two well managed would do ?
Seabird

1l bottles of Pura rapeseed oil in Sainsburys 56p/l is the best deal at the moment so near enough half price, most expensive I've seen was Iceland of all places, well over DERV prices[/quote]

Have you tried looking in 'wholesalers' like Makro, costco etc? Or any catering wholesaler? There are always ways and means of getting in even if you're not a bona fide trader. If you buy a trolleyload most of them don't care.
dtalbot

Yep, the pura stuff is certainly cheaper than Costco which I use (64p/l rapeseed in 20l drums, they have some soya oil a bit cheaper but that waxes easier so is just a summer fuel) and various mates are on the lookout in most of the other cash and carries round here and haven't found it cheaper yet.
Cheers
David
Lloyd

ilan wrote:
Hi thanks for the replies . conventional  wisdom seems to think 5 acres of woodland is required to be selfsufficiant I have always thought this was to high so perhaps two well managed would do ?


When I had 5 acres of mixed deciduous woodland, I was advised by the Greenwood Trust that that was too small to be a viable self supporting wood. Also mine was only 40 years old, so the hardwoods were still quite immature. The hazel and willow stands didn't produce vast amounts each year, and the oaks were far too immature to be harvested. I think the key is in making the woods multi task, so also keep some hives in there, run some rare breed porkers in there, a barn for free range chooks, rear pheasant poults for resale,  maybe a Christmas tree nursery, innoculate some trunks for delicacy fungi, let a shooting syndicate use the land in return for cash, etc etc.

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