Until we started heating with wood, I had no idea what a cord was. Until recently I thought ‘cords’ were funny looking pants with lines on them I wore as a teenager, unaware of their role in guaranteeing my prolonged virginity.
In firewood terms a cord is neatly stacked pile of split wood that measures 4′ x 4′ x 8′. I’m not sure how much wood it will take to heat our earthbag home through the 6 months of winter, but I’m pretty sure I don’t have enough. Lots of people tell me they use anywhere from 3 to 6 cords a year to heat their homes. Ours is different than most homes, so I won’t know for sure how much I need until we gain experience. I do know I will be scrounging wood anywhere I can. I have a bunch of old fence posts from pastures and about 50 pallets on hand. A couple weeks ago while on a trip to the mountains, I bought half a chord of dry, split pine. Forestry permits are available in this province for individual homeowners for only $5. That’s a really good deal since you can remove 5 cubic metres of wood. The only problem is that the closest forestry area where I can get a permit is about a four hour drive from here. Winter driving conditions in that area can get pretty treacherous. But since I am the one mostly responsible for the heat around here, I’ll do whatever it takes to keep things warm. Otherwise I may as well just being wearing corduroys.