Easier, better or both?


The Merits of Ash

We had a super lunch in the Crown and Trumpet in Broadway yesterday – a luscious lasagne for hubby and a cheerful chilli con carne for me (spiciness just right).

This old poem was hanging on the wall above our table. Quite a coincidence, after my last post about the performance of different species of trees as firewoods. I’ve transcribed the poem, as the attached photo is a bit wobbly.

Beechwood fires are bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year;
Chestnut only good they say
If for long it’s laid away;
Make a fire of Elder tree
Death within your house shall be;
But Ash new or Ash old
Is fit for Queen with crown of gold.

Birch and Fir logs burn too fast
Blaze up bright and do not last;
It is by the Irish said
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread;
Elmwood burns like churchyard mould –
E’en the very flames are cold;
But Ash green or Ash brown
Is fit for Queen with golden crown.

Poplar gives a bitter smoke
Fills your eyes and makes you choke;
Apple wood will scent your room
With an incense-like perfume.
Oaken logs, if dry and old
Keep away the winters cold;
But Ash wet or Ash dry
A King shall warm his slippers by.

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Firewood

There is quite an art (and science) to making a good fire. Since having our new stove installed, our fire-making skills have improved daily. We can now get the fire going on the first lighting – most days. We have experimented with a variety of woods and have been fascinated to see how log size, tree species and degree of seasoning really do affect how well the wood burns (as all our “stove veteran” friends have been telling us).

After testing wood from a number of sources, we have decided to buy our logs from Tiddesley Wood, a nature reserve near Pershore. Their logs come from mixed woodland and are well seasoned, as they are stored for at least 2 years before being cut. As a result, their wood burns beautifully and the seasoning ensures that we can avoid the perils of a spluttering, popping and smoky fire. The woodland is sustainably managed and the profits from log sales go towards wildlife conservation.

As this is one of Tiddesley’s log-sale weekends, hubby popped over there today to load up his car with luverly firewood. We are so pleased to have our little Clearview stove and to have found such a super source of wood. This great combination is better than heating with oil in so many ways.