There is a universal saying, that wood warms a person three times; once when you cut it; once when you stack it; and once when you burn it.
This was told to me in my first year in Schliersee by the man delivering my firewood. I think he saw panic in my face the moment I realized I faced days of moving and stacking seven Stere of wood. To give you a little perspective on firewood sizes. A “Stere” is the German measurement of wood. In the US we measure our firewood by “cord” which measures four feet high by four feet wide by eight feet long (4 ft. x 4 ft. x 8 ft.) and has a volume of 128 cubic feet. The German measurement, “Stere” measures 1 cubic meter. That is a heaping pile of winter heat.
What is wonderful about wood other than its warming properties, is that wood is sustainable. We made a plan when we decided to rent an old Bavarian farmhouse or “Landhaus” we would install the best Swedish style wood stove and heat the house using wood as much as possible as a way to cut cots.
As you wander around Schliersee in autumn you will be keenly aware that it is time to start planning the year’s firewood order. Heavily laden trucks and tractors are on the streets bringing the residents their wood deliveries. Many times you might see small mountains of wood occupying someone’s parking place in front of the home and everyone is busily moving and precisely arranging and stacking their woodpiles.
These diligently and impressively exact stores of logs are creatively tucked into any spare covered nook and cranny. Under bench seats, as bench seats and climbing right up into the eaves.These towers of future warmth become architectural features, not just utilitarian lumps of lumber to hide out back. Many are simply works of art which bring not only a warmth to the inside of Schliersee homes but also add a welcoming dimension of home and hearth to the beautiful exteriors of local buildings both modern and historic.
I hope some of these designs inspire you to get “stacking” and add a bit of Bavarian Schliersee flare to your home this winter season.
Here’s some more interesting firewood facts:
FIVE BEST BURNING TREE SPECIES
Hickory – 25 to 28 million BTUs/cord – density 37 to 58 lbs./cu.ft.
Oak – 24 to 28 million BTUs/cord – density 37 to 58 lbs./cu.ft.
Black Locust – 27 million BTUs/cord – density 43 lbs./cu.ft.
Beech – 24 to 27 million BTUs/cord – density 32 to 56 lbs./cu.ft.
White Ash – 24 million BTUs/cord – density 43 lbs./cu.ft.
American artist, photographer and professional wanderer who, after 20 years of roaming, put down roots in a 100 year old Bavarian farmhouse and fell in love with the Alpine village and its residents (both 2-legged and 4-legged).