Wecome to Dragonwood Chronicles

Tucked away deep in the woods at the southern edge of the Tug Hill region of New York. Dragonwood is our off-grid sanctuary. Six acres of pond and gardens bordered by forest on three sides.

The project began in 1995, when after a long search, Debe and I purchased the property from a local logger. To date we have built a cabin, a bridge, out house, two sheds in addition to expansive gardens and stone work. We have a generator, propane lights, refrigerator and grill, a wood stove and modest solar system. A dug well and small stream suitable for watering gardens and other needs and a nearby spring for drinking water.

The Dragonwood Chronicles will serve to document the project with photographs and notes. Future projects will include additions to the cabin, a root cellar and a studio building.

Comments and questions are always welcome.

We enjoy hearing from people who visit Dragonwood Chronicles. Please feel free to leave a comment or ask questions.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Burning Brush

Owning rural property is a lot of work if you want to take care of it and keep it nice. Even suburban property owners know the amount of work it takes to keep lawns and gardens looking good.

Dragonwood is essentially a woodlot with a pond and a one acre clearing. It is a constant battle to keep the forest from trying to reclaim the clearing. Small trees and brush have to be cut back from the edge of the clearing and from around the pond every year.

We pile the brush in the clearing and burn it when conditions are safe and the risk of the fire getting out of control are minimal. Here in the northeast we are essentially in a northern rain forest so growth is fast, but most years we have adequate rainfall to make burning safe.

Larger trees, anything about 2 inches in diameter or bigger are cut up for firewood. Junk species (Poplar, Hemlock, etc) we use for campfires, but the hardwoods (Maple, Black Cherry and Beech) are saved for the wood stove.

Each weekend I try to bring some wood home for heating during the winter. Today I have two spindly standing dead Black Cherry trees. These trees have no value as timber but will make excellent firewood. They are a good 40 feet tall but not very big around or straight. Disease or shade out killed them and they have now dried completely out and await the chain saw. I love these finds as the wood needs no drying time and clearing them is all part of good wood lot management. Free heat is a beautiful thing!

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