Only wood and termal solar energy are the resources to warm up water that we use to cook, for heating and for personal cleaning. That’s one big reason why at Cascina Rodiani there is not CO2 addet to the atmophear, zero extra emmission. This post will be about our firewood cycle production.
A tree when it dead naturaly will release the same ammount of CO2 that it realease if it his burning, with out extra emmission of CO2 and for this reason it is consider CO2 neutral. Nicholas Theodore de Saussure, in 1804, discover that plant heat CO2 and expel oxigene, something that it is very important for us and all spieces. It if funny but it is possible to say that with out CO2 there will be no life.
We manage our wood land according we our needs, and we need it to fuel the cooker, the living room fireplace, the wood-fired sauna and the wood-burning furnace and the capacity of the wood to regenerate, our landscape interest, territory and facilities protection. We have to consider the slaughters, each species as peculiar maturation, the stock managing, the different cutting types and finally think about the waste. Each firewood dry in different period and perfect dry wood it is the better way to reduce all the other toxic exhalations emmission.
Branches and leaves are our main green waste but also the bark that detaching from the trunks when they are split before storing them, as well as the ash resulting from combustion. We mince all green parts coming from the tree cutting, the pruning or the vegetable garden so that they can brew in the compost heaps that becames humus approximately one year later. On the other hand the dried branches and trees are left in the wood to facilitate the necrophagous insects (Lucanus cervus is the most important one). The Cascina and his land are in a natural area of National interest an area smaler but more valuable inside the Regional Park Spina Verde.
In the same way, we mince the barks for the flower beds and pots mulching. The ash from the combustion goes partly in the wood, partly in the vegetable garden and in the compost heaps. It’s a circular system in which we give back the organic matter we draw.
The biodynamic calendar tells us when to cut plants. We realy trust on it because we saw the different of “water” in trees and plant between cutting it in a ascending or descending moon (not crescent and waning moon) and for a good dry wood you have to cut trees in descending moon.
Now there to many trees, this once abandoned land gave new life to the wood and raised a lot of tight and high trees which are unstable and weak besides shading the undergrowth. Every year the wind or the snow contributes to select plants by wrecking and eradicating trees though without deciding what to slaughter, where and neither when.
Birches are decreasing and always weaker: they are pioneering trees that will be soon replaced by long lasting species. The larch as well is slowly disappearing here and moving to higher altitudes.
In our surroundings you can find wild chestnuts trees, scots pines, black pines, some spruces in the wetter areas, field maples, oaks, walnut trees, ash trees and some varieties of beech. The non-natcrescent and waning moonive robinia and paper mulberry as every succesfull colonizer are aggressive and invasive.
Managing firewood and the wood is our main activity from mid of Autumn till the end of the cold winter. Here natural gas is not available, neither do we have LPG or diesel tanks. If we want heating and hot water, we have to get ahead of work and start to manage our resources at least one year before. Trying to do it in the best way balancing our comfort demands, our vision of this landscape and nature.