D-I-Why Not homestead

Holz Hausen!

My first off-brand, extra rustic Holz Hausen! If you know what these are, and lovingly craft them yourself, please look away. I mean you no harm or offense.

A Holz Hausen is a self-supporting way to season firewood — to dry it out before burning. Some folks use it as an all-in-one: both to dry green wood and store it. So when I needed to relocate our firepit wood off a rack this week, it was time to try making one of these aesthetically pleasing little scamps.

I usually see “holz hausen” translated as “wood house”. But Translate refuses to corroborate that. I couldn’t convince it “hausen” meant “house”, no matter how many leading questions I asked. Google much preferred “hausen” to mean: “live”, “hang out”, “wreak havoc”.

Wood for living, hanging out, and wreaking havoc. A fine definition for what takes place at a firepit. (Only the best wreaking havoc that is. In the language of social change, the kind of havoc wreaked by “positive deviants”…)

We visit with friends and family outside these days, and the firepit is a nice focus for wintry socializing. It’s also where I like to putter solo in my downtime. The firepit might as well be invisible for all I look at it over the summer, but when winter rolls around, I feel a driving need on Sunday mornings to pull on a snowsuit and go fry eggs in the snow.

Our firepit burns all our oversize and/or gnarly wood. By definition, wood is only there if it is a PITA. Which also means that my raw material was rough.

But I am part of the generation who believes nothing is unstackable, so long as you are humming the Tetris theme song. (Fun fact: It is called “Korobeiniki”, and is a very fun song to learn to play on ukelele.)

And I am surprised to find the Holz Hausen handled all our outlier wood like a champ! At ~4ft around, mine is half normal size, so there was a lot of improvising. And yet, though it’s only had a few days to prove itself, this island of misfit wood seems to be one solid little structure.

As our friend Em eloquently put it: “It’s a nice place where order and chaos meet… and have tea.”

Cheers to that. May order and chaos sit together in balanced companionship more often. ☕🌳