We're in the process of building a bunch of hugels in our zones 1/2. Check it out!
Usually when someone harvests a tree for lumber/firewood, the slash (branches and stuff) is just left there on the forest floor. In large forestry operations it's often piled up and burned off. We'd rather put it to good use in our garden.
Every day, every season there is change, something new to observe, and constant learning. Permaculture has the dimensions of a life-oriented chess game, involving the elements, energy, and the dimensions of both life-forms and building structures (also with political, social, financial, and global implications).
in many places (all over the west coast where i have lived) you can get permits to go collect this stuff from state and national forests, after logging companies.
its a pretty depressing scene for a tree lover, they do leave some of these areas a MESS! but it is certainly a good chance to stock up on nearly free firewood easily - and for gardens =) . they leave so much behind thats easily chopped down. it's certainly way easier than felling trees, and even though a lot of the wood is smaller theres sometimes huge pieces that are already partially chopped up.
the permits are like $10 -$20 or so for a season or year and you can usually talk to the people and get good maps and locations where the best stuff is.
i've known more than a few people with the motivation to use that permit to collect all that slash wood and saw it up to sell off and deliver the best of the firewood for an income too.
btw, that looks great =) keep up the good work
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