|A wheelbarrow full of split maple, elm, and mulberry.|
Summer fuel can be found anywhere: the maple twigs that have fallen on top of the chicken run, the small pieces of wood which seem to multiply on the ground in the pasture, the sticks which should be picked up before mowing the yard, the stray scraps of lumber which any construction project inevitably produces, the dry corn cobs that can be found everywhere in my world, or the pile of bark which falls off logs as they are split for winter fuel. The list is endless. Truthfully, a great deal of my summer fuel comes from my 86-year-old grandmother who is constantly picking up various combustible materials from her farmstead. She puts them into used cat food sacks and ice cream buckets and brings them over when the pile in her garage gets too big.
|A wheelbarrow of summer cookstove fuel.|
The key thing to remember when burning summer fuel is that the fire will have to be tended much more frequently than a fire made with winter fuel would be. But that is what you want: a fire that will go out as soon as you are done with it. If you are using a wood cookstove for summer cooking, using appropriate summer fuel will help to make it a less uncomfortably hot experience.