Cooking sausages in a wood fired oven

Having lit some 10 fires of ever increasing size in our new wood oven in order to ‘cure’ the construction (slowly drive out all the moisture) it was nice to declare the oven open and pop in a few appropriately named ‘firecracker’ sausages from Taylors at Lathom.

At last… Dinner is served!

Cooking Sausages in a wood fired oven
Cooking sausages in a wood fired oven

Growing our own firewood

Many years ago we abandoned the idea of being able to own our own woodland as there is so little of it in West Lancashire in the first place and, of that, it is very rare that it comes up for sale.

But, rather than admit defeat, we bought some arable land and field by field planted our own energy crop; species that thrived on rotational coppicing. In the first instance this was predominantly ash which we grew on from seeds collected from some fine local specimens. As the dreaded ‘ash dieback’ or Chalara dieback of ash (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) to give it it’s proper title, gained a foothold in the UK we thought it pretty pointless in planting any more ash and started growing a wider mix of species such as willow, alder and sycamore. We also trialled a few eucalyptus varieties (from seed) to see how they compared to the vigorous growth of the hybrid willows.

Many claims about the fast growth of hybrid willow exist on the internet and we really wanted to test them out for ourselves. Having grown some willow stools as breeding stock for new cuttings we  knocked them back and vowed to document the progress each year up until they made useable logs.

I will keep this post updated annually with progress.

Hybrid Willow Trials

Eucalyptus Trials







Making rustic table numbers

I have been getting a bit behind with restocking our rustic table numbers and with the wedding season ramping up today was the day to put that right.

Cutting rustic log table numbers
Cutting rustic log table numbers

They are easily made from any suitable, seasoned logs but risking your fingers in a band saw to save a couple of pounds is not to everyones taste.

Our bespoke designs are always a favourite with restaurants but recently the trend has been towards the same rustic log design but with a blackboard paint finish. We have seen them used as table numbers, place names and for individualised messages, some very romantic, some very rude! Either way at just £10 for 5 they are proving very popular.

Each individual piece is made  by me from Silver Birch trees that I actually planted, grew on, harvested and seasoned so you can be assured it is sourced from a sustainable source.

Rustic log table number
Rustic log table ‘message board’

The surface available to write on is approximately 7cm wide and (depending on what you use to write on them with) they can be wiped clean and re-used or easily repainted.

Painted (or plain) rustic table numbers / place names are available to order from in packs of 5 so any ‘losses’ can be easily replaced.

Bespoke designs for weddings are welcomed with enough notice!

Bespoke rustic table numbers
Bespoke rustic table numbers are priced individually