If a picture is worth a thousand words, then here’s a story-in-pix that should be worth a good ten grand:
PS to the story: We’ve still got mountains of woody waste lying around… And now we’re back into heavy pruning once again! Little branches of young soft fruit trees are not such a problem, but gnarly old wood like we have coming out of our orange orchard is another story. Of course sheep are happy to have first crack at those branches:
-but then the real work begins. Of course orange wood is a lovely thing to feed into our pizza oven, but laying it up for such use took a good few days of hauling/ cutting/ carrying/ stacking, just to yield -what, a cord or few of logs & kindling?
Quite apart from the work involved, it’s just wrong to be burning great quanities of this stuff. No great sin to fire up the pizza oven once/ month (and even if it is… Mmm! :-), but given that we don’t really need fire for anything else around here as we get thermal energy from sun more directly, what we really need to do is create a more efficient pipeline for turning our woody “wastes” into topsoil.
What i’ve learned about chipping thus far, via school of hard knocks (as in that Imgur album above) is: you gotta “go big or go home,” as we say in USA. Only thing that really works in my experience is a tub grinder; search YouTube for one of those, and what you’ll find is mostly massive machines by Vermeer and Morbark that cost a fortune and are stationary. What we need is a trailerable unit that can go wherever the wood piles are, and render whatever woody “wastes” we can feed it into usable soil (precursors) as efficiently as possible. Closest thing i have found in that category of chipper is this reasonably portable unit, which -although pushing the limits of size i would consider acceptable (i.e. 130hp diesel)- is practically too big for hand feeding… And then the end product is not so special, IMHO.