Southern Fuelwood’s Sustainability Statement
Long before the word sustainability became popular, Southern Fuelwood was already practicing the pillars of sustainability——environmental stewardship, social responsibility and economic innovation. We believe that our efforts to be socially and environmentally responsible, contribute to our overall business success. Not only is Southern Fuelwood committed to sustainable practices, but we have developed strong relationships with our private and commercial landowner wood suppliers, foresters, and loggers, who recognize as we do, that it makes good sense also for their businesses and communities. These partners practice sustainable forest management and have a track record of sound harvesting practices. Southern Fuelwood’s mission is to promote the responsible use of Florida’s forest resources through a variety of successful services, using sustainable practices.
Everybody is talking about “eco-friendly” products. When Southern Fuelwood refers to its “eco-friendly” products it is looking at the entire production cycle of the product, from the raw wood to the final finished products, not some unique “eco-friendly” label. The wood and by-products of processing at Southern Fuelwood do not add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere because wood absorbs the same amount of carbon dioxide while it is growing as it releases when it is consumed as fuel thereby supporting a sustainable environment.
Southern Fuelwood is helping resolve sustainability concerns by researching energy alternatives for our drying kilns. At present we have several biomass fed kilns. We plan to convert the remaining kilns from gas to biomass fuel, thereby disposing of our waste wood and protecting natural resources as well as the environment.
Southern Fuelwood is also working on a project that is developing gasification of biomass as a source of energy. When implemented, we will be able to generate our own electrical power using our waste wood materials and reducing our oil and gas dependency.
Southern Fuelwood regularly communicates with forestry professionals on current trends and technical matters related to best management practices. Good professional relationships have led to close working opportunities with the State Department of Agriculture, research personnel at the University of Florida’s School of Forest Resources and Conservation and Engineering College. Southern Fuelwood was instrumental in the State of Florida’s research and implementation of Rule 5B-65 that requires heat treatment of firewood products used in Florida whether it is produced within or outside the state thereby protecting our forest from the infestation of wood boring pests.
Membership and active participation in the Florida Forestry Association, Society of American Foresters, the Florida Tree Farmers and other professional organizations, serve Southern Fuelwood well as resources for “issues in question” and keep us informed on legislation affecting forestry and the future of forestry and its sustainability.
As owner/operator of Southern Fuelwood for three decades, Patrick McKenzie Post, a fourth generation Floridian from a family of forest landowners of more than a 1,000 acres of continually reforested land, is uniquely positioned to influence how future generations will experience the state’s natural heritage. Through respon-sible, science-based natural resource conservation in his company’s every day routine, Pat confirms his diligence to meet his commitment to continue his family’s long-standing legacy of “leaving the land in a better condition when it is passed on to the next generation.”
Pat Post and Southern Fuelwood have proven through an unwavering commitment to supporting issues involving the protection of forestry, agriculture, and the environment that we are truly dedicated to his family’s history of long-term planning and best practices to guarantee that Florida’s forests and other natural resources will always remain sustainable.
Seasoned firewood has been cut and split and left out to dry by the natural evaporation of its moisture. This firewood, depending on how and where it is stored, can take up to a year to get down to levels below 20% when it starts to become good firewood.
Kiln dried firewood has been cut and split and placed in containers of various sizes that have primarily gas fired burners that heat the air to high temperature in order to rapidly draw down the moisture content of the wood to whatever level is desired. Both processes will dry the wood, but kiln drying can reduce the moisture content below that of seasoning and at a much faster rate.
Southern Fuelwood offers kiln dried wood that also meets Rule 5B-65 standards set by the State of Florida.
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The State of Florida passed Rule 5B-65 in August of 2010 in an effort to halt the spread of forest destroying pest like the Emerald Ash Borer and others that have been devastating the forests of the northeast. The Rule requires unprocessed wood to be heat treated to 160 degrees of internal temperature and held there for at least 75 minutes in a sealed chamber (kiln) to kill any pests within the wood. This can also be achieved by fumigation of the firewood with approved chemicals in a confined chamber for set times and concentrations, but this process does not dry the wood. Rule 5B-65 guidelines are the same as the U.S.D.A. certification process requires for wood that is transported in or through quarantined areas.
Southern Fuelwood uses kilns to heat treat and dry its firewood to precise levels and feels this is safer for woods that will be used for cooking and heating.
This is a question that is hotly debated by all cooks from the professional to the back yard enthusiast. Everything from the species of wood to the moisture content and what is being cooked are important factors in making the final decision. It all adds to the fun of cooking with wood and determining your favorite combination of meat, wood and method. A general guideline is to use good quality hardwoods that have been kiln dried to a moisture content of 15% or less and have an aromatic quality that matches the food you are preparing. Smokers tend to like a higher moisture content and strongly aromatic woods like hickory and mesquite, while those cooking more delicate and milder meats, poultry and fish will select dryer, milder woods like oak, cherry, pecan and fruitwoods. And we haven’t even gotten into sauces, marinades and rubs.
Southern Fuelwood offers kiln dried Oak, Hickory, Cherry, Pecan and other southern hardwoods in a variety of cuts, splits, chips, chunks and grilling woods in bags, boxes or bulk pallets. Contact us for your specific needs firstname.lastname@example.org
Hardwoods that have been dried to a moisture content of less than 20 percent work well. They light easily and continue to burn all the way through with a hot steady flame. Wood that is above 25% typically will be difficult to light and tend to steam and smoke and be hard to keep burning. Soft woods often contain too much resin that can be a maintenance problem for chimneys and burn too fast. Oak is the predominant hardwood for firewood due to good burning qualities, great aroma and abundance. Hickory, Cherry, Pecan and other hardwoods work well but are usually a little more expensive. Southern Fuelwood uses 95% Oak and a 5% mixture of Hickory, Cherry and other hardwoods that have been kiln dried to 15% or less moisture content in its firewood product.