In Permaculture there is a principle of stacking functions--getting the most out of one element. This might be keeping chickens for both eggs and manure (and entertainment!) or planting something that is edible and a natural mulch. I was looking at our property (all .07 acres of it) and thought of our front fence.
In its own ramshackle way it serves a few purposes. One, it is our firewood for the winter. With southern exposure the green wood gets plenty of sun to dry it. It is also conveniently placed so we can easily traipse out to retrieve it. (Of course just about anything would be considered convenient given our small lot.)
Second, the woodpile provides a privacy screen. Eventually we would like to have a latilla fence, but in the meantime, this woodpile will do just fine, thank you. We are situated right on a corner and, although our street is not busy, I like having just a touch of privacy. I also like the idea of our view changing as winter progresses and the wood pile dwindles. The neighborhood kids might find that intriguing once we get the front garden growing. Little by little the veggies and fruit trees will be revealed, not to mention a glimpse of the chickens out back! Makes gardening sound fun, almost magical, even.
Third, I think some wildlife is also finding the pile a cozy place to spend the winter. My hope is that snakes and black widows will find it utterly inhospitable. I realize that I am in total denial and, when I have to collect wood, I will be sure to wear gloves and carry osha root.
Fourth, it looks pretty cool if you ask me. How many woodpile fences have you seen?
And, lastly, where else could we put 2+ cords of wood on our postage stamp of land?!
Of course our wood stove is still waiting for a chimney and a hole in the roof to accommodate said chimney. Until then the "fence" will maintain its current height and continue to season in the sun harboring who knows what from the animal kingdom. Here's to stacking functions!