Monday, October 4, 2010

First Fire

I'm riding on the coat tails of my last blog where I'm so excited about the changing seasons. Chrissy went grocery shopping tonight and I LOVE seeing things that she brought home in the grocery order like molasses, canned pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice....I'm loving every second of October so far...even the rain. I especially love the wood burning.

It's amazing that even though each year, by February it's such a chore, the wood stove is so exciting at the beginning of the season. We heat our home solely by burning wood. Our weapon of choice is the Jotul F400. She's a beaut of a stove...Norwegian design (and believe me, they know cold winters)..it's geared for about 1,600 sq ft. We need to heat about 1,300 sq ft. but our bedroom is the furthest room from the wood stove...which can make for some night-cap nights. But...we love it. especially because it's free heat. We've been blessed to be able to get our hands on wood for the past 7 years or so, and we've got another year or two worth of wood stored on our property already. Folks that have needed trees knocked down and offered the wood as payment...friends of the family who have needed favors or to borrow tools and have been able to compensate us in wood....it's all such a blessing.

We burn about 5 cords in a season. For those not in the know...a cord is a stack of wood 4x4x8 feet. It's no small task cutting and splitting and stacking all of this wood...but thankfully Gavin has become an asset in helping us get our wood together (Ivy still pretty much just supervises, and Mama does us good with hearty lunches and coffee).

I'm always amazed at how much wood we burn and how little ash we get in return. After all is said and done, by April we will have burned about 640 square feet of wood which will yield only 30 or 40 gallons of ash. It's amazing ...the energy potential inside 1 piece of wood. We'll use the ash as compost in our garden for next Spring.

I LOVE using wood to heat our home. Maybe part of it is because I feel like I was born in the wrong century. I watch old Little House on the Prairie episodes and part of me longs to be Pa Ingalls. I know that life was far less glamorous than they portray on the show and that after about a week of living like that I'd be loving the creature comforts that I now take for granted...but there's some thing so primal, so fun about the fireplace. No one gathers for hot chocolate and song around the electric heat register or radiator. You'll never hear a song written about "Chestnuts Roasting on an Oil Furnace". There's something so wonderful and nostalgic and pure about heating with wood. For some reason, as humans...we're drawn to fire. It's psychologically communal, and comforting.

Anyhow...here's a few pics of 2010's First Fire. I'm please d to say that Gavin used the hatchet and chopped ALL the kindling for the fire:



Gavin and I reassembling our stove after replacing a few gaskets.



"Houston...we are GO for launch"



Diggin' the heat



Ivy digs it too.

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