Firewood Blocks: A Busy Farmgirl's New Best Friend
Both The Shack and the new building (which we're actually getting sort of close to moving into—finally!) are heated with wood. There's an inefficient potbellied stove in the living room of The Shack that looks cute and feels wonderful if you're cozied up to it, but it barely heats the other rooms in our poorly built and uninsulated old home.
The new building, on the other hand, has the opposite problem—we bought a massive wood furnace and probably went a little overboard. It's made in Minnesota, and it turns out their idea of 'mild fall weather' is at least 30 degrees colder than ours. But so far it works beautifully, and I'm sure we'll quickly get spoiled by the joys of having central heat. I do love to pile on the quilts and blankets and snuggle up in polarfleece come winter, but I'm pretty sure I won't miss waking up to find a thin layer of ice on the water glass next to my bed.
Since we're used to drafts and both get claustrophobic quickly, we figure that once we're moved into our new double-insulated, draft-free living quarters we'll simply keep a couple of windows cracked open all winter long. This sounds like a perfect plan to me—stay warm and yet still have plenty of fresh air. Kind of like when I used to drive around in a convertible in California with the top down and the heater on.
Because the new plumbing has been hooked up in the new building (yes!), we now have both the little woodstove and the big wood furnace going, which means we're burning a lot of firewood. (The little woodstove is so inefficient it actually uses almost as much wood as the furnace.) We usually cut our own firewood, but lately we've been supplementing with these wood blocks that are scraps from a local mill. We have a dumptruck load delivered at a time, and we're discovering that they're really convenient.
When we gather our own firewood, we either cut down dead trees in the woods on our property, or we cut up trees that have fallen over on their own. Once in a while we'll cut down a live tree if it will make more space for the others around it. It's hard but rewarding work. With these blocks, it's nice knowing that we're making good use of something that's essentially waste. And it's even nicer knowing that we can be a little lazy when it comes to keeping our woodpile stocked—especially when it's 28 degrees outside and snowing.
Want to see more firewood photos?
9/6/05: The Hay Is In, So Now It's Firewood Season
10/25/05: Nothing Feels Quite Like Wood Heat
10/26/05: Where We Cut Firewood
10/26/05: Why We Cut Firewood
12/11/05: Firewood Getting Low. Ever Cut in the Snow?
2/21/06: Note to Self Re Snowstorm Preparation
12/4/07: Just Another Day At the Office
© Copyright 2008 FarmgirlFare.com, the award-winning blog where there's no 'we' in the 'we cut firewood'—it's just my hunky farmguy. I'm a crackerjack wood loader and unloader, and I can clomp around in the woods with the best of them, but I leave the chainsawing and splitting to him. A girl's gotta draw the line somewhere—and besides, it's a lot more fun to watch.