Monday, November 17, 2008

The Art of The Woodstove

One of the things that I love about being a beginning farmer is that so much of what I'm learning and doing is an art. That doesn't mean that I'm always successful or that I get everything done the way I would like it to be done, but I do appreciate the fact that our farm life is so much more than a bunch of ordered steps. In my case I have experienced and grown up around much of what we are doing, but never have been the "one" doing everything. I would just lend a hand here or there and often observe. Now, I am having to learn how to be the artist...

Case in point. Burning wood in a woodstove is an art. You might as well just throw away that instruction manual or better yet, just use it to start a fire (just kidding). But, really it is an art form to get a good burning fire in a stove. Each stove is different, each home is different, each chimney is different, and even every log is different. You must learn how to make all of those pieces come together to make the picture.

I am slowly learning our stove and the wood. Getting a good hot burn with the stove full open is easy, but finding that perfect long burn position is taking some getting used to (and the manual was worthless for this). Nevertheless it is in the low thirties outside right now and really windy, but in our house it is 73 degrees and rising! I will admit that there is a great sense of satisfaction in knowing our house, that was built by a community of our friends and us, is being heated by the wood I cut this afternoon on our farm!

Hopefully at some point very late in my life I will be an accomplished artist that can pass on a little bit, but for now I'm enjoying learning the art from those around me.

**P.S. Our walls aren't yellow ... they just look that way in the picture.**


Susan Catt said...

I want to share that you and your wife and your farm "artistry" in the making is very inspiring to me! I have a blogging friend who is, wih ther husband, living a sustainable farm lifestyle in Idaho. They also give me great inspiration. I am planning a move to Colorado this next year and in the face of the so called recession that you discuss above I plan to begin a new life with on a small but sustainable piece of ground.

I'll be visitng often to pick your brain.

Thanks for the great blog!


Anonymous said...

I purchased a new stove this year but have burned wood for 25 yrs.
Be patient, burn seasoned(6 mo. min.),and clean your chimney/pipes regularly. There is nothing like wood heat !!

PFH said...

Pack your stove full, as full as you can get it, and once you have a roaring fire going, turn it all the way down. It will keep your house warm all night.

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