Monday, September 29, 2008

A Little About Woodstoves

I guess this is really a little about my woodstove but, you get the idea. I have posted about this stove before but thought this might be a good time of year to bring it up again. We were looking for a used fireplace insert last summer without any luck. There were some out there but not what we were looking for. When it seemed all hope for a used one was lost a call came, it was Liv's uncle back in West Virginia. He asked if we had ever found a stove yet, no we hadn't. He then proceeded to tell us that a friend that I had went to school with back in the day had one that he said we could have for FREE !!! Liv's uncle Scotty looked it over and said it looked to be in great working condition, just needed a little paint. So I was off to WV on a stove run. My friend (Conrad) who had the stove said he was just goning to haul it to the junk yard because he couldn't find anyone that wanted it. Think about that, no one was willing to just pick this stove up for free. Well after I got home with the stove I cleaned it up a bit and spray painted it with heat resistent black paint and it was ready to go. Fit our space perfect and looks pretty good too.
There is a 10 inch lip on the top that can be used to cook or just heat water if need be. By turning the blower off the top of the stove gets really hot fast. This could be a life saver in an emergency situation. We keep this old iron pot filled with water during heating season to put a little moisture into the air. Another thing to consider when purchasing a stove is the blower. Ours has one and it is wonderful to sit in front of the stove on those cold nights and mornings. The hot air warms your bones and the room too. A stove without a blower is not as bad as you may think though. You can just set a floor fan in front of the stove and it helps to pull the warm air through the house. Another thing to keep in mind is the draft control, this ofcourse controls the amount of air that the stove takes in through a vent somewhere on the stove. Ours is on the sides near the bottom. The more you open them, the more air goes into the fire box. And we all know that a fire needs air to burn, more air, more fire. Once your fire box gets good and hot it will pull air (draw) into the fire. At this point you can close your draft a little so your fire dosen't get too hot or just burn up fast. At night I load my stove with good dry hardwood, let it catch up and get good and hot and then close the draft almost completly. This allows the fire to just sit and smolder all through the night. The next morning, open the draft, poke it a few times and your back in the heat. Keep in mind that all stoves operate differently, even 2 of the same exact stoves will have their own personalities. If you're purchasing one for the first time, like my friend Marie and her family, just keep a close eye on the fire and the stove and you will soon learn how to use your stove to keep your home and most importantly your family nice and warm this winter. Always use CAUTION!!!!
There is an ash pan in the bottowm behind a small door to remove the ashes, these go into the compost pile and on the garden area in general. Wood ashes are a very good amendment to your soil, adding, among other things, lye. If one is ambitious enough you can use these ashes to make lye soap also.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Punkins, Punkins Everywhere !!!

First let me say that I am very sorry it's been so long since the last post. This simple life that I am trying to live is getting more complicated by the day. Long story and I'm not going to bore you with my problems.

We harvested some punkins and gourds from the garden the other day. Got some nice looking gourds and some yummy punkins.
This is not what I had in mind as food storage but, atleast it's a start. haha!!My girls cleaning out 2 punkins and getting ready to carve them.Katie getting a hand full of punkin flesh.We ofcourse roasted the seeds and they were great.Made 2 loafs of pumpkin bread with this recipe from pick your own. I have already eaten half of one of them. Sooooo Gooooood.Pureed some of the pumpkin to freeze. Seems it's not really recommended to can pumpkin.
Savannah's pumpkin. Katie's Thomas the Train pumpkin.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Trying to get back !!

Sorry to all, I have been gone and really busy as of late. Gonna try to post an update in a day or two.