Sunday, October 2, 2011


Temperatures are dropping again. I really can't complain- it's October already!  We've had great weather this summer and fall.  The best since we moved up north.  But all good things must come to pass, so these cooler days are a friendly reminder that winter is not far away.  And I don't like to be cold.  And I don't like to work outside in the cold.  So I best get my ass in gear if I'm going to make it into hybernation before snowfall.

We have four wood stoves, which each will hold different sizes of wood.  This is the sunroom wood pile.  It's almost done.  The lean-to is full, but I like to have an extra row in front that we use through the fall.  The sunroom is where we enter the house.  The stove is small, the box about 12"X12" square, and 18" deep.  I prefer the wood for it to be very dry pine.  it's the first fire we light in the morning, to take the chill off as soon as we open the door to let the dogs out.  We let it go out in the afternoon, except on the coldest days.

The real heat source is in the basement.  We have a wood oil combination furnace.  The box is 20"X24" and 24" deep.  We cut the wood for it much longer than the sunroom wood.  The basement holds 6 rows, 10'X8'.  I need another 2.5 rows right now.  We drop the wood in through the window and down the slide.  We also keep a pile of 'over-nighters' under the basement stairs.  Very large pieces that won't burn up over night with the dampeners turned down low.

Then there's Homework House.  It was the trailer and add-a-room we built for f-i-l, but he went to live with Husband's brother in the spring.  It's now Homework House because #1 uses Dragon Naturally Speaking to do his homework, and it doesn't like the background noise created by little brothers. 

It's also really nice to have a clean work space available, with all the supplies they need, and not have to worry about getting them off the kitchen table for supper, or canning, or company dropping in.  They take their back packs over after school, and they can work for a bit, take a break, and come back and find everything the way they left it.

The wood for this stove is dropped in from about a 12" diameter hole in the top.  We cut it at about 10" long.  We have room for almost two more rows in the lean-to, and three rows in front.  Since this is the first year, and it won't be burning all day long, we don't know how much wood we'll need here.

The garage stove is similar style, but smaller.  We use the little stubbies like these for it.  The pieces we cut off the ends of other wood.

The Littles and I have been busy the past couple of weeks cleaning up branches and dead trees in the pasture, and clearing the trail from my parents place to the spring.  There's enough dead fall and dead standing wood to keep our fires burning for at least two more years.  We just need to get it cut up and brought up to the house!


  1. i come from ottawa and have been to northern ontario many times - you need LOT of wood to make it through the winter - boy are you stocking up - VERY impressive!!!

    just curious, do you have a lot of maple/birch readily available - looks like it from the pics.


  2. That's a lot of wood. That would be a great expense where I live. Of course, deadfall and lots of guys to haul and cut makes it very doable for you. I thought pine put too much pitch in the chimney and made the stove use dangerous.

  3. Thanks Jambaloney, and welcome! No maple, we're farther north than that. There is some birch available, but the logging companies have dibs on it. Our license allows us only 20 cords/year, and even if I wanted to, I'd have a real hard time finding that much. I also have personal issues with cutting live trees, when there is so much deadfall available. Our wood is about half and half pine and poplar, with a bit of alder, cherry, tamarack and birch.

    PP- The bigs and Husband have more important work to do than firewood, for the most part, since they're not around much with work and school. The littles and I are capable, so unless the weather really takes a nose dive, we'll keep plugging away at it on our own.

    If we had to buy wood, it would be several thousand dollars a year (average right now is $65/face cord). This is one of the monetary values I add to the household as a SAHM.

    Stove use is dangerous, and chimneys and pipes need to be cleaned regularly for safety. You do your best to produce less creosote. Burn dry wood over green, as little paper as possible, hot fires, not smoldering, etc. Jack pine is pretty much the best heat source we have available here.

  4. Wendy - you and the littles rock! and from reading through your back posts - you add a lot of value to your household by being a SAHM!

    i admire the crap out of you. and am learning much. thank you!