The installation of our wood stove brought about a new need, firewood. The first round of wood we struggled to get to our house in the back of our jeep. It took about three trips to get the wood seen in the picture here to our house. That clearly was not very efficient, though the price (free) was right. Now that we had the wood we had to split it. After a few tries with our ax we realized that another tool was needed. Continue reading
Tag Archives: wood
Last summer we were researching alternate home heating solutions, well we settled on an option! We decided to go with a Jotul Wood Burning Cast-Iron Stove. We were able to pick up a floor model from a company that recently changed locations for a steep discount. We hooked it up through our existing fireplace and obtained a fire/heat resistant floor mat to place in front of the stove to keep our floor from melting.
Using firewood that we can obtain for free through websites like craigslist we have been able to use the stove to reduce our home heating costs. Unfortunately modern homes are not usually designed to be heated using stoves so the air movement is less than ideal, especially in a town-house. The result is that we still use our HVAC fan to circulate air, which does use electricity, though still much better than having to pay for heating gas. Continue reading
George and I want to grow more goodness in our garden! We discussed how to do this, and decided on creating some raised beds. The first will go right where this row of dead bushes is.
We transplanted the bushes from a friend’s yard. We hoped they would screen the beehives a bit and protect that area from the rest of the yard. Well, the bushes did not survive the transplant. I have since ripped them out, and now we have a rectangle of dirt where they were. It’s the perfect place for our first raised bed!
Since we knew this project would take a lot of wood, we decided to make it out of pallets. This would be cheaper, and environmentally friendly since we were reusing. I will note that it was a pain to take apart the pallets. This project was a bit more manual labor than many of our projects.
Well, George is at it again. Or more aptly, I’ve put him up to it again. Improving the house, that is.
Inside the home, we have done an amazing amount of work to improve the place in one short year. One eyesore that remained was a set of carpeted stairs. This staircase was the only carpeted area in the house, and the carpet was trashed. The color wasn’t great to begin with, and there were pet stains to boot.
Well, we lived with this carpeted staircase for a year. Every time we had a party, I cringed at the thought of people seeing the stained stairs. But we had too many other things to do, until now…. Continue reading
Have you ever thought about how you’d stay warm if your home’s heating system was not available? What would you do during a winter storm if the power and gas went out? What if the furnace and/or fan in your system broke during a storm and service was unavailable?
Our house has a “prefab” fireplace which means there is actually a negative heat flow in our home when we have a fire in our current fireplace. So if we had to rely on our fireplace to heat our home we’d be really in bad shape!
We wish we had an alternate heat source for our home that we could use to address the questions raised at the beginning of this post as well as improve our current fireplace setup so that we don’t double pay for energy when we enjoy the fireplace now. Continue reading
Martha and I would like to share with you our experience building our own Barrel Top Bar Hives (TBH). This is not meant to be a step-by-step tutorial, but rather a general overview of the steps we took and lessons learned during the process,. There are plenty of excellent step-by-step tutorials out on the internet you can follow if you need that level of help. You’re also welcome to post questions here and we’ll happily answer them to assist you in your process!
The largest component in a barrel TBH is obviously the barrel. Lots of people from what we read online said they had cheap to free access to 55-gallon food grade barrels but we had to buy ours. If you live in the Northern Virginia area we highly recommend NOVA Barrel. They have a great selection of barrels and very reasonable prices. We were able to get a food grade 55-gallon barrel from NOVA Barrel for just $35. One thing that was really nice about the model they had was the top rim completely snapped off when we were cutting the barrel in half which provided a flatter surface and eliminated the need to cut the rim off (a step shown in the earlier referenced tutorial).