It has been so cold these past few weeks. We’ve been burning wood in the wood stove almost every day, and all through the night. But today as my husband carried an arm-load of logs into the house he said, “Well, that’s the last of the wood.”
Not the last of our pile. But the last of our dry, seasoned wood. The rest is still fresh, and wet, and won’t be any good to burn until it has cured for most of the year.
Chopping wood is one chore that has been hard for us to have time to do. My husband still works a full time job, six days a week, which doesn’t leave him much time to get into the woods with his saw and ax.
We were super blessed to have a friend come over last weekend and help us get a bunch of good hardwood cut from a huge maple which had fallen over the summer. But those beautiful logs won’t be ready to burn until next Winter.
I shudder at the thought of turning the electric heat back on. Last month’s power bill was outrageous, and I just got a letter from our electric co-op this week saying that prices will be going up soon. The push to get off-grid has never been stronger, and yet we are held back by one important factor- running water. You know. Hot showers, flushing toilets. Is it possible to have without spending a fortune in solar panels? If we can just figure out an affordable way to get running water without the use of electricity, a major hurdle will be behind us.
Before we ever started heating our home with wood, I didn’t realize that you can’t just go out into the forest, cut up a tree, and bring it in for the fire. I knew nothing of the curing process. It stinks to look out into the yard and see a big pile of split logs just sitting there, knowing you can’t use them for another year.
We have got to be better this year about building our woodpile before we need it again. I appreciate that we have electric heat if we need it, but I hope to be able to turn it off after this winter and never use it again.