About a month ago the wood briquettes arrived, and a few weeks after that the winter’s firewood. The prices were good (3.25 per pack for the briquettes and 55 euro per square meter for mixed firewood), and our three meters and 20 packs have all been safely stacked away in Frankenshed. By the Beard. Because according to one of the midwives we met with, I really shouldn’t be lifting more than five kilos (about 10 pounds). That sounds like a shockingly low number to me (and interestingly, the American books on the subject all say that 30 to 40 pounds is fine up to the last trimester), but not wanting to put myself in the hospital for overzealousness, I sat back and let the Beard take care of the moving and hauling. It is a strange feeling, needing to ask for help for all sorts of tasks that I am used to doing by myself. Then again, I was always the kind of person who would drag an enormous peice of furniture by myself for miles before I would take the time to get someone to help. True story.
The last few weeks have seen an unexpected return to summer weather, but in the last few days fall has arrived, the leaves have started to drop, and I swallowed my pride and lit the wood stove for the first time. I like to wait as long as possible to start consuming the season’s ration of wood—especially when I remember that we ran out about three weeks too soon last year. But it was just cold enough that I needed to be overly bundled up to be comfortable inside, and I bit the briquette and lit up. Heating at this time of year is kind of amazing. With ten or fifteen minutes of fire you can get the whole trailer warm for five hours or more.
The wood briquettes, with which I’ve never really heated before, are made of pressed bark. The Wagenplatz down the street has been ordering them for the last few years, and one woman told me that when she throws one of these in the stove at night, she still has hot embers in the morning. What luxury! Since the Beard and I have always heated exclusively with wood (and our wood stoves probably aren’t the most perfect out there), we have never had embers in the morning and have to start our fires from scratch every single day. We figured that this winter, with the baby in the picture, we’d need something to heat with that was going to be a little more convenient. We both refuse to use coal, so here’s crossing fingers, toes, and eyes that the wood briquettes turn out to be as good as promised.
Do you heat with wood? Are your supplies all in for the winter? Have you needed to light up yet this season? (And on the off chance that some parents who live off grid or heat with wood stoves are reading, I’d LOVE to hear about your experiences balancing wood stoves and new borns.)
This post was a part of the Homestead Barn Hop at The Prairie Homestead.