Homesteading | Projects | Ranch Life | Seasons | Tips & Tricks | Winter

A Life Powered by Fire

February 26, 2011

It might be hard to believe… But some people still heat their house with fire. Fire! The ancient technique of making heat, vastly outnumbered these days by automatic systems that turn on when the temperature of the house falls below a certain point. Wow, that is some great technology and I’m not against it in any sort of way, it would make our lives easier if we had central heating, but we do enjoy the wood stove. It might seem like there are countless advantages to having central air, but after this rough winter… I’ll take the wood stove. There are several advantages to having a wood stove.

1. For some reason the power goes out quite often out here. It sure is an inconvenience but at least we still have heat! This has to be the biggest advantage of having a wood stove, because we might not have lights but at we aren’t freezing.

2. When the power goes out, not only do we have heat but we also have a place to cook food as well. In fact, one day the power was out all morning and so I decided to start cooking lunch on the wood stove, of course as soon as I finished cooking the power came back on, but that seemed to be the most rewarding meal.

3. Having a house heated by fire requires us to clean up the ranch! This is a really good advantage in disguise. It can be a pain to go collect firewood and make sure that you have a supply to last you through the entire winter, but that makes us clean up the barnyard and the creek near our house. We then go pick up dead trees and random pieces of wood scattered all over the place, which in turn, makes our little home look beautiful!

4. That little stove does so much! Our house is pretty open so we have the stove in the kitchen and it heats the entire house. Our house isn’t that big, but it still only takes one little stove putting out enough heat to keep us warm!

5. The most obvious advantage is that it doesn’t cost us hardly anything to have a wood stove. Sometimes if you don’t have time to go get wood then you have to buy it, but that would be the only major expense. No heating bill here which is a major money saver! We just have to work a little harder to keep it up and running.

6. Now lets be serious here… The main reason why it’s great to have a stove powered by fire, is because my husband has to go out and chop wood everyday; this keeps him in the best physical condition and there is nothing wrong with your spouse staying in tip-top shape 🙂

Here on the ranch we use fire for a lot of different things. We don’t have a trash service, so we burn our trash (don’t worry we still recycle). Fire is used to clear brush and dead trees (not used during the dry season), and it’s great for getting rid of old stumps!

Fire is a great tool here on the ranch, but it also can be dangerous as well. Since we do live in a desert it especially important to be careful with fire during the dry months. A ranchers entire range can be destroyed in a very short amount of time if a fire gets out of control. During the dry season they have 4-wheelers with huge tubs of water on the back of them and if there is a bad lightening storm they go out and check to make sure there isn’t a fire starting.

Besides some of the drawbacks there is a lot of good use out of fire, but one must understand and respect the power and destruction fire can cause. It sure heats our house well!

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