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Needless to say, we don’t park our car in the garage. Even in the summer when it’s not half-full of firewood, it’s full of gardening tools and equipment, and usually a rototiller on loan from a friend. One day maybe we’ll have a barn or shed for the tools, but in the meantime we clean & organise the garage once a year in the fall to make room for the firewood.

This will be our third winter heating primarily with wood. We have the oil furnace automatically set to go on for an hour first thing in the morning, to heat up the house as we’re getting out of bed, and then I light the fire in our heat stove. For the rest of the day, except on the coldest, windiest days of the winter, the stove is (just) enough to keep the house at a livable temperature. The furnace goes on again for an hour at dusk, when the outdoor temperature drops significantly.

The first year we heated with wood, we bought 6 (face or stove) cords and had about a cord left over at the end of the winter; however we started heating late, since our stove was on back-order and wasn’t installed until the middle of October. The second year we bought 7 cords of wood and ran out at the beginning of April. It was a very dry winter (very little snowfall) and our neighbors all said they were burning more wood than usual – the lack of snow meant less natural insulation around the foundations of houses.

This year I didn’t want to take any chances, so we bought 10 cords. Once stacked it will run the length of the garage, in a pile as high as t! can reach and three rows deep. I won’t be doing all the stacking myself, though it’s nice to know I could if I needed to. I’m managing about a cord an hour, with regular breaks. Most of my elderly, retired neighbors still stack their own firewood (everyone heats at least partly with wood out here, as it’s about half the price of oil). It’s a good job for a day like today when I want to be able to see what I’ve accomplished; having the wood safely stacked in the dry garage provides a wonderful feeling of security, “No matter what happens, at least we won’t freeze to death!” my subconscious mind says as I’m working.

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