The last few warm days of autumn have passed and cold weather is now setting in. The forecast predicts negative temperatures starting tomorrow night and we already had a few morning with most of our yard covered in hoarfrost. It’s time to get firewood, split the wood, stack it and keep it handy for our fire stove.
We know since this is our first winter here it’s also bound to be our hardest. We ran out money and out of time before we got around to do our house insulation, so we’re loosing heat like crazy. The general plan for this winter is to heat the house with our terracotta fire stove and minimize temperature drops with a couple of electric heaters we bought last month.
A few weeks ago we called a guy we found online and purchased 4 square meters (3 cords) of wood. He dropped the logs at our house and we stacked them in the back of our barn. Our neighbor offered to bring his chainsaw and cut them into smaller logs granted we buy the gasoline required.
But on our way out to buy the gasoline we changed our minds and went for an electric chainsaw. We figured we’re going to need the chainsaw anyway to cut firewood each year, trim our orchard and to cut down dead branches if needed. Having a chainsaw on the homestead is a great idea. There are countless things you’re going to need a chainsaw for if you’re homesteading. Since I dread the idea of having gasoline around the house we opted for an electric chainsaw.
After a bit of research and price comparisons we decited to buy the Bosch AKE35 electric chainsaw. We did have to visit two stores to find one that has it in stock, but we ended up getting at a pretty sweet deal. The chainsaw plus a Fiskars hatchet were on sale for about $110 for both of them.
The chainsaw is light and less noisy than I expected. It cuts pretty fast and the short blade (35cm | 14 inches) makes it easy to maneuver between branches, which is will be amazing for when we get to trimming the orchard.
But right now the weather is not on our side. It’s raining non-stop for the past 12 hours and unfortunately electric chainsaws are a no-go in rainy weather. But as soon as the sky clears up I’ll get started on cutting the logs into stove-length pieces and then start splitting them.
I hope I’ll have the time to do a video on this topic and show you how I cut and split the firewood and how I get it stacked up for the winter.
Our house already had a new terracotta stove when we bought it. The best thing about this type of fire stoves is that while the fire burns, the stove charges up with heat and continues to radiate it long after the fire is out. It has a small wood burning chamber, but it’s designed well and it warms up really quick. Admittedly it looks old fashion, but we kinda like it.
We are not sure how it will perform in the winter time, so we planned ahead and bought two more electric heaters. These are supposed to help out towards the early hours of the morning when the fire goes out. So far one of them was enough to heat a room through a few below zero nights. But they also drove our electricity bill up, so we gotta watch out for that.
We fired it up for the first time yesterday and we’re currently heating up 4 rooms with it. This was also the last piece to the getting-the-bedroom-ready puzzle. Last weekend we installed the cheapest carpet we could find over the hardwood floor to protect until next year. As soon as we’ll have the time and resources to refurbish it, the carpet goes away. With carpet in place and the fire roaring in the stove we moved our bed to it’s final location.
The bedroom is now the warmest room in the house, and it feels amazing to just lay down and listen to the firewood cracking in the stove. Greti also added some cute rugs over our ugly carpet to make the room look better. We brought in the flowers and some of our clothes and we’re all set.