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Visiting a neighor's wood stove

Papa Bear stove

Cedar kindling"It's amazing how much time we spend just dealing with the cold at this time of year."  Our movie star neighbor hit the nail on the head, which is why our pre-film entertainment revolved around the wood stove.  We wanted to know all about it --- what kind it was (Fisher Papa Bear), what he thought of it (good, but not as efficient as his neighbors' fancy new stoves), and if he'd done anything special with it (lots!)

Homemade baffle in a wood stoveThe first thing our neighbor did when he got his stove was to add a plate to the top of the fire box, which acts like a baffle and increases the efficiency.  More recently, he tapped into the house's ductwork to pull hot air downstairs.

Outside, I was enthralled by his woodshed, with latticework walls to let air flow through and dry the wood.  He likes to split cedar logs into thin sticks of kindling to start his stove, and he saves the beautiful, knotty pieces for decoration.  Back inside, I'm always drawn to the well polished river rocks he keeps on top of the stove to warm your hands.

Reading homesteading blogs at this time of year, you'll probably notice that we go on and on about wood heat, and I don't think it's just because we spend so much time feeding the fire.  There is a surprising amount of art to be found in the winter heat regimen, and our neighbor's setup epitomizes that utilitarian beauty.

Wood shed and rocks to warm your hands
Our homemade chicken waterer keeps your flock happy all year long.


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