Urban Homesteading and Self-Reliance, Philosophy, Disaster Preparation, Living Small

Another Piece in the Puzzle

This morning the sun blazed forth as if in apology for the dreariness of the last few days.  The prism in the window sent  rainbows dancing over the ceiling and floor.  The weather report tells me I can hang my sheets on the line and I look forward to the joy of slipping into crisp, fresh smelling sheets tonight.  I can’t help but smile.  My life can be quite a whirlwind and amid the disappointments and hard times there are always reasons to be glad.  The large antique Warm Morning wood stove that now sits in our living room is one of them.

I have often compared what we are doing to an intricate puzzle. Just as there is a picture of the finished puzzle on the box, we have a picture of what we’d like to see at Half-Pint Homestead.  There are certain pieces, such as edges and corners, that need to be placed first, just as we have tasks that need to be completed before other tasks can start.  At first, there are so many pieces jumbled together that it’s hard to decide where to start.  But it gets easier as more and more of the picture appears.

The Warm Morning stove is a major piece of the homesteading puzzle and several other pieces will fit into it nicely.  It isn’t beautiful or fancy, but I didn’t choose it too look good.  I was looking for a large stove that will heat the entire house and the greenhouse as well.  This big boy should do that easily and will take large enough logs that we won’t have to get up in the middle of the night to add fuel.  It’s very heavy duty (I think it’s designed for coal) and should hold heat a good long while.  I bought it for $60 delivered.  To me…it is beautiful!

I mentioned heating the greenhouse.  One of our many plans is to put a greenhouse all along the west side of WeeHavyn.  It will cover two windows, one in the living room and one in the bedroom.  Like nearly everything at Half-Pint Homestead, the greenhouse will have several functions.  It will provide vegetables year round and a great place to start seedlings.  We plan to put a sitting area in it so there’s a warm place to get some much needed sun in the winter.  It will also provide heat to the house during the day via the west windows.  At night the wood stove will provide heat to the greenhouse via the windows as well.  This will allow us to grow more crops than we would be able to in an unheated greenhouse.

We also plan to let the stove provide us with fertilizer for our garden beds and barrels.  Long ago, I read an article in Backwoods Home Magazine on burning compressed horse manure for fuel and sprinkling the ashes for fertilizer.  I was incredibly intrigued by the idea and since Jack is perfectly willing to provide the fuel and I scoop it every day anyway, it seems like a great way to get double duty out of it.  Here is a link to that article if your interested:  Your Manure Pile

Of course with every puzzle piece we place, there are other pieces that need to be fit in to get closer to completing the picture.  The stove needs to be cleaned and polished, a hearth must be built, and the stovepipe and chimney installed.  These are projects best left until warmer weather, but we hope to have all of this done before next fall.  That way we’ll be ready with heat when the greenhouse adds its piece to the puzzle.

The picture is coming clearer every day.

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