We have had a beautiful autumn and even now, just before Thanksgiving, the grass is still green and the now bare trees seem out of place. Weather like this is a gift and we are working hard to take advantage of every beautiful day to get the rabbit shed done. We know that winter is on it’s way.
It is our goal to be off grid in two years. To accomplish this, we are always looking for ways to reduce our use of electricity. One of my biggest concerns is heating. This probably stems from the fact that I grew up in Wyoming where winter was six months long and temperatures often plunged to 40 below zero for days at a time. While winters in the Ozarks are not nearly this severe, the damp cold can certainly chill one’s bones.
Everything in WeeHavyn is electric. The heat in the house is provided by two electric baseboard heaters. This is not only expensive, but very insecure. While the crystal sculptures of an ice storm are breathtaking, the power outages that often accompany them would leave us with no heat. This probably wouldn’t be lethal, but it would certainly be horribly uncomfortable.
I’ve long wanted a wood stove, but I had some very specific requirements. It had to fit well in the house, it needed to be able to accept fairly large logs so it would burn all night without attention, and it needed to require no electricity. We have chosen an antique “railroad” style stove. It was a little rough and rusty when we picked it up, but the body was sound and a couple hours with some rust remover and a steel brush drill attachment fixed it right up. A final coat of high temperature paint has it looking new.
Of course, getting the stove is the easiest and least expensive part of the process. We now have to build a hearth in the corner and purchase and install the stove pipe and outside chimney. This is going to cost us about 3 times what we paid for the stove. As with many projects on the homestead, the payback time is going to be several years at least.
The peace of mind is worth it!