Cider Press Hill

What's on their minds

Thursday, 1:26 pm

By Kate





Judging by the search strings that have brought people to my site today, some folks are either concerned about this coming winter or looking for a good way to capitalize on it. The common theme is wood stoves.

#1. Publicly traded firewood
#2. Publicly traded wood stove companies
#3. Wood stove cooking
#4. Wood stove recommendations
#5. Wood stove heating


#1 kind of made me laugh. But maybe I shouldn’t. Considering the enormous jump in wood prices over the last month, I’d like to find some publicly traded firewood. I’d make a killing.

#2. If this New York Times article (Fearing Heat Costs, Many Take Preventive Action) is anything to go by, investing in a good publicly traded wood stove company is a splendid idea! I wonder if there are any.

#3. I haven’t done much of it myself, but wood stove cooking does great things for stews and chili.

#4. I’m extremely happy with my Lopi Endeavor‘s performance.

#5. The nicest kind of heat. But get a pellet stove unless you love hauling armloads of wood around for 5 months out of the year.


It's a long way to the bottom

Thursday, 10:01 am

By Kate




partly cloudy

You know, I’m certainly not complaining about this, but I think I have a bottomless pile of wood in my driveway. Would that it be so. Nevertheless, I’ve been hauling and stacking a good portion of the morning, having probably stacked about 3/4 of a cord already and I can’t see that I’ve put much of a dent in the pile in the driveway. I wonder how much wood my wood guy gave me, anyway. Unexpected bounty is always welcome, but man, I’m pooped.


Wood delivery

Wednesday, 6:07 am

By Kate





My wood guy called this morning. I will be the happy owner of two cords of two year old oak and maple wood by late this afternoon. He’s not exactly charging cheap prices this year, but less than last year, so I’m not going to quibble. It’ll still end up costing a lot less than heating with gas—assuming we’ll still have gas by December. He provides me with excellent wood and he’ll drop a little more than 2 cords in the driveway. Which means, I’ll be very busy stacking wood for the next three days.

The lad has an away track meet this afternoon, so he won’t be around to help. Bet his heart will drop to his toes when he sees the monstrous pile in the driveway when he gets home tonight. On the other hand, he’s been dinging at me to get wood for the past three weeks, so maybe he’ll just be relieved. He’s a good worker, so any help he can give me in the next couple of days will make the job go that much faster. I’ll be very happy when it’s all stacked and tarped. Then I can stand back and heave a huge sigh of relief. Having a big wood pile gives me a real sense of winter security.


Firewood time

Wednesday, 8:41 am

By Kate





Perhaps a profitable morning spent pricing firewood for the wood stove. For some reason, which I’m not in the least unhappy about, the price of wood dropped this year. Two cords would heat the house from mid-November through mid-March and, according to the price quotes so far this morning, I could do it for $480. With seasoned hard woods that burn hot and long. Considering the price of natural gas this year, I’m seriously reconsidering my plan to go wood-free this year. Especially with Hurricane Rita threatening to tear up the Gulf Coast and natural gas production. I think it might be prudent.

If it sounds like I’m trying to convince myself that I should buy a couple of cords of wood, it’s absolutely because I am. I do love wood heat. My stove is pretty clean with the catalytic converter and the mere trickle of smoke that meanders out the chimney (I don’t know the mechanics involved, but it also burns its own smoke when I maintain a certain temp.) And it is just the most most wonderful, even, cozy heat available. But stacking 2 cords, hauling wood daily, and caring for the woodpile to keep it dry is hard work and by January 1 have an absolute love/hate relationship going with the wood stove. And the wood crumbs....bleh. When I’m not hauling wood, I’m vacuuming. Still....$480 vs. $900 shouldn’t really be too hard a decision to make. I’m guessing that’s what the cost of natural gas will look like this year. Could be more, probably not much less. And did I mention that I really don’t like my gas utility? They double the delivery system prices on November 1. It makes a big difference. Rip off.

I guess I’ll order a couple of cords once I hear from my regular wood guy who I hope will give me a loyal-customer discount as he has the past three years.


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