Showing posts with label Slab Wood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Slab Wood. Show all posts

Friday, October 11, 2013

A Slabwood Experiment

My home has an electric furnace.  It also has a wood-burning stove in the basement, which connects to the duct work. It can be used in tandem with the electric furnace, or on its own to heat the house. My electricity costs are running higher than last year's. I even ran the air conditioner a lot less this year, so obviously the cost of electricity has increased, or something?  And of course it irritates the hell out of me. Which makes me want to drink more wine...

February and March are the coldest months of the year where I live.  In February and March of 2012 my electric bills were $166.28 and $253.24.  In the same months of 2013, the bills were $236.41 and $357.71.  That's an increase of $174.60!  I am planning on purchasing a chest freezer soon, and it makes me cringe to think about adding one more electric sucking device to the meter...

What's my point here?  My point is that it is always wise to continue to seek out new ways to cut your costs and save your money, and also energy usage, wherever and whenever possible.  Plus, electric heat just feels cold to me.  Which brings me to slab wood...

I'm surrounded by Amish where I live. In fact, the area I reside in is the 4th largest Amish settlement in the country.  I see these kind, quiet people with piles of slab wood in their yards at this time of year, just waiting to be cut and stacked. So I thought hell, maybe they know something I don't?  I decided to get some for myself and give it a try this year.  The eight bundles that I purchased cost me $190.  My plan is to use as much wood as possible to comfortably heat the house and keep the inhabitants from complaining they're freezing to death.  You know how that goes...

October has just begun, and I haven't had a need to warm the house up as of yet. I'll report back in a few months with an update on the slab wood experiment.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Farm Updates, and Good-bye February!

Its been kind of a typical week on the farm.  

I wormed the goat.  This is the first time she's ever been wormed. This month she turned one year old, so I thought it was time. The wormer came in a small bucket in pelleted form, which to my surprise she promptly devoured.  No problem there. And it's not like her to ever turn down a meal.

I walked the property and checked the fence lines.  Everything was secure. I thought about casting a line into the pond and trying for a fish or two.  But it was too cold out. Then I headed back up to the house and inspected the garden.  The garlic that I planted this past October has already sprouted, and so has the wild garlic on the southwest side of the house. 

I cleaned horse stalls, then visited a huge antique store on Saturday. I'd hoped to find an antique chicken egg basket.  I didn't find one, and so I didn't buy anything.

I stopped at an Amish lumber mill and checked pricing on bundles of slab wood.  I want to heat the house with firewood next season.  It's hard to start thinking about winter, when it still is winter, but now is the time to begin putting up wood so that it will be seasoned and ready to burn in December. The bundled slabs cost $15 each.  A great deal.  However, you have to hire a special truck to deliver them.  I still need to find out what the driver will charge.  Then, somehow, they have to be unloaded. The bundles are long, about seven to nine feet long.

I got a chance to look through some recent seed catalogs that came in the mail, and imagined what trees and vegetables I would like to plant this year.

I've taken the horses off the main pasture for the next three months to give it a break and a chance to grow some nice spring grass.  They'll only have access to a smaller, round paddock for the time being. Tomorrow one of the thoroughbreds will be shipped to Kentucky for spring training. 

And last, the 21 eggs I put into the incubator February 10th are due to hatch this Sunday.  This morning I moved them from the tray that automatically turns them throughout the day, to the floor of the incubator where they will lie flat until they hatch. 

They won't be turned anymore now, and this allows the chick time to position itself to hatch.  I covered the wire mesh floor of the incubator with cheese cloth.  I discovered that is makes clean-up a lot easier after the hatching is done.

Two of the eggs felt strange, and lighter than the others. So just for curiosity, I penciled an "X" on them so I would know if they did'nt hatch for some reason. Heck, they may be the only ones to hatch, you never know.  But wait! Stay tuned. Because we will know sometime around Sunday.

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