Hello friends, hope everyone is doing excellent. In this blog, I’m going to go over what we have been up to over the last month. Our main concern is getting prepared for winter and the onslaught of snow. Stu has been working a top secret project, I can’t tell you what it is yet. I can say that it’s something that we need to make our lives easier. We are excited!
Of course, one of the biggest concerns for anyone living off the grid is firewood. It’s the lifeblood during those cold winter days. But it’s also hard work. We got a late start this year in replenishing our supply. Our ultimate goal is to have 2-3 years supply on hand. I have been splitting, and stacking as Stu has been bucking it up. I love that a huge part of my contribution to the homestead is splitting wood. It’s good exercise, and I get to enjoy the fresh mountain air.
Did you know that if you score the birch bark down the side, it makes it easier to split? Seriously, it works. The bark almost acts like a band, holding the wood together (watch the below video). Stu figured this out one time when he was splitting wood. When I tried it, I was amazed. It made the job a lot easier. Plus, we save the bark for starting our fires.
Last winter we kept our wood storage in a portable garage behind the cabin. The problem though is that the location is not in the best spot. Since we are on a side of a mountain, it makes a simple task more challenging. During winter it’s more challenging with snow and ice. Even though we would shovel a walkway to drag the sled, it was hard getting up there. If I can fall, I will…lol.
Stu decided to build some firewood storage racks on the side of the driveway in front of the cabin, watch the video above to learn how. It will be a lot easier to get to and it’s on level ground…bonus! We would then use the portable garage for overflow. I’m hoping next year we can build an actual wood shed so we don’t have to worry about covering the wood with tarps.
The storage racks are working good so far. We did learn that you have to be careful with how high you stack the wood, and make sure there is no lean. I came out one morning to rack up some leaves, and found one of the stacks had fallen over (see video below).
One thing I have learned over the last few years, is to go with the flow. You need to be willing to adapt, and change your plans when the unexpected happens. Murphy’s law and Mother Nature will be testing you. You can always count on that. Sometimes, you’ll want to throw your hands in the air and give up. Don’t give up…..take a break if you need. Just remember that with determination, and a strong will you can do this.
Another thing I’ve been working on is cleaning up before it snows. Making sure tools are put away so their not buried under the snow. Moving all the bark from the driveway to the portable garage so it can stay dry. Also, clearing the driveway so we have room to pile the snow. It’s funny now that we live this lifestyle how we have changed. The things we have to think about now that we never had to worry about before. Every year we learn more, and try to come up with better ideas to make our life easier.
With the amount of snow that we get, and the fact that we live on mountain, we want to keep all structures close to the cabin. Even our chicken coop needs to be fairly close. That way we do not have to shovel snow for miles to take care of the birds. OK….a little exaggeration, you get the point though. We are thinking of the future, and how we can manage everything when we get old. Everything we do now will affect us later in life. If we set ourselves up now for when we are old, we might have a chance.
Until next time, have an awesome day!