Since moving to our isolated piece of heaven in 2000, we've had at least four serious forest-fire scares. One doesn't hear much about these fires in the north unless they threaten a community like Fort McMurray, Alberta. But the fires that have burned around us were equally as vicious and consumed over ¾ million acres. This 2-part blog series will look at the terror of forest fires and how to survive them.
Installing a chimney chase cover is a common project among do-it-yourself homeowners. Many homes were built with galvanized chase covers which rust after a few years – causing leaks and rust stains. Homes that were built with a masonry chimney eventually end up with a cracked and weathered mortar crown, also causing leaks and damage to the home.
Wildfire is our greatest threat living in the mountains with all the dead vegetation and dead trees providing fuel. Here in Southern Colorado, where population density is less and forest growth is thick, sensible people plan ahead to mitigate wildfire risk. Plan ahead with these tips for wildfire mitigation.
Learn to choose the right-sized wood stove, manage your firewood and light, and maintain quality fires to heat your home with wood.
Drones can be used to survey areas to develop more accurate maps. They can be equipped with heat sensors and used in search and rescue at far less cost than putting people out there searching for those lost. This post counts the beneficial uses of drones, or airborne robots.
Emergency preparedness is a necessary part of any well-functioning homestead. Here's what an Idaho family learned when a fire started less than a 1/4 mile away.
The author struggles to find foods to preserve for her family this year after drought and wildfire affected their gardening and foraging opportunities.
As our climate changes, more and more people will find themselves living in fire country. Forest thinning is one of the first and most important jobs in preparing your homestead for fire season. Added benefits include timber for milling, increased bio-diversity and an endless supply of firewood.
I recently rebuilt an outdoor earthen oven made of cob and firebricks.
Those who garden know that weeding is often essential to growing good vegetables or fruits. In a forest, sunlight too is a limiting factor. By knowing which tree to cut and which to leave, forest health can be improved. Cutting for firewood can serve as an incentive to "weed" on the ultra-perennial scale.
Cutting firewood in the winter opens time for other activities during the short summer and fall seasons.
Fire pits can be great things. They are attractive, inexpensive to use and help to extend the use of your yard through the fall and winter. But they must be used safely. Here are some guidelines for fire pit safety.
Do you count yourself among the chicken-obsessed? Prepare to be truly impressed. In this blog, Jeannette Beranger of The Livestock Conservancy takes you on a photo tour of just a few of the eye-popping breeds found at Greenfire Farms in Havana, Florida.
Before beginning construction on their new home, this couple is taking steps to prepare their land for their impending move-in by planting perennial natives, building some walking trails, cutting firewood to dry, and more. They’re having a blast!
We use the winter to mitigate our wildfire exposure as opposed to the summer when we are involved with other needed tasks.
After fire took her friends’ award-winning historic, renovated home only a year after its completion, Ilene White Freedman asks “Who will rebuild their spirits?” A follow-up to her post about the home's renovation.
Cam Mather tries out a battery-powered chainsaw at his off-grid homestead in Ontario.
Kinetic log splitters have taken the log-splitter market by storm. But how much do you know about these lightning-fast, hyper-efficient machines? Check out these surprising facts about kinetic log splitters.
Make a winter checklist to follow in preparation for winter in the mountains.
The fire moon shows up every year when the forest fires start up. Maggie Bonham has some recommendations for preparing to evacuate with animals.
How having a rhythm and routine assists in accomplishing difficult tasks.
TERA-Light is a perpetually renewable fire starter that requires no batteries, no chemicals — only air and organic plant material!
From roasting on a split to baking in a tannur, you'll find rediscovered techniques and recipes that capture the flavors of wood-fired cooking in "Cooking With Fire" by Paula Marcoux.
The best way to start a fire in your woodstove.
If you’re considering buying a new log splitter, you may have begun to debate whether you want an electric log splitter or a gas-powered model. What’s the difference? DR Power Equipment has some useful insight for you.
The basics of using a woodstove to heat your home.
Use materials at hand—stumps, logs, railroad ties, and sawmill slabs—to build a firewood log deck that takes the effort out of lifting the logs, and holds them at a convenient height for splitting.
Review of a great axe made by Vipukirves.
While the snow's flying, this is a good time to plan your garden rotation, order seeds, preheat early spring garden areas, and more.
Splitting firewood is a heavy-duty, daunting task, but this video shows that it doesn’t have to be with the use of this ingenious log splitter.
Building a fire to stay warm? Use these ‘best burn practices’ to minimize smoke & protect your health: www.earthgauge.net/?p=17955
We love our lifestyle and all the hard work that is associated with this lifestyle is just a small part of it.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Associate Editor Thaddeus Christian discusses the best firewood for your wood-burning furnace so you can enjoy wood heat all winter.
Protecting against fires has long been important to code officials, builders and homeowners alike. None of us want to see our homes go up in flames or experience the loss and grief associated with fire.
Using a hot summer day to grow the winter wood pile.
This low-cost, easy-to-assemble fire pit from Instructables is made with concrete tree rings and rocks. Just add a grill and you've got the perfect backyard hangout, all for around $50.
Get rid of fire ants — without using heavy-duty chemical pesticides — with these tips for fire ant control.
Taking personal responsibility for private-property protection in light of ongoing climate change and the hazards associated with same.
Getting rid of fire ants can be hard. In this article, I explain the background behind these pests and my own personal experience with them.
I can deal with a lot of things- floods, frosts, Japanese beetles, but one thing I can't stand is fire ants. Living in the north for a good portion of my life, I was close to unaware of their existence until I moved to the south. Then, everywhere I looked in my yard I saw the same thing; enormous mounds of orange clay filled with irritating stinging ants.
Learn how to waterproof fabric with these simple instructions for making tin cloth.
Even after 15 years, Cam still loves heating his home with wood that he cuts himself.
A good idea that could work for wildfire mitigation.
Throughout the West, drought has led to a massive increase in wildfires, threatening the grass-fed beef industry in the U.S.
Splitting firewood has changed over the lsst 40 years. A sharp chain and hydraulic splitter make all the difference in the world.
A contribution for wildfire mitigation.
How our community has planned ahead for wildfire contingencies.
How we have taken measures to mitigate and reduce our wildfire exposure.
Porch building tips along with deer pressure notes and golf cart pickup bed instructions.Throw in a 5 foot high chicken wire fence and a rare appearance from a normally camera shy cat named Strider and you've got an idea of what we've been up to.
Tips on how to enjoy fireworks safely!
Protect your home and yourself by making your property Firewise! Here are explanations on how to think of your property in zones and additional tips for protecting your home property.
How we persist until our 11 cords of firewood is accomplished and then re structure our lives.
How big a woodlot would I need to heat my home with wood for the entire winter?
Cam describes the zen-like state he achieves while splitting firewood.
We wade through deep snow to trim limbs and cut dead trees and nothing goes to waste.
How we prepared out homestead for the best wildfire prevention possible.
The ‘Kiwi House’ is organized around the primal element of fire.
Things you can do to prevent fire damage to your home from an external source.
Cam enjoys a magical walk through a winter wonderland while cutting and hauling firewood.
Tips on how to use "best burn practices" at home to minimize wood smoke and protect your health.
Steve explains how one practical guy invented a way to burn pellets efficiently without an expensive pellet stove
Cam hates to see good scrap wood go to waste and so he cuts it into kindling and has even started selling it!
The Warm Heart of an Iraq War Vet’s Washington Log Home
Learn how to sharpen your chainsaw properly with a file and guide
DR Power Equipment has threatened to make ordinary hydraulic log splitters obsolete with the brand new DR®RapidFire™ Log Splitter. DR technology has eliminated the big drawbacks of hydraulic log splitters.
I made a hole in the ground, and then decorated it with rocks!
Firewood, the major yearly task when you heat with wood.
Firewood, the major yearly task when you heat with wood.
Houston-based Mahindra USA is doing its part to help prevent fires during this drought season by reminding rural residents of a few simple things they can do to help prevent catastrophic damage to their homes and property.
After a wildfire destroyed their off-the-grid compound in Colorado, Betty and Rolland rebuilt—better than before—following Rolland’s creed: no plywood, no plastic and nothing that smells bad when it burns. The wildlife around their home approve.
When the power goes out for an extended period of time, what do you do? If you're properly prepared, you're life will be a lot easier cooking or baking your food.
In the first study of its kind, Duke University researchers found multiple toxic chemical flame retardants in car seats, breast-feeding pillows, changing pads, crib wedges and bassinet mattresses. Ask about flammability standards before you buy.
A short lesson and video on stacking firewood in round piles
Cyndee and Tony love being in control of their own power and never having to worry about rate increases and outages in south-central Colorado. Solar panels, a wind turbine and a wood-fired boiler keep them plenty warm and happy.
Cam loves growing his own heat!
B&R Automation announces partnership to serve renewable energy industry in US and Canada.
Cam appreciates his local volunteer fire department.
Steve Maxwell, Canada’s Handiest Man, provides tips on splitting firewood for home heating via woodstoves or fireplaces.
Evergreen Institute founder's Missouri home burns; wood furnace is suspected cause.
Providing the firewood to heat his home has become a pleasurable hobby for Cam Mather.
Being in control of your own home heating.
Low-fired brick is a very sustainable building material with low embodied energy. They are made with locally procured clay and fired with rice hulls, a by-product of growing rice. Brickyards are located near urban areas to minimize transport costs.
You can cut and trim trees with a chain saw, then load long lengths of trunk or major limbs onto a firewood processor, and operate the controls while the machine cuts firewood into uniform lengths and splits it.
Trees are beautiful and they are useful as sources of food and shelter, and for building and using as fuel.
Use this parabolic mirror as a handy pocket-sized firestarter.
You can make your own fire starters from cardboard, sawdust, lint and melted candle wax or buy them ready-made.