Our new Pacific Energy stove
We use wood as our primary heat source during the winter. I was never used to this till I moved to the farm house four years ago and I have been surprised by how much I enjoy it. I even learned how to start a fire in the morning and how to cook on it. Anything that can be cooked in a slow cooker can be cooked on a wood stove; potatoes and other root vegetables, well wrapped in tin foil, can be roasted inside the stove and are delicious this way. You can buy neat roasting pans just for this purpose too. And of course you can toast marshmallows and wieners as well.
Hubby worked out where to place a fan in the hallway of our bungalow so cool air gets pushed to the kitchen from the back of the house and even the bedrooms off that hallway surprisingly reach a warm, comfortable temperature that way. We buy our extra wood from a farmer on the next road who makes a bit of extra money cutting wood on his property. I think it is a true win-win situation.
The wood stove was a god-send two years ago when during a freezing rain storm, we lost our electricity for 4 days. We moved our frozen food from the fridge into the freezer and used a generator to keep the temperature at a freezing point. Because of the wood stove, we continued to have our hot cups of tea and plenty of good food. We were able to boil water for washing- enough to make do anyway. The collection of old oil lamps suddenly became more than decorative and were put to good use again. With one on each side of the bed, we could each see to read no problem.
For those few days it really did feel like we had turned back the clocks a hundred years or so. But you know what? The novelty of it started to wear thin by day 4 and we were very, very happy when the power suddenly surged on...ahh, showers, television, the internet; we had missed them.
I watched a show on t.v. about the surprising number of people who are preparing for an apocalypse; I think it was called Doomsday Preppers. I had to admire their commitment and determination to look out for their families no matter what, even while often ridiculed for it. Our experience reminded me of that.
The freezing rain storm taught us several things...
We now have several cases of drinking water in reserve and a small holding tank of water for general use.
We also bought extra lamp oil to keep on hand.
We do need to keep a workable generator; ours saved our freezer load of food.
Who knows what will be needed when.