Glowing wood stove

Wood Stove = Family Togetherness

We really like our little wood Jotul stove, one of the best investments we’ve made. For its small size it puts out some serious heat.  What’s even better is that we can use scrap [non native eucalyptus] wood that would have otherwise gone to the dump.

The stove does a good job at heating the front three rooms — living room, dinning room and study. The stoves radiant heat of course doesn’t get to the “outer” rooms which still can be quite chilly [except for the kitchen where all the cooking and baking take place].

We gals joke that we could hang meat in our bedroom because of the amount of windows (12 to be exact – great in the summer time offering wonderful cross ventilation). Seriously, though, why would we want to spend time in our bedroom’s anyway besides sleeping [we don’t have a tv or computers in our bedrooms]? And why waste all that energy to heat rooms that are rarely used? Once you get under the covers there’s no need to heat an entire room if you are snuggled under the blankets where it’s warm. Such unnecessary heating practices are a waste of precious energy resources.  

Besides, when all the rooms are heated then one wouldn’t be drawn together to sit in the room that is the warmest in the house – perhaps even around the fire/wood stove.    Such old fashion heating means brings the family together in one room sharing in each other’s company and not isolated in other rooms throughout the home.

Central air and central heat not only waste precious resources, but such conveyances have taken us off our front porches, dispersed us from around a table or in front of the fire into individual isolation chambers. Take a radical step and turn down the heat in the outer rooms of your house and bring your family together this winter.

And if you have to venture into the chilly rooms, put on an extra sweater and done those fingerless gloves and hat for the brief time you visit.

:: Urban Homesteader Tips & Tricks::

Wood Ash Uses
in the garden

• Sprinkled in compost bins to reduce odors• Useful amendment to the soil [ check soil first!] . Since wood ash is derived from plant material, it contains most of the 13 essential nutrients the soil must have for good plant growth and health.• Repel insects, slugs and snails because it draws water out of these invertebrates. Sprinkle ash around the base of your plants to discourage surface-feeding insects.

around the house

• Ashes used for Pewter brightening –Make a paste out of sifted ashes moistened with water, please apply with a soft cloth. Be careful not to scratch surface with any bigger bits from the ashes.• Icy Pathway – If your path way has turned icy & you are worried about slipping you can sprinkle ashes on the pathway to give yourself a safer footing• Cleaning Pots & Pans – You can also mix a thick paste out of ashes & water to clean the grease of the pots & pans. • For the adventurous:Make Your Own LyeNote: Ash should be stored in a metal container with a secure lid.

»Read more about using ashes in your garden

No Comments

  1. Donna says:

    I am looking to purchase a jotul, but am concerned with the lack of an ash pan in the smaller stove. Is ash removal an issue with your stove?

  2. anais says:

    Hi Donna

    You are right the ash pan is small; however, it’s not that big of deal having to clean it out. Besides, it’s a good idea not to clean out all the ash. I leave at least an inch or two because ash acts as a layer of insulation and helps the stove retain heat.

  3. Cheryl says:

    We also only heat the main living area of our home. I consider the shivering it takes to warm up the bed a good workout! 😀
    We just bought ourselves a used Jotul stove and I’m dying to have it installed – hopefully this weekend, we just had a dusting of snow.

  4. littlejennywren says:

    I’m glad you are enjoying your woodheater. There is nothing more warming apart from sunshine than the heat from wood. Like you we don’t heat the “outer” rooms. Our children have grown up with this and find central heated houses very stifling and uncomfortable.

  5. brad says:

    That stove looks so inviting! We are going to install a stove soon and the Jotul is high on our list. Did you look at any of the soapstone stoves when making your choice? (www.woodstove.com)

    I am intrigued by the claims made about these, but haven’t found much first-hand info.

    Keep up the terrific work.

  6. anais says:


    Thanks for your comment.

    Yes we did in fact look at the soapstone stoves. Even though they are really wonderful stoves, we felt that living in a warm climate like So Cal we really didn’t need a stove with that heating capacity or high price tag — we just needed something to get the chill out of the air.

    We also had a problem with size, our fireplace is so small that non of the soapstones would fit in our fireplace with out having to do some major adjustments.

    For the affordablity and from what our local fire place store and PTF readers have to say the JOTUL is a great stove for a reasonable price.