Monday, January 9, 2012

Heating our home for free!

For those of you who are tired of me droning on and on about my wonderful wood heat, I apologize. But, I just couldn't resist sharing with you my recent freebie find!

When I wrote previously about the cost effectiveness of wood heat, I said that we received some free wood, but that we probably couldn't count on that. Now I'm not so sure . . . Free wood might be more plentiful than I first thought. Right before we left to visit family for the holidays, we saw the phone company trimming trees in our neighborhood. When we returned from our trip 1 1/2 weeks later, all the branches were still laying on the ground. Since our town is very small and poor, we thought it unlikely that someone was coming to clean up the trees, so we decided to do it ourselves and keep the free wood. Here are the trees the way we found them:

You can't tell from the picture, but there are larger logs of wood under the branches.
We drug them home and piled them in our own yard to show we'd claimed them.

There's a smaller pile off to the side, but this is the main mess we dragged home.

Then we got out the electric chain saw and I started cutting them up.

Here's me hard at work. This was my first time using a chain saw. It was fun!
After about thirty minutes of work, I made this stack next to the garage so it could sit and "season".

This is the stack of wood I cut up and stacked.
Later Mr. Bushman also made a stack:

Mr. Bushman's stack

Admittedly all this free wood took some work, but it was a great day to work outside as a family. We even put the kids to work picking up several wagon-fulls of kindling. The stacks of cut branches pictured above are just a small dent in all that we dragged home, but that's okay. We'll just add cutting wood to the always growing, "To Do List."

I think this post shows yet another reason that wood heat is great. I can't think of any other heating source that might be laying around your neighborhood for free! Anyone else considering making the transition to a wood burning stove?


  1. My husband has a friend who does landscaping. Sometimes he has to take down trees or do big trimmming jobs. If my husband goes along and helps (unpaid) with the work his friend lets him keep the wood. They come to our house with the load of wood and his friend cuts it into stove lengths with his chainsaw. Then I sweep up the chips from the cutting to make firestarters. I make these by filling paperboard egg cartons with wood chips and then melting some wax and pouring a little into each egg cup, about a tablespoon, just enough to make it all stick together. I get the candles to melt at yard sales, rummage sales or through our local freecycle group. Used candles usually don't sell well at sales so if I go at the end of the day I can pick them up for little or nothing. My firestarters are basically free! I break them into single eggs cups and set these under the kindling in my fireplace. They never fail.

  2. Amazing Mary! My friend gave us some of the homemade fire starters you are talking about as a Christmas gift. I love them! I was actually going to do a blog post about them sometime. They work great! You have some awesome ideas.

  3. I just read your post on Frugal Village and had to check out your blog. Of course, I had to read the whole thing because it is so interesting. Congratulations on moving toward living your dream. As someone who lives in a very high cost-of-living area, I can't help but wonder which area of the country you live in. Would you be willing to share your general area? Also I have subscribed to your blog on MyYahoo! Thanks.

  4. Ok I didn't know this would come up as Anonymous. I am really internet-challenged and also old enough to be your mother. LOL


  5. Thanks for subscribing, Viki! We live in rural MO.


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