Four acres of rocky land carved out of the New England woods is where our home is situated. Besides the house, this old farmstead has a garage, woodshed, barn, shop, misc. shed, garden shed, root cellar and chicken house. It also contains our two large gardens and our fruit and nut orchards. An old stone wall encloses the whole property and half also is encircled by a row of evergreen trees. It is a tight fit but we have several lovely flower beds, a lawn, and a play area as well. We feel very blessed to live on this productive property.
We have ready access to a large piece of woods adjoining our house (as well as permission to use it). We make use of this for camping and hiking. We find this a great way to test our preparedness gear, and for family vacations, (we have actually only traveled twice for a vacation in 20+ years). It can make a great family outing.
We are working on upgrading our gear, but currently we use 2 tents with mattresses, and add boating, and hiking to our agenda. Making (or preparing) food can take a large percentage of our time. We are always very careful when building a fire to keep it contained within a stone fire ring.
For many years our only source of heat was wood. We would cut firewood, and chop it by hand. We often handled the wood 5 or 6 times before it gave us heat. It took about 11 cord to make it through a winter. I remember the years we did maple syrup with a wood fire, that took quite a bit all by itself. We quickly learned to prefer Red Oak, and even though we have a hydraulic splitter now, we still like this particular variety. When we go out to do wood these days, we run 2 splitting mauls and the hydraulic splitter, so it can go fairly quickly. All of our wood stacks are away from the house, as we have repeatedly found carpenter ants in the firewood.
Copyright © 2006 The Stover Family - all rights reserved.