I know in my last post I said it would be the last post about wood till next season, but... there have been quite a few questions in the comments about where we get our wood etc., so I'll answer them and then promise once more that there will be no more talk about wood for a while!
We have never paid for any of our wood. To be honest, I am not sure that there is anywhere around here that actually sells it. There are an increasing number of people putting in wood fires, so the potential is there to start a business, but it won't be us starting it!. We have a lot of land which has many trees on it, so in theory we could just fell trees every year and get enough wood to keep us warm, but in reality this is the first year that we have actually felled any trees - and the trees we are felling are the sawtooth oaks which are used for growing shitake mushrooms and which regrow from their cut-off trunks. So I don't feel too guilty about cutting them down.
Until now we have contacted the electricity company, construction companies etc. and when they fell trees to make way for power lines, new roads etc. they are more than happy for us to come and take them away - grateful in fact. Neighbours are also a great source and we often discover a neighbour has felled a tree and then brought the logs to us to use. Of course they are not always cut in perfect 1m lengths, but we tend not to complain!
Before we put in our fire we used a standard kerosene heater... it wasn't so much the cost of running it that bothered me, but the fumes which it produced - especially when you turned it on and off. With small children around I just hated it and found that I was getting headaches every day from the fumes. I know the heaters are starting to get a bit better here now, but you can't beat the heat from a real fire.... and that is all I have to say about fires till next season - I REALLY promise this time!