Self-reliance is a big topic these days. People laughed at us preparing in 1999. Then when nothing really happened......though things did happen, but it was not visible to the mainsteam public. It was behind the scenes. There were people working nonstop behind the scenes and that is WHY nothing happened. Thank you to all those people! Anyway it is time to prepare and stay prepared. If nothing happens now.....do not stop preparing. It makes common sense to keep preparing until the day you die.
A very important item in your search for self-reliance is heating. Heating takes up much of your household expense money! Add it up for the year. Plus things are getting worse or so they say. It is being reported in the news that this year fuel costs will cause people to freeze and some to cut their budget by not buying the nutritional foods they need. So if you can find a way to live without paying a lot for your heating costs then you should think about doing it. At least for back up.
In the 9 years that I have lived here, I have paid maybe $200. total for heating. And that was for our kerosene heaters, which we have only had for the last 3 years. We only use them when it is just too warm for the wood stoves. Or, if we have been somewhere during the day, and come home to a cold house. We light them just to warm up the house, while we get the wood stoves going.
There are various ways to heat a house. But the most self-sufficient way is to use a wood stove. Not a pellet stove! If you have no source of heating fuel, what would you do? Or have you ever heard of the fuel companies turning off your tank if you did not pay your bill? They don't care that you just got rolled over by road roller at your job and can't work!
A wood stove makes it easy to find free heating fuel or very low cost. You can buy cords of wood from the state forest land in NY, for as low as $10. A FULL CORD. You can also go places that throw away pallets or crate wood. There is a tractor place in a small city not far from me that advertises it in the paper. Free Crate Wood. I saw it the other day, not good for building, but for fire wood, it would be fine.
I also gather branches in the woods. My husband cuts the trees down, and also uses downed trees in our woods. I gather alot of kindling, and we also use pine cones for fire starters. Another thing that works good for starting fires in your stove is dried corncobs. After you take the kernels off, dry out the cobs and save them for the woodstove.
We use several different kinds of wood. Pine is great for a really hot fire, or just for getting a cold stove to take off. It's also great for getting a high temperture on your cookstove. Most people will tell you that you can't use it or it's not good. Well, if you are cold, anything is good, if it'll burn. We have burned everything you can imagine. Remember the pioneers used to throw their furniture in the stove for firewood when things got bad! Let's hope it does not get that bad.....but then again......
Have a great homesteading day!!
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13