A few years ago when Bren was telling a group of people in a Melbourne pub that the only heating we have in our house is a fire they laughed and said it sounded like The Flintstones.
But for us it is our reality and for at least 7 months of every year we wear a track with the wheel barrow between the woodshed and the house.
When a tree falls down in the forest or when we cut one down for safety reasons it will end up heating our house when it has dried out in the next year or two.
They say that having a wood fire keeps you warm several times over; when you cut the tree into rounds, when you split the wood, when you stack the wood in the shed and when you burn the wood.
When we first moved here there was an open fire place but we replaced it with a very efficient wood burning box. We also have vents in our roof that suck the heat up and with fans move it to the other end of the house.
We believe that the c02 that is emitted when we burn the wood is barely significant when you take into account the thirty acres of bushland we caretake as well as the thousands of trees we plant every year on our boundaries and for wind breaks.
They seem to be enjoying climbing on the stacks of wood and dustbathing under cover when it is raining and wet outside. When we find ourselves getting a barrow of wood in the dark at night, it is reassuring to think the chook have been in there eating all the spiders and bugs.
The fireplace is the heart of our house.
It is romantic, beautiful to watch, cheap and efficient to run and has a welcoming, calming effect. But I'd be lying if I said I never wished for the kind of heating that comes with the push of a button and sometimes even with a timer you can set for an hour before you wake up or get home.