Permaculture Part 1 seems to be all about fire – well it is the time of year for revelling in the cosiness of a log fire with a hot chocolate and the latest yarny project growing by the row – can you hear Radio 4 Extra on in the background?
Laying a fire is an art, well at least it is a skill – and a vital ingredient is kindling. When I was first married, in the early 1970s, I used to love making jars and jars of jams, chutneys and marmalades – squirrelling away masses of goodness – all lined up on the shelf in the larder – I don’t make jam any more – in a household of 1 who is constantly watching the waistline there is not much call for sugar based hoarding – now gathering huge stores of kindling gives me the same thrill – ok yes, I know – eccentric! But if you are serious about caring for the environment you get used to being thought of as weeeeeeeyeerrrd!
The sticks you see are all prunings from my garden. When the oak tree gets a hair cut, NONE of it is taken away. All the prunings get cut up with loppers into
a magnificent hoard of sticks to be used for kindling. The grandchildren and I spend lovely times chatting over the cutting up of sticks, which are put into plastic dustbins and stored on the north side of the house.
Old loo rolls are filled with used paper, cardboard packaging, and stuff that comes through the post with my address on, which i do not want to put in the recycling bag – these make wonderful small logs to go on top of the dry sticks
And even 2 year olds can have ago at these. I used to pay my children 1penny per stick, to make piles of these, I think I’ll have to up the rate for my grandchildren.
The last home made fire-lighting aid are used candles melted in a bain marie, just a bowl in saucepan of hot water – and then put into ice cube moulds or old sweet box trays, what ever you have to hand.
I find i don’t really use them much any more since I’ve had the woodburner as it lights so well, but for a open fire they are great firelighters.
So now we are all ready to get that fire going and getting the supper on to cook
then do you fancy braised shoulder of lamb, it takes about an hour…..