Now I mentioned in my previous post about this cook stove that Silver made for us last year.  Now it was very easy to make.  It has metal from what Silver said was a commercial stove that was left on our property and we discovered it when we moved here.  He took the metal squares from the base and took the legs off which were later used to hold pots over the fire.  The metals squares though were filled with large rock then gravel.  The other piece of metal is that back piece, which was also in the original base.

The next thing Silver did was put two standard cinder blocks on the rock/gravel filled base and then filled them with again rocks first then gravel till full.  Now I want to say you SHOULD let them sit a day or 2 to let the stones and gravel settle.  Otherwise they will get hollow spots in them.  Then Silver put the flat cinder blocks on top of the standard ones, just offset enough for the leg "grate" to go across.  Now that back piece of metal is held in place with a cinder block that is filled with concrete that we found on site with a rock on top.  There was also a broken flat cinder in back to cover and uncover holes on that metal based on how hot you want the fire.

Now here is the only main problem, once you heat the cinder blocks and they get wet.  You CANNOT remove them or they will crack and/or break.  While this can be built in lass than an hour with all the materials like I said take  the time to let it settle the gravel before finishing it off.

Now like I said we are going to do a cob oven and stove, and we aren't quite going to be doing the "standard" way of doing it.  Now I wanted to embed this but I have yet to find the way too so here is a link to the "type" of cob oven we want to make.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lGTGUo6tyQ&feature=channel_video_title
Now in case you were wondering why I am showing you a spot of "dirt" (it's actually clay).  Well this is where we are going to build the stove and oven.  This is the clay from our root cellar dig out (which we are still doing).  After we filled in some "wet spots" on our property where we walk we just had the kids pile it here.  Silver went out and hoed it down then raked and hoed it flat on one side.  Then "tamped" it down a little to make it very flat.  This will be our starting stop for both the stove and oven.  The plan is to have a space between to hold wood for both.  Now the stove will be redone in a more "rocket stove" manner with the outside covered in cob to help keep the heat in while we cook.

This of course is the metal base from our first wood cook stove.  Boy, did we have fun when we took the old one apart.  Seems the local wasps had built a nest in one of the cinder blocks.  It was pretty big too.

Now I'd like to point out that it's 2 pieces of metal in squares measuring a piece 2ftX24inX2in.    So they aren't really all that big, but together they work well.  Silver of course had to level it to make sure it was perfect.  

Isn't that a pretty level it's a 6ft level that we only spent $14 on it at Harbor Freight Tools.  Silver took me to their stores a few times and I was pleasantly surprised by them.  I had never even heard of them until Silver told me about them.  Anyway, I personally think a 6ft level is a very good tool for any homesteader whether you are "urban" or not.

Now a few things have been done here.  First Silver took the broken flat cinders (yep all the old ones broke like I mentioned above)  and placed 4 pieces in the 4 corners of the metal to hold it in place.  Then he put in rock and then filled with gravel.  It has been sitting for 3 days now, partly due to the fact that it was raining yesterday.

We also had (at first) the kids put those rocks along the front, for decoration mostly.  Silver went back through and  straightened it a bit, and added more. He's good at eyeballing pieces that fit together.

Then he went and put gravel all along the flat surface that we are going to build on.  Now the plan is to spread some concrete dust over it and let it dry in place hardening it to prevent "wash out".  the hope is also that the gravel pieces will make little channels for water to go through.    Silver thinks it will be pretty as well.

That is what we have so far, we need to do the concrete on it before we do anything else and for the cook stove we need to get some more cinder blocks.  Silver wants to use earthbags for the base of the oven, we'll see what we can manage.  Well at least the "platform" isn't the only thing we need to concrete.  We also need to do the stairs into our home as it's just wood holding gravel.  We've had to re-make those steps twice now so we REALLY  need to get the concrete in it.

I'll update this as we go along.

Be Well, Be Safe and Blessed Be...


For those of you who have not seen my blogs on Blogger or Word Press let me tell you about us.  First I am 35 and a mom of 3 wonderful kids (yes my name rivenfae is fictitious, but I have my reasons) , my boyfriend is almost 53 and we live on 5.29 acres of land in the Missouri woods. 

We moved here in April of 2010 and have had quite an experience.  We started off in a tent and having to haul our own water from a neighbor's house.  Let me tell you living in a tent is fun... until you do it for 6+ months with 3 kids.  After about 4 months we had our power hooked up which required a $350 deposit here, so we had to manage to have that much money at one time to pay it out.

Before we had the power on and could use our deep freeze we had been only buying non-perishable foods to eat, which isn't as bad as you might think.  It does take some getting use to only using canned meats in inventive ways.  Oddly enough almost a year later with one of those "dishes" we are thinking of buying a few different canned meats to "recapture" some flavors we discovered we liked.
This is one of the "cook stoves" we had last year we built this one ourselves, all the metal on it was trash that was on our property.  We had gotten so good at cooking with a wood fire that when we moved into our current (not final) home a 12X24 shed and started using a electric stove we wound up burning our food a few times till we got use to -NOT- cooking on wood.

We are rebuilding this in a new location as summer's heat is horrible here for cooking anything, but we have learned a couple of things that will change how we do it.  The cinder blocks we used when they are repeatedly heated and then get wet when you go to move them after they will break.

As all homesteaders I have a garden, last year during our first year we just dug up and planted right in the ground.  However, we did get for free a truckload of composted goat manure that i later added to the soil.  i did learn things will grow in our very heavy clay soil.  Just very slowly and that we need to water it a lot.  So this year we have done a few things different, first the ground that got the goat manure is much better this year (no real surprise there), and all the amendment we put in; was straw once the plants were grown enough to put it down without choking the seedlings.

We have started foraging more this year than last i have over a quart of blackberries in my freezer right now waiting till the season is over so I can make some jelly/jam for the first time.  It will be a multi-berry as I do have a wild blue berry nearby and I have gotten the few I found there to the blackberries.  i am also hoping to add rose hips to it for vitamin C content.  I have also come up with a wonderful Lamb's Quarter wilted salad that one of my kids and Silver likes.  We eat that once or twice a week, people say they taste like spinach; I don't think so.  I can't place the taste either.

As i said we are now living in a 12X24 shed, we got it delivered back in October and my 2 girls sleep in bunk beds built into the wall, my son is in the loft and me and my boy friend have a "room" next to the "toilet room".    Our "toilet room" is just that our toilet is in it.  It is a saw dust toilet, if you don't know what one is here is a link:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPg-n4czGE0
I am surprised at how well this system works and you don't waste any water or have to worry about a septic backing up.  We currently have a bath tub in a outdoor room in back that we use in warm weather (above 40 degrees).  We are working towards building 2 additions onto this shed.  One will be a better sleeping area for the kids and also a tv room.  The other will be a bathroom, in which we will have a flush toilet (yeah!) and a shower.  They will be built once we finish digging (by hand) our root cellar.Yes we are digging a root cellar and guess what...?  It's soo easy!  One of the biggest things that has helped is what we are using to "break" through the clay.  It is a bulb planting drill bit that eats up clay.  We put it on our masonry drill and it will tear right through the clay.  then we just shovel the clay out.  We have about 4 ft down to still go.  Right now I believe it is 8X10X2ft.  We need it just a bit deeper, which should be the easiest part.We are going to use all the clay we are digging up as well as we are going to build a cob-ish oven like this one:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lGTGUo6tyQ
Not quite that one but very close as we are going to use a steel barrel for the body.  I have a turkey in  my chicken yard that is going to be a bit to big for my current oven so we'll need the cob-ish oven.  When we put the addition on we will be using a rocket mass heater in it, this way we won't use any electricity for our heat this winter.  We used just space heaters last year and our power bill went very high.  For us wood is free so lets go with wood.So I hope you keep coming around to check us out here at Wolf Woods!Be Well and Blessed Be...