Choosing A Firewood Rack

stacked firewoodWith winter closing in, it is time to think about staying warm here on the farm. Our primary means of heating our home is with oil, but we also burn a few cord of wood each year. And one problem we face is the best way to store it.

If you need to store firewood, you need to do this in a manner that holds the wood off the ground. A firewood rack will help with this, but there are so many on the market that you might be confused over which to get. There are a few points that you should consider when looking at firewood racks which will help you select the right one.

The Size You Need

The first point to consider is the size of the firewood rack that you need. An indoor firewood rack will generally not be able to hold as much as an outdoor one. Additionally, you will be limited to the space that you have for the rack within your home.

To determine the size you need, you have to carefully consider how much wood you would use in a single day. This is very important for indoor racks as they are used to make the wood more accessible. When looking at an outdoor rack, you should plan how much wood you would like to have available at any one time.

The Material

The material which is used to create the firewood rack should also be considered. These racks are generally made from metal, wood or acrylic. When considering the material, you should think about the strength, longevity, and durability that it offers.

Steel is generally considered the most durable, but it will not always be the best because of the price. Other metals might rust and this will cause a problem in your home and outside of it, depending on where the rack is located. Wood racks will need to be treated to ensure that they last and they could crack, warp or be attacked by insects.

The Design

A lot of people do not consider the design of their firewood rack and this is a mistake. You need to ensure that the firewood rack suits the overall d├ęcor and style of your home. When looking at the design, you should not only consider the shape of the rack, but the size and color as well.

Your Budget

One of the big factors in choosing a firewood rack will be the budget that you have. The price of these racks varies greatly depending on the material, size, and design. Knowing your budget before you start looking at the racks will ensure that you never set your heart on one that is too expensive. You will also be able to narrow your options when you do this.

If you are on an extremely tight budget, this YouTube video shows how to make your own rack:

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An Unlikely New Tool

lift reclinerBoiling maple syrup is a lot of work, and can really be physically draining. If you have never done it you might not realize everything that is involved in the process. Let me “boil down” the steps for you:

  1. Identify Your Trees – Maple syrup comes from maple trees, and you need a bunch of them if you are going to collect enough sap to process. So the first step is to identify maple trees that are good candidates for tapping.
  2. Get Your Equipment – To gather the sap you need a drill, spiles (aka taps) to place in the trees, buckets, hooks, and lids. All of these pieces need to be hauled to each tree that you plan to tap. That is, unless you are going to do a large scale operation that has piping run between trees to allow the sap to run to a central collection point.
  3. Collection Containers – The sap that fills the buckets needs to be collected and carted, so you need collection containers to take to each tree and then back to your boiling shed. And they get heavy when full.
  4. Boiling Equipment – You make maple syrup by boiling down lots of sap to remove much of the liquid, leaving the sugary syrup behind. It varies a bit, but in general the ratio of sap to syrup is about 40:1, meaning that you need to collect and boil down 40 quarts (10 gallons) of sap to get 1 quart of syrup.

Boiling syrup is both a time and labor intensive process. It also can do a number on your back to handle all the equipment and buckets of sap. As someone who is getting up in years, when the sap runs in the spring I get pretty wiped out.

Which leads me to the subject of this post – the new tool in my arsenal. I recently purchased a new electric lift chair to help me get my tired bones back up after settling in for my late morning rest. I’ve only been using it for a short while, but it really has made it easier to get in and out of my recliner after a hard day of making syrup.

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Maine Maple Syrup And How To Find The Best

Maple productsWhen looking to get the best in Maine maple syrup, you have to know a few differing tastes and ingredients. That way, you can be sure that you are getting the real deal. Get to know how to find out what is best to buy below.

There are many places that make syrup, but Maine has a ton of different types that can come from it in the way of coloring. You can find the syrup golden and very delicate at certain times of year, or it may be very dark and rich. It’s really just a matter of what the area looks like at the time, since the finest syrup is made from the terrain there. Before you buy into any syrup that’s from this area, you’ll want to be sure that it is manufactured in the area for the best results.

Anyone that wants buy this syrup online should do so from a reputable vendor. To find one you can try looking on the search engines or Facebook. You don’t want to buy expensive food products from someone that’s just going to throw an older bottle of this into a box and ship it to you. The key is to get it fresh, right after it has been created for the best taste and texture. If you find that it seems old and not very easy to get out of the bottle, then you should ask to get your money back so you can take it elsewhere.

You may find that people there like to create this syrup in their backyards. While this can be a little bit of a challenge at first, when someone gets it right it is worth the price of admission. Since there are many people that create syrup, you want to find those that have it for a good price and during a time when you can get more than one bottle of it. After all, if you’re just visiting the area or want to have some for a while, you’ll need to get more than just a bottle if it’s good syrup before they run out of it!

Here is a YouTube video from a Maine resident that makes maple syrup at home:

As you learn about the best Maine maple syrup you can get, you’ll enjoy the flavor and texture of it quite a bit. There are many imitators, but a true syrup lover will be able to tell the difference. Start figuring out how to work with this now and you can always have some of this great syrup on hand.

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