Wood Heat and Winter Kitchen
In Spring 2014, we decided to get a new, wood cook stove to replace our old wood stove we used for heating our house. The old stove worked fine, but we wanted something we could cook on as well. We also were thinking about being able to heat our hot water. We decided on a Margin Gem stove with a warming oven and water jacket. Before we had it installed, we tiled half of the basement space where it was going to be placed, and installed a metal heat guard in the corner and ceiling. The stove looks very nice; a shiny combination of black ceramic and metal with chrome trim. It was almost too nice to use.
We did use it though. We played with it in the summer, cooking on the top or roasting a chicken in the oven. Of course, having a woodstove going in the summer wasn't the smartest thing, it was very hot in the house of course.
We started using it full-time in the fall of 2014, turning off the electric water heater and using the stove exclusively for the hot water...and boy does it get hot, near scalding. Around that time, with the solar power for the fridge, two freezers and the water pump, and the wood stove for heat and hot water, we decided we wanted to try turning off the Nova Scotia Power supply and living by our own means. That meant cooking all our meals on the cook stove; that is why we got it after all.
After trying a couple of meals on the stove, we realized very quickly that we needed a table or counter next to the stove for setting things on while cooking. Darrin decided to build a dry kitchen in the basement. We have a laundry sink next to the washer that we can use if we need water, we just needed counter top and cupboards for storing cast iron cookware and utensils. We also have a plethora of mason bottles, home brew bottles and kits that needed a place to live. Darrin designed our "winter kitchen" with space for everything we need and storage for the bottles.
So, now the winter kitchen is finished. We have filled the cupboards with bottles and buckets and have storage space pots, pans and kitchen utensils. We still have our Folding Laundry Hangers for drying clothes and even a big wood box for easy access. We were planning to shut off the power to the house and try it out for a month or so, but to be honest, we need a break. We are confident now that we can survive and probably even thrive without NS Power and have everything we need. We will still use the wood stove for some cooking and we are saving a lot by having the solar power too.
Right now, we are going to relax a little, knowing we are okay if we lose power due to weather, terrorist attack, natural disaster, Armageddon, etc...you never know!
Check out this video of our preparations and the finished kitchen space.