Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Hob

Every farmhouse has its center of gravity. Here it is The Hob. Hob is just a british slang term for stove but it was also made popular in the Hunger Games books since there was a big marketplace also called The Hob in those adventures. In the books The Hob was the center of activity, life, cooking, and trade in the Appalachian community of the story. Well, here in this story of another archer who used to live in Appalachian - this little wood stove is my Hob.

The is where all farm life centers, especially on cold mornings like this. It was -6 degrees when I woke up next to Gibson this morning. I heat only with wood now, the furnace only has a few gallons in it at a time to heat hot water for my irregular winter showers. The choice to heat with food is a serious one, and for folks who live alone on farms - a limiting one. But I love it. I love the dedication, the pull indoors, the fact I am literally needed as a human stove-feeder for the comfort of myself and the indoor residents of the farm - which include two dogs, two cats, and the occasionally hawk (he has in indoor perch in my office, too). And today with such cold outside and another 4 inches on the way, I am happy to have this hub of life to call the heart of my home.

It's a Vermont Bun Baker, a small stove but so lined with bricks it really pumps out heat. With dry wood it can get my small living space downstairs (around 600 square feet) ten degrees warmer in around an hour. And it doesn't just warm the house - it humidifies the air with pots and steamers, it heats hot water for tea or cocoa, it dries out gloves and socks, de-ices winter coats, defrosts the rabbits' water bottles and cooks sleeping cats at a low bake from just 5 feet away.

In a minute I'll head out to get the pigs more warm bedding, lots of feed (awesome feed update later!), and fresh water. They are due for the traveling butcher in a few weeks. Knowing they are not only helping the farm out financially but also the food of many close friends and neighbors - I am grateful and careful as I can be with them in this winter cold. Looking forward to bacon and piglets to replace them soon! Some of that bacon, by the way, will be cooked right on this hob.

Told you it was the center!

3 Comments:

Blogger Ken Newman said...

I have to agree about the Bun Baker. I won one this Summer from Mother Earth News. We set it up in our second floor studio, 1200 sq. ft., 200 year old house with post and beam construction and plank walls. There's one bedroom also and even though the Bun Baker only takes 12 inch logs, it puts out the heat. It was pretty cool up here until this year ( the second floor only got the heat that migrated up from our big Jotul in the living room downstairs )...now I walk around in a tee shirt. It's also a cat magnet. Haven't tried baking with it yet but the thermometer on the oven seems to maintain a pretty stable temp. Winter kind of sucks now and then but a good wood stove to cocoon around makes life a lot more fun.

December 17, 2013 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

It fits longer logs diagonally! I cram them in there. took me three years of owning the stove to learn how to really work it the best way but I am so happy with it.

December 17, 2013 at 11:39 AM  
Blogger Justine said...

sometimes 12 inch logs really are a godsend for people its a pain to try to play tetris with the bigger ones... I think my wood stove does 18 inch logs now and I think I would rather a smaller more efficient wood stove... plus you can bake with it!

December 17, 2013 at 2:38 PM  

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