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We've been burning firewood at our house for 2 years now, and after last year's issues of stacking (and-restacking the parts that fell over) firewood, I decided that it was time to build something a little more solid. We considered building a large lean-to to put the firewood under, but the cost of lumber to build it was in excess of $800 - about how much we spend for firewood to burn for the entire winter.

Learn how to sharpen a chainsaw blade by hand using a file from Master Shipwright Louis Sauzedde.

Designed with a cottage look, this small shed has clapboard siding on the front, a double door, a ramp to allow access for motorized yard equipment, a window to provide light, and a flower box for decoration.

Regarding Propane - I live in Mountainhome and heat using both propane and firewood. We bought a 500 gallon tank (don't rent!) and top it off every August and January. Since we own the tank, I can call 15 or 20 propane suppliers and the phone call goes like this:

"Hi, I'm calling for a price on propane. I own my 500 gallon tank and it's around 30% full." Then they give me a price. I say "Thanks, I'll call you back."

Rinse, lather, repeat, for each Propane company on my list. Just a few weeks ago, I ordered from Lochlan's for $1.50/gallon. In my experience, you have to price-shop each time you fill the tank, because a different company will be cheapest each time.

Here's a link to the list of propane suppliers that I call.  (If there are any missing companies please let me know and I'd be happy to add them.) It sounds like most people who rent tanks are paying closer to $2.50 - $2.60/gallon lately.

Start a mini farm on a quarter acre or less, provide 85 percent of the food for a family of four and earn an income.

Mini Farming describes a holistic approach to small-area farming that will show you how to produce 85 percent of an average family’s food on just a quarter acre—and earn $10,000 in cash annually while spending less than half the time that an ordinary job would require. Even if you have never been a farmer or a gardener, this book covers everything you need to know to get started: buying and saving seeds, starting seedlings, establishing raised beds, soil fertility practices, composting, dealing with pest and disease problems, crop rotation, farm planning, and much more. Because self-sufficiency is the objective, subjects such as raising backyard chickens and home canning are also covered along with numerous methods for keeping costs down and production high. Materials, tools, and techniques are detailed with photographs, tables, diagrams, and illustrations.

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