It is the time of year for everything to be coated in a layer of yellow pine pollen (ick!), but also the time of year that all the cones have dropped off the trees. There are thousands of them all over our property right now. Which means it is time to make firestarters!
While the pollen flies we don’t spend much time outside anyway. We have completed all our indoor spring cleaning and organizing, so making firestarters is a great way to use our stuck-inside-need-a-project-to-do time.
We have two wood stoves to heat our house through the winter. We start a fire in each stove approximately 200 times a year, which means 400 starts a year. The pine cones only fall every-other year, so ideally we would like to make enough to last us through two winters until they fall again in 2017. That is A LOT of firestarters to make!
I previously posted how we make them two years ago. You can read that post by clicking here.
The general idea is a pine cone, in wax, in a cupcake liner, with a wick. As I discussed in the other post about them, they can be very inexpensive to make if you can collect old candles, and buy cupcake liners after each holiday when they are super-cheap. We have been given tons and tons of used candles over the last two years since we last made them, so much that I am anxious to get them used up and cleaned out of my garage!
I heard of another idea for firestarters that we are trying this year in addition to the pine cone type. To make them you put a wick and wax in each section of an egg carton and then cut them apart once they are cool. This type is great because we can make them on the off-years for pine cones if we need to. We recently were given a huge box full of way more egg cartons than we could ever need for our fresh eggs. So we are making both the pine cone type, and the egg carton type this year.
Since we have never used the egg carton type before I put one in the wood stove and lit it to see how long it would burn. It burned for 10 minutes, so I think they will work just as well as the pine cone type.
It feels good to be getting these put up and ready for the winter. It will be so wonderful to have them each morning as we start our fires. They make it so much faster and easier to get it going.