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Cold-brewed Coffee!

Started by tom sarbeck. Last reply by Plinius Dec 9, 2017. 5 Replies

In the Navy in 1950 my “buddies” told me to drink it or skip the coffee break.Naive, I believed them but needed four teaspoons of sugar to make it drinkable.Several months ago read of cold-brew in…Continue

Tags: coldbrew, coffee

Coffee could literally be a lifesaver

Started by Steph S.. Last reply by Randall Smith Nov 18, 2015. 1 Reply


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Comment by Randall Smith on December 13, 2017 at 7:33am

I forgot to add the cost of my furnace fan running full time which raises my electric bill.  And when I see smoke billowing out of the chimney, I cringe. However, compared to the California fires, it's insignificant. Still, no excuse.

We have several "full time" firewood suppliers around here--one my neighbor. However, I live on the prairie where most of the trees have been cut down leaving nothing but corn and bean fields. So, since there aren't many woods, people have stopped burning firewood--limited sources. It's not like it was back in the 70's. I know very few people that burn wood.

Comment by Don on December 12, 2017 at 7:54am

As far as the cost benefits of wood-burning are concerned, there are many variables, of course. It's generally polluting, too, more so than gas and oil, but it's renewable, and most wood sellers here are hard workers who are supplementing a meager income--dairy-farming, sugaring, logging, and so on. There's real pleasure in a wood fire, too, and satisfaction in the work that goes into getting up a woodpile.  And when it's 10 degrees and snowing hard and the power goes out, well . . .

Comment by Don on December 12, 2017 at 7:48am

Randall, the list is complete for us in New England!  It's in Yankee, after all. 

I never saw an osage orange tree till I happened to be visiting a friend in Missouri.  Hackberry grows in Vermont but not abundantly and only in the river valleys and bottomland.  It's not found in upland forests of in the colder regions, so it's not much in use as fuel.

Here, silver maple is known as soft maple or swamp maple.  It's fairly soft, like red maple, and so it's rarely harvested for stove wood, although it is taken for lumber because it's clean-grained and easy to work with.

Comment by Randall Smith on December 12, 2017 at 7:27am

Thanks Don, for the article. The list of trees was incomplete, however--no hackberry, silver maple, osage orange, etc. Hackberry is very common here. Still, I know it's a good burning (and splitting) wood.

The BTU comparisons to oil was interesting, although a little over my head. I often wonder if I'm really saving money. You've seen the articles citing costs of burning wood: truck, chain saw (and all that goes with it), splitter, and especially time involved.  But, for me, it's not about saving money. It's the doing. I just hope I never harm myself--always a possibility.

Comment by Don on December 11, 2017 at 8:35am

In New England, those who heat with wood typically stay away from poplar and all the softwoods (fir, spruce, pine, larch). Apple, black birch, ironwood, and hickory deliver the most BTUs, apparently, but those varieties are not especially abundant anywhere.  In southern New England, oak, ash, and sugar maple are the most common, and in the north, where oak and black birch do not predominate, the most common fuel woods are sugar maple, beech, ash, birch, and cherry.  Here is a rundown in Yankee magazine.

Comment by Plinius on December 11, 2017 at 7:44am

I worked a bit at the poem, made some footnotes and now I can use it as teaching material. Thanks!

Comment by Randall Smith on December 11, 2017 at 7:13am

Good poem, Don.

Right now, I'm burning a lot of catalpa and willow. It's almost like burning paper, it's so soft. But, I had those 2 trees cut down 20 months ago and hated to just throw the wood away. I have a list of the best to worst wood to burn. Ash is a little above the middle. I like it for its "splitability".

Comment by Plinius on December 11, 2017 at 4:25am

Thanks, Don! I like mythology like this. We have Sambucus Nigra here, and it would not be easy to hang yourself from it; it branches out at ground level and hardly ever makes a strong trunk.

Comment by Joan Denoo on December 10, 2017 at 10:37pm

Don, thanks for the information on Elder trees and the Irish mythology! Here are a few more tales of the Elder tree and its mischief making qualities. 

The feared elder has its place on the farm

Comment by Don on December 10, 2017 at 12:58pm

Some varieties of elder may give off a poisonous smoke.  Mexican elder, found in the American South, contains a natural form of cyanide. Breathing the smoke can cause cyanide poisoning. 

As the poem suggests, there is a old folk belief that someone in the household will die if elder is burned.  It has also been said that every elder is witch.  In Christian mythology, Judas was hanged on an elder tree--another association with death.


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