I sat down at my computer this morning with the intention of writing an article about energy efficient homes and it reminded me of the farm I once had. So, I decided to write the story below instead and will publish the other article at a future date.
I often reminisce about the farm that my wife (at the time) and I raised our children on. I remember about the hard work, the long days and the fun we used to have.
We owned and lived on a 40 acre farm near Caesars Creek Lake in Waynesville Ohio. I did a lot of research on the property and discovered that the house was built in 1848 by a local doctor. During some of the research, we discovered the home was suspected to have had ties to the Underground Railroad. The Dayton Daily News heard about my research and even did a full front page story about my findings. It was quite exciting!
We lived on the farm for 10 years and my kids often remind me how they too miss it. My siblings and friends enjoyed the farm as well as we’d often have bonfires and family get-togethers at our place.
I still laugh at the times that my daughter (about 4 at the time) would grab one of the chickens and chase her older brother (about 7) around the barn yard with it. I never understood, but my son had a phobia about any feathered creatures.
We had a stocked fishing pond as well as plenty of acreage to hunt on. I wasn’t into hunting very much, but I can still remember the day that I shot my one and only deer. I was sitting on the couch watching TV and I looked up and saw the far and distant image of a deer. It was the last day of deer season and I scrambled around the house, collecting my gun and gear and headed out the back door.
It was a very cold and dreary morning and I could see my breath in the air with every step that I took. I had a “single shot” shotgun that I had had since I was a young boy. As I approached the area that I had seen the deer in, suddenly she jumped up and began running for the fence line. I drew a bead on her and got her with one shot. That was my one and only deer hunting adventure.
Having some American Indian bloodlines, I have a love for almost all animals. Our farm was very evident of this. We raised cows/calves, pigs, rheas, emus, chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, Dobermans, rabbits, donkeys, cats, peacocks and guineas. I might have missed a few.
My young son even commented that we should open up a petting zoo. However, considering our location and the fact that we were surrounded by dozens and dozens of other farms, I decided that his idea would have been better suited at a different location. I did enjoy his input though, showing the signs of a young entrepreneur.
Our 3200’ home sat right in the middle of a 40 acre spread and was surrounded by several other acres of open corn fields. There was little protection from the environment due to it being on flat wide open terrain. In other words, when it was windy outside, we knew it. Even though the farm house was built in 1848. It had been very well taken care of over the years and had plenty of insulation as well as updated double paned windows.
Here’s the part that I was going to write about in my other article about energy efficiency.
The home had a furnace setup that I had never seen before, but once I began using it, I loved it! The furnace was oil fired on one side and wood or coal burning on the other. They worked in conjunction with each other and were tied into the ductwork throughout the home.
The only complaint that I had about the wood burning side of the furnace was that I had to load it with wood every few hours as the burning box was not very large. I did not get up in the middle of the night to re-load the stove, so at that point, the oil furnace would kick on when the thermostat called for more heat after the fire had gone out.
Having access to our own firewood helped save us thousands of dollars over the years in heating costs. We could heat our large farm house (very well) at a cost much lower than the former and later properties that we had. (our heating costs were nearly zero except for the small amount of oil that we used and the electricity costs for operating the blowers in the furnace)
Recently, while showing other rural homes, I’ve been noticing that more and more people are starting to use the increasingly popular outdoor wood burning furnaces. They operate in a similar fashion to the old wood burning furnace that I had at the farm. However, it’s my understanding the wood burning box is much larger and may only require a few fill ups per day, instead of every few hours.
The outdoor units are actually a better idea too. You don’t have to worry about stacking the firewood in your basement or dragging it in off of the porch. You also don’t have to worry about the mess involved as well as bringing insects into the home.
If anyone reading this article has experience with these types of outdoor units, I would love to hear from you. Please make a comment on my post for me and others to benefit from.
If my story has inspired you to look for a farm, you might enjoy searching on our site using the keyword search function. If you are searching for a specific type of farm, enter your desired criteria and play around with various keywords such as; horse, stalls, cattle, etc.
CLICK HERE to begin your Ohio property search.
I’m sure that many of you can relate to some of the sections of my story. I hope that you enjoyed reading it as well as I enjoyed living it.
If I can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to let me know.