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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Kindling a Fire

Kindling a Fire

Whether you have a traditional fireplace or a wood-burning heater, it takes more than firewood to get a good blaze going. You need some kindling material.

Newspaper almost always works. But there are other kindling sources as well. Here are some ideas:

  • Save empty toilet paper, paper towel and wax paper rolls. Place on top of newspaper.
  • Collect and use dry pinecones as kindling.
  • Collect and break off twigs from fallen tree branches and place in fireplace.
  • Fill small cardboard boxes with newspaper, pinecones and wood chips to help start a fire.
  • Visit a new home construction site. Ask the building contractor if you can clean up and cart away the sawn off wood pieces from baseboards, cabinets, wood flooring, wood railing, etc.
  • Ask a local furniture or cabinetmaker or hobby wood worker to save their scrap wood pieces for you. Provide a large garbage can to collect the scraps and to make it easy for you to haul home when filled.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.