Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Corn or Biomass Stove Primer

A few of you expressed interest in my corn stove experiences, so I decided to write a post about it:

We've been using our corn stove for three winters now. It is made by Harman and has proved to be reliable and uses about 400.00 worth of fuel each winter.

Biomass stoves are not pellet stoves. Pellet stove do not have agitators in the burn pot and are not designed to burn things other than pellets. Pellet stove are simpler and cost less.
That said, many pellet stove owners have mixed 10 or 20 percent corn in with good results.

Biomass stoves can burn almost any dry flowable material--oats, pellets, corn, barley wheat, cherry pits, buckwheat etc.

What are the pros and cons of these stoves?

Huge savings over fuel oil, electricity, propane or natural gas
Inexpensive fuel.
Local fuel from your neighboring farmers
Most can ignite and extinguish themselves via thermostat.
Can maintain a set temperature--like 68 degrees; does not overheat like a wood or coal stove
No chimney required--horizontal vent pipe out through the wall instead.

Much more expensive initially than a wood or coal stove
Require electricity to operate (or battery backup if electricity goes off)
The fans and blowers make some level of noise--not quite the same charm as a woodstove
Must be fed twice daily, ash removed daily or every other when burning biomass.
Monthly ash removal if burning pellets

Survey Says: What you Like about the Farm

Well, the surveys are all tabulated and we are grateful for your feedback. Here is what you like about your experience at the farm:

How fresh the veggies are and how long they last at home.

Fresh local produce, supporting local farms, and the chickens!

Locally grown produce, being part of a community

Your philosophy about community, healthy living! Many thanks to all. We have had a great time and wonderful experiences for my child!

Just one thing?! The peacefulness and beauty of the farm itself and quiet, glorious experience of picking ones own fruit, vegetables and flowers at the end of a work week.

Thank you for all your work and another great year!

You pick and wash veggies, the beautiful site

Pleasant experience; pick your own flowers, basil, etc

Organic and local

Community and food!

The wonderful kind knowledgeable people!

Pick your own field—especially the flowers. Bradley is a real asset to your farm. He has excellent customer service skills. I also enjoyed his creative floral designs. (9 yr member!)


Great food

Getting out here, pick-your-own, sense of food community

Email is good, hearing ahead


Sharing it with my children as a fabulous learning experience, organic food, natural farming technique

Eating locally and making a difference in slow foods.

Local organic produce, getting our for some fresh air

I like everything!

Good food produced by good people.

Trying things that I wouldn’t buy in the store.

Having a few minutes to unwind after work by going to the PYO fields

Fresh local food

Getting out here once a week, having the kids walk around the farm

The whole experience especially for my kids. Thanks for having us!

Spending time at the farm… The kids really enjoy coming out here.

Nice people, picking my own

It’s been a great experience! Thanks for everything. It’s certainly a labor of love!

Meeting new people, trying new foods, it was fun too!

The wide variety of healthy foods, the chance to try new vegetables, benefits a good cause


The feeling of community, the joy of seeing these special young men working jobs they enjoy, the quality food, the friendliness of the staff- GREAT JOB!

The food. And pick your own berries.

We simply love the friendly attitude and your passion in your mission statement to help others. Also, we read the blog every week.

Being able to show the farm to my children.

The opportunity to show/ share farm experience with my son! Fresh veggies!

People and produce.

Supporting locally grown produce (without pesticides!) being a part of the Homefields mission and standing among shoulder high zinnias as the sun sets on a warm September evening.

Fun and Healthy!

Picking flowers and pick your own stuff

Fresh food and being on the farm.

Fresh natural food locally grown and helps a charity

Getting out into the fresh air and the growing things, access to healthier and tastier food