Five Go With Us Into the Winter – Part 3: the Logburner

Not such a blast from the past - our old almond-shell-burning stove

Not such a blast from the past – our old almond-shell-burning stove

When we moved into our finca in Mallorca there was a traditional metal open fireplace in the sitting room. We’d been looking forward to cosy winters in front of a log fire, roasting chestnuts, as we enjoyed a glass or two of one of the delicious Son Sureda Ric ( wines, produced in our region of Mallorca.

We had a small supply of logs delivered and lit our first fire with great excitement, but it wasn’t long before we had to open all the doors and windows because of the smoke billowing around the room. Somewhat counterproductive when you’re lighting a fire to keep warm!

The Boss soon got to grips with the fireplace, but meeting its demand for logs became difficult. Because it was an open fire – and our home is exposed to the north winds that often whip up the valley – the wood burned very quickly and little heat seemed to come into the room.

Norwegian Good

So we invested in a Norwegian Jotul woodburner, which has filled our winters with warmth and pleasure – and is one of the best things about winter in Mallorca. It’s very economical with logs and, even better, will burn slowly 24/7 if we want it to. Not only does it give us heat, I often cook jacket potatoes inside it, and make soup that sits in a large pan on top of the stove, slowly cooking through the morning so that it’s ready for lunch. Oh, and it makes a useful plate-warmer too!

One of the things left behind in our finca by the previous owners was a Hergóm stove. It no longer worked, having at some stage had its stovepipe removed, but at one time it would have been used to burn almond shells – a handy fuel on an island with so many almond trees. I’ve tried to persuade The Boss that we should recommission it and install it in the bathroom, but to no avail.

However, I gave the old stove a bit of a spruce-up and it’s become a purely decorative feature in our home – a rustic reminder of how homes like this would once have been heated. Except that on one of our visits to Leroy Merlin – a DIY store on the outskirts of Palma – we saw one of these stoves for sale. It looked exactly the same as ours at home, and had a price tag of 300 euros. So much for nostalgia.

Jan Edwards Copyright 2012 

7 thoughts on “Five Go With Us Into the Winter – Part 3: the Logburner

  1. Hi! I just found your blog through the Telegraph website.
    I am happy to see that you also have one of those marvelous woodstoves, a Jotul. I don’t know what I would do without it here in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. It’s perfect for heating our little log cabin.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
    Caterina B

    • Hi Caterina

      Good to hear from a fellow Jotul user! Aren’t they wonderful? A little log cabin in the
      Rocky Mountains sounds absolutely fabulous . . . any bears around those parts?

      Thank you for your seasonal greetings and have a Happy New Year yourself!

      Best wishes

      • Oh yeah, Jan! We have a bear in our apple trees every July. We have several apple trees located outside our 8 foot garden fence. It must be that by July the apple scent is strong enough to alert the bear. He/she comes every day for 2 to 3 weeks and eats and eats. The first time we had a bear I was extremely nervous. With each passing year I have become less afraid and now I just watch from afar and snap photos. We have a shotgun ready with rubber buckshot in case the bear demonstrates no fear of us. Of course, we are not certain it is the same bear every year. We also have had a mountain lion kill a deer in that same area.
        Hubby found her tracks. He set up a camera to try to get a photo of her if she came back to feed again but to no avail. Something definitely came back during the night and finished off the carcass.
        Do you have any wild animals visit you?

  2. How wonderful to be in the midst of nature like that. I’d enjoy having the bear around, but not so sure about a mountain lion! We have lots of rabbits, hares and the Mediterranean tortoises, the usual rural vermin (rats, mice and almond eaters), and the occasional polecat. We have been adopted by 8 cats so not much comes around here!

  3. It must be wonderful to be in the midst of nature like that. I wouldn’t mind the bear (at a distance), but not sure about the mountain lion! We have smaller wild creatures here, such as rabbits, hares, Mediterranean tortoises, and the usual rural vermin (rats, mice, almond-eaters), weasels, and the occasional polecat. We’ve been adopted by 8 outdoor cats, so there’s not much room for anything else!

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