From The Memsahib: Alternative Home Heating Fuels and Banking a House for Winter

In the event of TEOTWAWKI, fuel will become very important in regions where the winters are severe and long. We can learn some survival ideas from pioneers in on the treeless prairies. Some used alternative fuels such as cow chips, corn cobs, ears of corn, twisted grass, or a mix of straw and manure manure called “mist.” (The German word for Schumer.) In 1881 the magazine Warren Sheaf said that three acres of corn would provide the average house of the time with fuel for the year. Straw burner attachments were designed for cook stoves. These were oblong tubes 18 inches in diameter and 28 inches high. The covered tube was placed over the stove holes. If properly packed they had enough fuel to burn an hour. The draft was regulated by shifting the tube off or over the stove hole. Larger ones were available that attached to the rear of the stove. Another innovative idea of the time was “banking.: In the fall the pioneers would start insulating the outside of their houses by banking up straw, leaves, dirt, hay, corn stocks all the way up to the window sills. In a severe winter one pioneer banked his home all the way up to the eaves!