Sunday, November 28, 2010

Making Your Own Firepit

As I sit here by the fake fireplace at Starbucks my thoughts turn to Crofters Lane and the firepit Michael built there in August.  The house wasn't "officially" ours yet but the owners allowed us to "camp out" in the house until we signed papers at the lawyers in a few days. Michael had some very definite ideas about what he wanted to accomplish during the week we spent at our new home - first was the firepit, then he wanted to transplant some spruce seedlings from our forest to build a wind break to the north of the house.

It was an interesting week - we had a small bar fridge and ate a LOT of sandwiches. We had an old table in the diningroom and a couple of mismatched chairs. Upstairs we had a king-sized air mattress, some towels and toiletries. Although the owner loaned us a TV we had brought our own source of entertainment - a six-inch black and white TV with AM/FM radio. We found K-Rock 105.5 and turned it up high. This was one place where we'd be able to play our music as loud as we wanted to!

And then, Michael got busy!
 We used rocks from our driveway which had recently been levelled. There were literally hundreds of rocks in the culverts on each side of our .4km driveway to choose from and Michael spent a good while hauling them up in a wheelbarrow.  He picked the perfect spot for the pit and started digging.
 We didn't have a lot of tools but we had enough. Michael worked up a good sweat digging the firepit hole in the distinctive red PEI soil. Me - I was cleaning all of the woodwork inside...hence the yellow rubber gloves:)

 A spot was carefully dug for each rock and each rock chosen for its particular shape and size. Nothing left to chance.  Gradually the firepit began to take shape.
 Michael really gets "into" his work:) However, I would suggest that next time he pick a different coloured T-shirt...perhaps reddish brown??

Certain flat stones were chosen to be "set in" for seating or as small tables for holding candles and/or drinks:)

Looking good Michael but I think it's starting to get dark! The sun is starting to dip down behind the forest.
 Let's put out some candles - it gets REALLY dark around here at night - it's nothing like the city!!

Michael brought up a lot of extra rocks - he's thinking about expanding the "lip" of the firepit, or he might save them for another DIY project.

                                                                             It works!!

                                                                  All cleaned up.

And this is how you cook when you don't have a stove or a BBQ! A couple of good sturdy sticks long enough to reach across the top of the firepit and a small metal rack to hold our food.
There's a well-seasoned chicken inside that foil - we felt a bit like pioneers:)
Except I don't suppose they had tinfoil.
It was scrumptious!
Working hard.

Isn't it beautiful??

Functional AND mesmermizing!
We burned up a lot of stuff - two musty old dressers that were left behind, we broke them into pieces and fed them into the fire.
There's enough fallen limbs in the forest to keep the fire going for a long time.
If you're driving down Butcher Road next summer and you see a glow from a campfire, drive on up our laneway and sit a spell by the fire.
You'll always be made welcome:)


  1. Yes, it is indeed beautiful! Well don... :)

  2. You make me wish I was passing by, next Summer it sounds and looks idyllic.

    Love the cool waters of your blog, very calming.

  3. I LOVE the fire pit Jane! It is a true work of art! There is nothing better than to sit by a fire with friends and family and be mesmerized by the flames

    We have a fire pit in the backyard.... but it not near as pretty... we made it with cinder blocks! Lol!! Its just as mesmerizing.

  4. That looks great Jane. I'll have to borrow Michael!

  5. I'll bring the Guinness and we'll be right over!

  6. Having learned the hard way this past summer, I would suggest only buying clothes in shades of red from here on in. That stuff stains!

  7. very nice! the country DOES get a bit dark huh?! I was looking at places in the country(not too far out though LOL) and a friend told me to check it out at night in case I'd forgotten just how dark it could get! He was right..I'm in a townhome now!
    that's a great pit though and I bet the food tastes better too! I read an article once where people were cooking in dutch ovens I think they called them..they werein the ground and they were even doing cobblers! yum!


  8. Jane,
    Michael did a great job making the fire pit. We have a stand up commercial job at the present but have big plans down the road to build.
    Good for you guys to have also thought about a wind break with the Spruce trees. You will be really pleased that you did that by the time you retire, they should be just a good height.
    Hubby also works in white tee's which will never come clean again, but he does look sexy and cool.

  9. Will keep an eye out for a fire if I drive by next summer Jane.
    Bev from Alberton

  10. Will keep an eye for a fire in your firepit if I drive down the Butcher Road some night next summer.
    I have noticed your lane with the pink rope across the bottom.
    Bev in Alberton

  11. Love it!!!!! Sitting beside a fire is one of the most relaxing things I know. I love camping for this very reason.

  12. I love it!!! That's on the top of my list if we buy a home. Great job :)

  13. 444 - YES to the Guinness!!

    Bev - I hope you DO come by:)And yes, you have the right driveway! I chose the pink rope as I thought it would stand out...and I guess it did! It's so exciting that you know exactly where I'm talking about:)
    Witch: yes - it's so important to look sexy and cool at all times lol! Michael and your hubby sound like they have a bit in common don't they?:)

    MCM in TO - are you looking to build a firepit? I don't know if I can loan Michael out at present - he's started to clean the house from top to bottom in preparation for Christmas plus he does all of the cooking around here - well, ok, for you I'd loan him out:)

    Susanna - I wonder if you mean a solar oven? My brother tried building one once - it worked but very slowly. However that does give me a good idea as we have sun from early in the morning til sunset at certain locations on our property.
    Johanna - perhaps you'll come to my end of the island next summer - hope you'll stop by:)

  14. youtube has some videos of dutch oven cooking - couldn't find one specifically for a pit but one did mention you can use them underground. It uses a cast iron cooking thing with a lid/handle and little legs on the bottom and sits in hot coals..I think some put the coals around the oven so that may have been what I saw in the picture that time. It's campfire cooking..and some of those videos on youtube made me hungry!


  15. I'll check into that - yes the pot would need to have legs of some sort so you could tend to the fire underneath - sounds cool!

  16. yes to the Guinness! I'll bring some nice IPAs. maybe a bottle of single malt.

    pioneers didn't have tin foil or metal racks as nice as the one you used for the spuds. i think they took turns holding the potatoes near the fire - thus the term "hot potato."


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