Open fires – how do you light yours? 

Open fires are a great way to keep warm in winter and they add a really comfortable feeling to any room. At the farm, we have 3 open fires (burning logs of course) which are set and ready to go each morning throughout the winter months.
We’ve grown up with wood burning fires, so when customers ask us for tips on the best ways to light a fire, we’re always happy to oblige.

Making a simple firelighter

Whether you use coal or logs on your fire, you need a way to get your kindling burning, so start off with something which will light easily, like paper or cardboard. You can also buy firelighters or course, but we don’t think you need to spend money on those, newspaper is free, so why not use it. Just scrunch up a couple of sheets of newspaper, or if you prefer, make a newspaper firelighter. This “concertina” lighter is one my mum showed me how to do when I was small and it kept me busy for ages, which I think was probably her main objective!

Making a newspaper firelighter

Just take a sheet of newspaper, fold a corner over, then continue on turning over and folding, until you end up with a fairly narrow strip of folded paper. Then, starting in the middle, fold over at right angles, then fold the other side over, and so on, until you end up with something like this. Lightly twist the loose ends together, give it a little pull to stretch it out, and there you are! Just light the twisted end and position the lighter in the middle of your grate. When you’re ready to light it, the flames spread slowly through the concertina, giving plenty of time for your kindling to catch on!

To be honest, if you’re using our seasoned wood kindling, you don’t need to do anything much, just scrunch up a sheet of newspaper and the kindling will catch fire really quickly.

How to lay kindling

So, turning to kindling, how do you use it?

We like to just lay our kindling down in a criss-cross pattern around and over the fire lighter, leaving gaps for air to get in. Or you can make a tent shape as shown here. You need to get air in though, otherwise the fire won’t catch.
Then add your seasoned logs, sit back and enjoy!