It’s cold out, and now it’s time to put the fireplace back into service – move the Boston fern out of the way, or take the candles out – but maybe you forgot what a hassle they can be to get going. You put the logs in, and you know you’re supposed to have kindling: small twigs and then larger twigs that progressively catch until there is a small fire that the logs themselves can catch fire from. Or, as I used to, you can try crumpling up inky balls of newspaper, shoving them under the logs and see if that works. It probably won’t, so you crumple up more inky balls and try again, creating an inky, ashy mess.
Especially in the city, kindling can be hard to come by and the newspaper method is way too messy and unreliable. If you want to make it easy on yourself, pick up a box of Fatwood Firestarters and give them a try. They are made from the resinous stumps of pine trees, and they light easily, then burn hot for a long time. Stack the logs in the fireplace, then slide two or three Fatwood Firestarters under the front and light them. They work every time, and they smell great, giving the whole house that cozy pine fireplace aroma. That’s what it is, too: no added chemicals or fragrances.
They’re sustainable; the company gets them from existing stumps and has pledged to plant three trees for every one they consume. Starting a fire in the fireplace with Fatwood Firestarters is almost as easy as lighting the candles on the table.
Get a small box to try, and if you like them (which you will), get a bigger bundle and use it all winter. They make great presents for people with fireplaces (and/or people who camp), and the company makes some nice gift buckets and arrangements.