It got cold here...I mean chance of snow winter winds freezing cold. I hear that each person has their own style of making a fire, kind of like everybody has their own special penmanship. It's all the same result, but your own signature way of doing things...
So here is my fire making signature! :) Brown paper or dried up weeds at the bottom (don't use bleached paper which is so grody breathing the smoke made me feel like I needed to call 911 after), then some piles of tiny kindling (I used apple tree branches) and added a few larger branches too, then thin split logs. All this I like to think I am making in a sort of subtle teepee fashion, and then add the one big log on top towards the back.
I actually had hardwood logs brought to me by some local guys who totally split all the logs by hand (very hardcore and more earth friendly.) I found them on Craigslist and they rock - if you need wood I will give ya their number!
I do best with all natural materials, otherwise the smoke bothers me alot (coughing, chest pain, crusty eyeballs) - I don't use fire starters or fake logs, EVER. One thing that does make it less sustainable or hard is how to light this thing ablaze... I usually use matches, and sometimes a propane clicker- I think it would be cool to learn to make my own fire from two sticks, jus' like boy scouts do! Who wants to teach me?
If you know some tips or methods of starting fires for heat (or keeping them burning) I would love to hear it. Also, what do you consider to be the most eco & healthy way to heat your home during the winter?