”Fire is unique to Earth and our seizure of it unique to humanity.”
-Stephen Pyne, AZ
-Stephen Pyne, AZ
My name is Mary Hannahan. I started officially making my fire bars early in 2017. But, I believe it all began in 2006 because I was studying in Northern Ireland and I had this incredible opportunity to live by myself, off-grid, on Rathlin Island in the Irish Sea for 6 years with 80 people. I said yes. It was living in a unique world, one where time slowed way down and everything felt in some harmony. I got so relaxed I got to a point where I actually sang to the cows. And they’d come to the fence. Islanders said I lived ‘on a patch’ of land and my cabin was 30 feet by 16. Everyday I’d fight to light my coal fires in my potbelly stove. Often my cabin would be blue with smoke. That experience left an indelible mark that impacted my life-style forever…
I bought land with a home and a fireplace in the country, here in the beautiful St. Croix Valley in Wisconsin. I yearned to replicate my life on Rathlin. Simple. Sustainable. Recycle everything. And of course I had learned from my friends there that the fireplace, or hearth, is the heart of my home.
I never planned on creating fire starters. I just kept trying to make fires in my wood burner - my hearth - and when I was camping, and I was lousy at starting fires and I hated the fire starters I was using. Because I was frustrated, I backed into creating these so I could have a totally clean, dependable fire and spend time in nature with fires I would make. So I made these smooth, soft to the touch, edible looking bars and then named them Eco Fire Bars. I showed them off to my family and friends, and it started to snowball. Now selling retail, wholesale and online, my eco-business is growing, and, with the love of my life, my incredible family, a team of backers, people I’d call fire-keepers, and friends, it’s all happening, - truly getting launched from the might of Balsam Lake WI! I keep being surprised.
I make my fire bars because I believe that in the act of lighting a fire we are doing something very primal. We are doing something beautiful that allows us a minute to interact with nature as we create our own day to day fires.
I also worry about cooking the planet. This is a small way of trying to supply a greener way, an eco-business.
Not having our fires is not the solution. Our fires are important and always have been.
- Leigh Hunt