...and giving thanks
Most of our blog posts have been about our gardening adventures, for us, a four-season event. It begins with a spring harvest of over-wintered veggies and foraging from emerging perennials like lovage, chives, and asparagus. This is followed by summer-long tending of the usual and classic garden varieties from cukes to zucchini. In fall there’s garlic planting, and setting up the cold frames and winter is about harvesting those hardy greens.
Although gardening is a big part of our lifestyle, there’s more to it. We’re wannabe homesteaders. Homesteading can include many do-it-yourself activities, and the one right now involves a sawmill. Due to the gracious generosity of a friend, we have borrowed a Wood Mizer band saw mill for cutting our trees into boards.
With big projects in our future we’ve had to take down some trees to make room. Some of these are sugar maples up to about eighteen inches in diameter. Way too precious to be burned as firewood, thanks to the sawmill they are now repurposed as one-inch thick planks. Maple boards may come in handy as they are good for floors, cupboards, and fine furnishings. The first batch of these are now stacked, to let them dry for a couple of years.
And the large pines, some over a hundred feet tall and more than two feet in diameter are too big, clumsy and heavy for the sawmill. These required an investment into a chain saw attachment to pare them into posts and beams. The chain saw mill, with a 36-inch bar, can handle twelve foot lengths that are needed for timber framing. Some eight by ten inch posts are now drying, with more to follow as the big trees come down.
Most of our homestead is forest, and forest will continue to occupy most of the property. When we do have to take down a tree, we don’t want to take it lightly. We want to see it put to good use. Native Americans used the forest with respect and dignity. When a birch tree was cut to provide bark to make a canoe, they thanked the tree for providing this resource. Though we need to remove some trees, we also want to do so with a spirit of respect and thankfulness. That’s our guiding force for everything we do here. -G.H.