Thursday, August 12, 2010

the week got away from me, and a farmers' market serendipity

It seems like it was Monday and then zip - now it's Friday already. I'm not sure why the days flew by this week, but we've had another hot spell (that is being broken somewhat as I type by a very isolated and very sudden downpour) and keeping animals and people comfortable in the heat while also incorporating a new pup into the family has kept us busy.

A very fun thing happened today. I was at the farmer's market, and a new vendor was there with a table spread with absolutely gorgeous cutting and cheese boards, all made from many different kinds of wood that has fallen or died on his farm. The boards were all made of 12 or so strips/stripes of wood, creating lovely patterns and shades of color.

As I tend to do at the market, I stopped to talk and ask him about his work. I was amazed that the boards were only $25 - $35. each. He pulled out a portfolio and began to flip through the pages, showing me various things he's made. He was most proud of his workshop floor, which is truly a work of art. It made me think to ask him about my feed/tack room floor project, which has never gotten off the ground because I had in mind a specific thing - old, wide planks - that would need to be located before I could even think about installing them.

So I asked him if he knew of any sources for that kind of wood.

He thought for a moment and then said, "What you need is some poplar."

My ears perked up. "You mean like tulip poplar?"


I proceeded to tell him about the huge tulip poplar in our front field that has been debarked by a herd of sap-loving horses. It's standing tall, but is definitely dead and we have been talking about taking it down at the end of the summer.

He got very excited, and told me he can give me local sources for taking down the tree and also a local sawmill that will cut the planks. He also said he'd love to have some of the leftover if we have any.

This is one of those serendipities that makes me want to jump up and down. I had the idea for the wide planks, but couldn't find the exact right wood or source. But to use a tree from our own property that has died is absolutely perfect. And how cool is it that the tree the horses were obsessed with to the point of killing it ends up as the floor to their feed room? There's a certain poetry to the way they debarked it that would be neat to photograph before we take it down and hang that in the feed room above the wood plank floor.

I'll have to price the cost of the sawmill, but hopefully it will be affordable. A different kind of farmers' market treasure this week - but a very special one.


Valentino said...


I'll bet the sawmill part will work out perfectly too. As my friend used to say, "You must be livin' right."

Have a great weekend!

billie said...

V, I hope so - this would be such a good deal for us all around if the milling part is in our budget.

You have a great weekend too!

Grey Horse Matters said...

Having the wood from the tulip poplar would be so neat. What a great idea for recycling the wood. Hope the sawmill is not too expensive.

I remember years ago my husbands uncle had a farm (huge like 1,000 acres upstate) and he used some wood from his property to build his retirement home across the street from his farmhouse (which he gave to one of his children). Of course, he was also a master carpenter and furniture maker besides being a farmer so that helped. Anyway good luck with your excellent idea.

billie said...

Arlene, what a wonderful thing to have a retirement home built from one's own wood - and the 1000 acres just makes me drool! I'd be happy as could be if someone plopped me down in the middle of a thousand acres with my human and animal family. As long as UPS and FedEx could get to me, I'd be just fine. (and I guess I should say as long as I had the internet. :))

forever in blue jeans, Beth said...

And there's a poem waiting to be written to go along side the picture to hang on the wall of your feed room, too :)

"The week got away from me,
and farmers' market serendipity"

What a great way to recycle !! I do wonder why the gent recommended Tulip Poplar tree wood for your feed room floor - is it especially durable? does it, like cedar, have a natural bug resistance? I do wonder.

I still dreamin' of the right 10 acres with a pond and stream :)

Beth and Cookie,
in Virginia

billie said...

My guess is because of the size of the trunk - and the fact that (I think) it's a relatively faster-growing tree than oak.

Ten acres, big house, pool, pond, gorgeous park-like pasture, but not fenced and no barn or stream... right across the lane from us, now reduced by 131k due to foreclosure...

Peggy Payne said...

It was meant to be, Billie.

billie said...

I think so too! I will be following up with him to get some quotes this week and see if the budget is meant to be. :)