on the road

on the road

Monday, May 18, 2009

Peeling Poles

We've been working on peeling poles at Edwards Family Farm last week and this week. We're making teepee poles for a school in Loomis, jump poles for a friend with horses, and structural poles for our own uses.

Allen has selected a site that needs to be thinned - it is packed with small Douglas fir trees. The trees that we're harvesting are too small even for firewood, but they work for poles. Allen falls them and limbs them, and I cut them to the appropriate length.

During this time of year, the bark on Douglas fir is very loose - the trees are growing rapidly. This makes it easy to remove the bark with a drawknife. We can remove the bark from a 25-foot pole in about 30 minutes.

I'm finding that I like the work. While I always enjoy working in the woods, my work is generally accompanied by the sound of a chainsaw or woodsplitter. Since we're relying on handtools for most of this work, we can actually hear the birds sing.

I also like the fact that we're turning trees that are a liability from a fire safety perspective into a useful product. Allen's woods will be healthier for our efforts, and we're able to provide our community with a useful product.

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