Tag: Homesteading

the adze

I have long been in the habit of buying tools before I really ‘need’ them. Sometimes it has been because I found a really good deal on a unique or  high quality tool; more often though it has been because I have felt the…

Pearl the lumberjill

Last weekend, we bicycled a mile up the road to visit with our neighbor Pearl Bush, to help celebrate her 88th birthday. Pearl (along with her now deceased husband, Howard) moved to our narrow valley in 1946, bought 160 forested acres, built a small…

New York Forest Owners Association

A brief profile of me, my wife Suzanne,  and the ongoing work of managing our woodlot was published in the latest edition of  The New York Forest Owner, the bi-monthly magazine of the New York Forest Owners Association. NYFOA  is now in its 50th…

bats

Ten years ago, I started planting and tending a backyard orchard of about 50 fruit trees. From the outset I have been attempting to manage it organically, which in the northeastern U.S. is no small challenge, as there are a great many other life…

pine box

When asked to sum up the nature of existence in a few words, a Buddhist master once replied “Everything changes.” Of the few things that we can be absolutely certain of in this life, one is that—at least based upon all empirical evidence I’ve…

tree to tabletop

For a woodworker, one of the great advantages of milling your own lumber is that it allows for the design and construction of pieces of furniture with boards all sawn from the same log (or at least same tree), ensuring matching colors, grain patterns,…

‘vernal’ pools

In 2011, I applied for and received grant funding to implement a number of conservation and habitat improvement measures on my land. The funding came from the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), which is administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, a branch of the…

the empty mind of the hunter

Here’s the scene: Bright sunny October afternoon, slight breeze, 50 degrees, leaves falling, dead silence. I am perched 20+ feet off the ground in a treestand hung in a large Hemlock on the wooded hillside, camo-ed head to toe, compound bow in hand, doing…

pole barn

I haven’t posted in a while, largely because I have been working away at building a pole barn in my backyard, which was desperately needed as an outdoor work and storage space. It’s done now, so I figured I would break back into the…

arbor day

Here in New York, today is Arbor Day. Founded in 1872 by J. Sterling Morton, after he had moved from the heavily forested state of Michigan to the treeless plains of Nebraska, Arbor Day encourages each of us to plant trees, to care for…