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Being Sensible

Posted by on Feb 26, 2015 in Blog |

Of the many pleasures of forest stewardship, using our good sense(s) rates high on the list.  Each forest and season has its own unique smells.  The feel of the winds change every day.  The taste of ripe berries or sautéed chanterelles, And let’s not forget the feeling of the rain trickling down your neck as you struggle to shove a stiff, wire choker through the mud under a log.  We’re sensible. Today marked one of our favorite days – planting day.   We look forward to it not just because we can’t help but find it a hopeful and idealistic thing to do  (“some day you’ll grow up to be a magnificent tree! – right?”), but also because it allows us to use one important sense that is nearly always overpowered in our daily work – hearing.  Planting is a uniquely quiet task in the annual cycle of work where we so often live insulated by the  loud noise of engines – small to large.  The quiet is welcome, but far from silent.  Planting shovel clinks against rock, wind sings different tunes with each tree species that it blows through, Northern pygmy owls sends their whistle-like calls in hopes of finding a mate, the lowing of cows is carried to us on the wind from across the valley, and thoughts are made less insulated and alone by the wandering conversations with fellow planters. Tonight the roots of hundreds of young trees begin stretching out to find a home in the forest, as weary planters fall asleep, too early, on the couch with the book fallen open on our chest – after a day of hard, hopeful – and quiet –...

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Solar Kiln Swings Into Gear

Posted by on Feb 26, 2015 in Blog |

With 3,000 board feet of Oregon white oak fully air dried and the sun each day rising higher in the sky, today we were pleased to wake up the kiln from its winter’s nap and apply the concentrated heat of the sun to the wood.  Within hours the temperature in the chamber rose to 150 deg. evaporating the moisture from the wood and moving it toward its next home as a floor in the living room of the Hill Family in Kenmore, Washington.  Shifting the heat to the wood is the 9th step in a 13 step process. Carefully select and mark the trees that can be removed from oak stands in ways that enhance the stand’s health Fall the trees Buck and limb Skid the logs to the roadside landing Truck the logs through the forest up to the sawmill Buck the logs to kiln sized lengths (9’2″) Mill them into lumber Stack and sticker the lumber in the kiln for air drying Once air dried, close the doors and apply the heat Once fully dried to 6% – 8%, rip saw the lumber to flooring blanks Run the blanks through a moulder to plane the top and bottom and add tongue and groove Deliver to its new home and repeat…. Forests are all about cycles – and this is just another one of the many interrelated cycles that we work with. After waking up the kiln, sealing the chamber and getting the heat to the wood, I spent the rest of the day back on step 6, cutting up the logs for the next batch of oak. Though the current flooring is spoken for, we are now taking orders for floors that will be ready by October.  Satisfied customers tell us that good things are worth planning and waiting...

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Woods From the Woods – Inventory Highlights

Posted by on Feb 26, 2015 in Blog |

The array of Hyla Woods products is driven by what the forests provide, which means that we end up with a large range of products from the full suite of ten plus species that are part of the forests’ web.  Here are a few of the current highlights: – Specialty cedar paneling – 3/8″ x various widths. Tongue and groove with a V groove.  Clear and character.  Here is an example of how it is being used –  http://hylawoods.com/?p=451 – Flooring – Fir, oak, maple, and ash. Various grades and dimensions. – Fir Trim – Milled from the old, tight grained select fir in our Manning forest, this beautiful trim may be used in a wide range of applications. 1″ x 3″, 4″, 5″ and 6″.  Here is an example of how our friend at Grand Central Bakery recently used it to highlight their new bakery in the Woodstock neighborhood – http://hylawoods.com/?p=532 – Bending Oak – Our select, airdried oak is being regularly used in artistic furniture projects.  This is a connect that we particularly appreciate. – Select Cedar – Because the winter of 2013 kept us busy with milling some large, beautiful cedar that the wind had taken down, we’re now fortunate to have a solid inventory of high quality cedar.  Various dimensions. – A Cutting Board for Every Kitchen! – Oak and Maple. Large and smaller.  Available either directly from us or through Food Front Coop and other local outlets.  Learn more here:  http://hylawoods.com/?page_id=24 This is just a taste and we have much more to offer.  We encourage you to get in touch for more information....

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Pecha Kucha Follow Up Resources

Posted by on Feb 12, 2015 in Blog |

Follow On Notes From Peter Hayes’ Pecha Kucha Presentation Feb. 12, 2015: First, the joke.  How about:  Q: What is the best definition of “perfect pitch”?  A: When the accordion is thrown into the dumpster and it lands right on the banjo.  (note – I am fully qualified to tell this type of cruel, discriminatory joke, given that I own and play both of these long ridiculed, fine instruments) Mumford’s Quote – A paraphrased it, in the interest of the ticking clock.  Here is the real one:   “I have seen a lot of scenery in my life, but I have seen nothing so tempting as a home for man than this Oregon country…… You have the basis here for civilization on its highest scale and I am going to ask you a question which you may not like……. Have you enough intelligence, imagination, and cooperation among you to make the best use of these opportunities?”  I really like it because he was speaking to a room full of men who saw themselves as successful – and offered a different definition of success than most were measuring themselves by.   City Club of Portland, 1938.  Both of my grandfathers were probably there. Reconciliation – For a more thorough exploration, this might help: http://hylawoods.com/?p=297 Family and Forests – More info on our ongoing relationship is here: http://hylawoods.com/?page_id=14.  The book Downriver tells my great, great grandfather’s story and the book Boxing the Compass tells my grandfather’s. Status of Oregon Forests – There are many measures of how things are going.  Examples include:  38 animal species that are forest dependent in NW Oregon being either extinct or in serious trouble, this indicator – http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/indicators/pages/indicatorEc.aspx , and the recent CZARA ruling by the federal government. Experiment with a Single Stand – Here is a recent write up:  http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/42990/em9082.pdf  Thanks to Amy Grotta of OSU Forestry Extension, and her colleagues. Monitoring and Analyzing Forest Health – http://hylawoods.com/?page_id=16 and http://hylawoods.com/?page_id=36 For a Summary of Hyla Woods’ Work – http://hylawoods.com/?p=266 Grower–Consumer Partnership – http://hylawoods.com/?p=274 and http://hylawoods.com/?p=270 Build Local Alliance – www.buildlocalalliance.org.  Next event set for March 30th in Portland.  Come join the fun. Consumer Leadership  – Here is...

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