On Thursday afternoon I drove through a wicked snowstorm to the north end of Cayuga Lake in way Upstate New York, where my family and its herd of Holsteins recently moved to from Litchfield County, CT. Right next to my parents' house is a big empty barn that is relatively new and has never seen the hooves of a cow - combine that with their proximity to the source of the birch up in Canada, and they were just begging me to put that barn to good use.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Friday morning the sun came out and a tractor trailer arrived. My father fired up his first real post-full-time-dairy-farmer toy (a brand new tractor delivered the day before) and we unloaded the trees with the help of my brother and an exceptionally cheerful driver who was more than happy to get his last delivery of 2007 off the truck. To temporarily store the trees, we stood them up, creating a dense forest in the barn. That was the easy part.
The crucial step was figuring out how to turn those 16-18 foot trees into attractive, standardized products, while keeping the waste to a minimum. We got cutting and a few trees down the way we had it figured out: 3-4' Brush in bundles of 15; 1-2', 1/2-1" Rods in bundles of 10; 3-4' Forks in bundles of 3; 3-4', 1/2-1" Poles in bundles of 5; 3-4', 1-2" Poles in bundles of 3; and 3-4', 2-3" Trunks. We'll have pictures up soon and these should be available for purchase in early January.