Stewardship

As matters of health and of principle, we:

  • conserve resources.
  • recycle, filter, and reduce waste.
  • are nice to people.
  • build durable goods that will outlive many cycles of inferior furniture.

Wood and Forestry

When I worked in the woods and sawmill as a young man, the old men lamented, “Good timber is dwindling away.” I have seen the quality of timber and lumber decline in my lifetime—not all that long in forest-time.

It is possible to manage forestland so that a perpetual harvest of improving quality can be sustained—the opposite of dwindling away. This is the goal of the Forest Stewardship Council. Almost all of the cherry, maple, and mahogany we buy comes from forests that are FSC certified to be well managed. See Forest Stewardship


Waste and Recycling

We recycle cardboard, paper, metal, glass, and plastic. We cut and organize wood scrap for fuel. We compost shavings and dust in the chicken house or in piles on the ground. Our neighbors haul wood scrap, shavings, and dust for projects, fuel, or mulch. But some materials go to the dumpster…not much, but some.


The Atmosphere

Our tabletop varnish releases Volatile Organic Compounds, VOC's — a category of air pollutants. To reduce our exposure to VOC's and the emission of them to the atmosphere, we have built a scrubber; in it, we circulate the air of the finishing area through a bed of activated carbon.

loading the scrubber with carbon

loading the scrubber with carbon

Enclosing and air conditioning the finishing area and filtering the air through the scrubber have transformed the work of finishing: we maintain constant temperature and humidity; the finishes are better; we work in filtered air; there is no discharge to the atmosphere.

VOC scrubber

VOC scrubber


Land Use

On this hill, prone to drought and to downpour, we

  • limit impervious cover to the least that will keep the trucks and our feet out of the mud,
  • encourage native grass and trees,
  • collect rainwater to irrigate a few hardy, drought tolerant plants,
  • build stone cheque dams on the outcroppings and contours to keep water and soil from leaving the place.