Spruce Tree Harvest

by Sydney Michalski

Where does your furniture come from?

When you buy furniture from a store, the wood is coming from huge mills where trailer-loads of tree trunks are shaved down by a series of machines into piles of dimensional lumber and mountains of sawdust. That lumber goes into enormous warehouses, stacked row-upon-row and floor-to-ceiling. It’s delivered to factories where it goes through another series of machines lined up to cut, assemble, fasten, stack and ship vast quantities of mass-produced furniture pieces all over the world.

It’s an incredible, industrial, consumable, commercial web of manufacturing, designed to churn out a continual stream of goods that can be purchased, consumed, and replaced on an enormous scale in order to keep big businesses profitable. It definitely makes many things cheap and easily accessible.

Of course, when you make things by hand, the process looks quite different! Joe is getting ready to make a shaving horse. So we took a walk in the forest! He looked for a tree that would be the right diameter, and that would make sense to harvest. He found this Red Spruce, which was growing too close to an Eastern White Pine. Harvesting the spruce would give more light to the farm, more room for the Pine to continue growing, and provide a base for a great viewing platform in a ferny glen looking out into the forest at a later time.

This combination of benefits decided the fate of one Red Spruce, and down it came.

And just like that, you could stand in its place and see the space that had been created for the Eastern White Pine!

But more than that, you got a close-up look at the top of this really beautiful tree…From below, you look up into towering branches…

But when we took it down, we got to see all the incredible beauty that was happening far up in the sunny sky!

The upper branches were full of male cones, female cones, and bright new spruce tips…
Spruce tips alongside male cones…
These bright spruce tips are one years’ growth on the branches. They are produced each spring. They also happen to make delicious tea!
This female cone will be pollinated and become a mature cone for the year.
The male cones produce pollen, which will fertilize the more colorful female cones, which will then turn into mature cones with seeds…
Amazing colors!
A mature cone, from last season…Doesn’t it look like a rose?

And, we also got to enjoy an impromptu spruce-tip harvest, and make a few bottles of soda!

And then, after we were done enjoying all of the side-benefits of increased sunshine on the farm, increased health of the forest, the amazing beauty of seeing God’s creation up close, and the surprise bounty of a delicious harvest, we have lumber to mill up into a saw bench, and a wide variety of smaller items from all the off-cuts.

And this, I must say, is why working with our hands honors the Lord…In all that we do, we learn how to be better stewards and more enthusiastic admirers of all the Lord has given us!

And there ye shall eat before the Lord your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the Lord thy God hath blessed thee. (Deuteronomy 12:7, KJV)

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