Last summer (see my post Peeling Trees for our House) we selected the trees on our land that will be used to build our house, and Tuesday December 5, 20011, our construction foreman, Bryan Dalstrom started felling those trees so they can be prepped for construction, working with Kellen Anderson on the project.

I have discovered that when you start a sustainable building project based on non-conventional building principals, you find yourself working with a people who love their work and throw themselves into it.

Kellen on the left and Bryan on the right.

Working with Bryan is going to be an education in orchestrating all the alternative facets and watching a network form among people who are  committed to  try new materials and methods.  Bryan is going to weave it all together.

And the first thread on the loom is Kellen Anderson.  We are committed to using local materials and services as much as possible on this building project, and Kellen is a wonderful example.  Kellen grew up on farm on a ridgetop we can see from the highest point on our land.  His grandfather Lloyd Anderson owned our land.  It was part of the family farm that Kellen’s father, Jeff helped his father work.  Kellen and his father planted the pines and spruces that will be our rafters.  He told me today that when he was a little boy, his family was cutting their Christmas trees from among this grove that is now providing our rafters.

 Kellen has started an innovative business called Woodland Futures.  Check it out in this video of a local television interview.

Felling trees in this grove is challenging because the trees are so close that a cut tree cannot fall.  Kellen and Bryan are getting around this by wrapping a chain around the trunk after the tree is cut.  Then the chain is winched toward the tractor till it finally comes down.  

Luckily, it was just cold enough to keep the ground frozen today.  It’s ideal to remove the trees from the woods during the winter because the frozen ground is less damaged as the trees are moved.

The rafters are being stacked by the greenhouse for now.  Once they have been collected from all over our 44 acres, there will be about 100 rafters.

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