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Monday, October 10, 2011

"Green" Vs Green ($)

Yesterday, I spent the day mostly in the truck, driving the six hour, one way trip to our little spot in the north woods of Minnesota, to meet the horse logger we had hoped would do our building site clearing. Having 15 sled dogs at home and a "to do" list the length of my arm, means no luxury of staying over night this time around.

Mark met me on our property at 1PM on the dot. I love punctuality!  This was a great start. He looked like he knew the woods well from his appearance, which gained him my instant respect in that category.  I had read a bit about him prior to setting up the meeting and was impressed with what I had read. He had been involved with the US Forest Service for many, many years, working contracts for horse logging and specializing in primitive tools. Raising him even further above the rest was that he had formed a sustainable forestry organization in our area. If anything, I knew I was in for an interesting and educational visit.

Taking the time to walk our entire flagged area, Mark was kind enough to offer tidbits of knowledge and recommendation along the way when it came to what trees to keep, which ones were on their last leg, what that particular type of fungi was used for and how it was harvested, along with comments on our two "nurse" trees that had fallen and now lay host to a beautiful and fascinating straight-as-an-arrow line of baby Balsam trees. The first comment, however, that made me think we were now heading down a different path with our clearance was, "You won't want to clear all of this".

We had planned to clear roughly 2.5 acres to make space for our beeswax candle workshop with attached living quarters, pole building, dog kennels with large roof over top, dog food shed and two large hooped garden sites. This size clearance was on our "wish list" and it was designed to comply with Firewise recommendations, our need for solar power and our desire to create a large open space where air could flow, keeping the nasty insects away from our dogs. Mark was aware of our requirements and our tight budget so now we were getting to the reality of what could actually be done with the resources available.

Excited about the prospect of the horses doing our clearing, I daydreamed of them tromping around in our woods as our "green", wilderness savvy logger, wandered in our present day woods, uttering various indistinguishable exclamatory notes to himself and scratching his head.When his figuring was complete, our journey down the "horse logging trail" took an abrupt turn when the horse logger himself bid the job as a mechanized one, excluding the horses all together, after considering the carnage left from our recent driveway job, making the area to be cleared not as easily accessible by the horses and therefore cost prohibitive. Yikes! That day dream sure met a quick death. But you know, I respect straight, honest and unfluffed information. It saves time! So, all being said and done, even with a project that is mechanized, the clearing looks like it could potentially be under an acre. Nothing like a swift slap in the face by reality.

So now we ponder over the new direction life is showing us. Actually, it's all in the same general direction, just a different path leading us to the same end result. It's difficult when you very much would like to follow the path your values send you, knowing that doing so, to the full extent, would mean a nice big clearing as a result of horse and man power alone,  but no money left for a roof over your head!  "Green" versus Green.($) There's got to be a healthy balance that supports both our values and our pocket book.  Still we ponder...........

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