feel free to leave your comments after any posts - we'd love to hear from you

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Which tree is always scared?
 A quaking aspen.

Last week we took down quite a few quaking aspens for peeling.  At one point one of the kids said something along the lines of, 

"Aren't we taking down a lot of trees?  Won't there be any left?"  

Nate replied with, "Oh, we're just cutting these trees down to keep them safe."  He pointed to a piece of the tree in front of him,  "Don't worry...no ones gonna cut this tree down."

Well...we thought it was funny...maybe you had to be there.

Many thanks to Bekah, Jarron, and Mary Ellen for allowing themselves to be eaten by mosquitoes, black flies, and deer flies just so they could have the experience of peeling logs.

If you want to help us peel or cut and split what we have already give us a call or email.  We'll be up working again this weekend.

Bekah - always with a smile!

Jarron skipped out on homework to peel.  

Not only did Mary Ellen bring us some awesome food (iced tea, strawberry/water melon smoothies and quesadillas) - she also stayed and peeled a bunch of logs!

Ella - sporting the bug net and the peeling spud!

Nevin - a peeling machine!

Yes, this probably violates some child safety law...but boy!  Zane is handy with a draw knife.

Denise just kept crankin' them out.

Nate just keeps going and going.

Just an aside...the creativity of children.  Nevin put together this rickshaw out of an old trailer and some scrap lumber.  The kids in the back were the drivers and Nevin was the horse.  Loads of fun with simple stuff!  Way to go kidos! 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Time Correction for Log Peeling


If you are planning on coming up to help peel logs this Saturday (June 7th),
we've changed the time.

Because of the Beaver Camp Auction we won't be starting until 3:30pm.  Please let you friends know...and thank you for your help.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Can You Spare a Few Hours?

Charles Dickens
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”
Charles Dickens
As we stated in our previous post...we have about 10 cords of quaking aspen to cut down, limb, cut to manageable lengths, move out of the woods, peel, cut to 18" lengths, and stack.  This takes quite a while with just the two of us working on it.
So, we are putting out a call for some help.  You don't have to cut down trees (or even use a saw - if you don't want to) but we could use some help hauling wood, peeling, and stacking.
Here's the deal.  For the next two weeks we will be going at this non-stop.  We invite you to come up any of the next two Thursdays, Fridays, or Saturdays to help out (That's June 5,6,7,12,13,14).  Bring a sack dinner.
Here are the times:
Thursdays and Fridays - 4:00pm until dusk
Saturdays - 1pm until dusk (we will be up there earlier in the day on June 14th)
If you don't know where the farm is - just email us for directions.

Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated!  
Thanks for your support!
P.S.  We'd love it if you signed up (over there on the right hand side of your screen) to receive email updates or an RSS feed of the Stone Table Farm Blog.  Make sure to check your email for a confirmation message to receive new postings.

Three Seasons of Peeling!

“Trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.”

If you would have told us in June of 2012 (when we purchased our land) that we'd still be peeling logs in June of 2014...we would have laughed. Yet, here we are, in our third go round with peeling quaking aspen for the cordwood house.

We've learned lots of lessons over the years.  For example; peel the logs where you can get rid of the peelings immediately and not have to transport them to their final resting spot.  Or - cut the logs into manageable lengths before you try transporting them.

As we end May and start June we figure on about 2 to 3 more weeks of good peeling weather.  Then it will be too hot and the bark will start to cling to the trees...making the ease of peeling the bark off into the hassle of chipping the bark off.  We need to get 10 cord done this season to have our final amount for the house.

Well for all of you who have never seen the proccess (or have forgotten how it is done) here is a little video we've put together for you.  It takes you from standing tree to peeled log (we don't have video of cutting the logs to 18" lengths, splitting them, and stacking them....but you can use your imagination).

Enjoy (and come help)!

If you want more blog entries on peeling logs (after you watch this video) look here...

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

RePaint and Thin No More

"Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence every day?"
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Just a small peek into some of the scavenger work that goes on around here.  Most of the time Nate is diving in the dumpster to pick out treasures.  This time all he had to do was look under the shelves in the back room at work.

Tucked back in there were dozens and dozens of old paint cans.  Some dented, some with rusty lids, some mixed with the wrong color.  All of them unfit for sale and too much of a pain to dispose of.

So with some characteristic charm Nate asked if he could salvage some of them.  Well the rest is history.  We now have enough paint to paint two whole houses and then some.


Friday, May 2, 2014

Every Six Months?

Okay...we have not updated the blog in a veeeeery long time!!!  We've decided that we'll just do it twice a year.  That way it's just one long night in front of the computer for all of us!

The winter has seen some slow movement on the Grouse.  We got to it when we could and when the weather permitted.  Now that spring has sprung we're back at it.

So here is a photo essay from the past 7 months.  Roughly October to April.

Denise staring at a log.  Actually we were still cutting wood for the cordwood house last fall.  IN Fact we'll be cutting more this spring/summer as well.

O.k. so this is the bright crew... We know when to stand around and watch a job done well.

Awesome!  Our friend Jim came in with his skid steer and made quick work of bringing back in top soil and grading around the Grouse.  We figured this would have taken us about a week or two with shovels and wheel barrows.

By December it was time to get some heat.  We purchased this beast knowing that it will easily heat our 540 square foot grouse.  We'll move it over to the main house when it is needed there.

Our friend Tim from Cedarcrest Construction helped us put in the chimney.

Which involved cutting a hole in the roof.

Running some double wall pipe.

And firing it up.  Nice and toasty now!

Now that we had heat we could work in the chilly winter months.  Here we are starting the wall for the bathroom.

Snow was all around this winter.  Mira enjoyed it.

On New Years Eve it was time for the 2nd annual New Years Eve Torch-Lit Sledding Extravaganza Extraordinary (I just made up that name).  We invite friends over on New Years Eve to sled by torch light and have food together.  Here we are building up the snow for the tubing launch platform.

Literally truck loads of snow.

Nana was up for a visit.

We even put her to work hauling snow.

Almost done.

Ready to launch our first victim (err...I mean rider).

Building a quick lean-to for the firewood.

Cocoa and chili on the stove top.

Let it snow.

Nana's favorite spot.

As night falls people begin to show up.

The tube launch.  You can see a torch in the foreground.  Unfortunately you have to use a flash to see anything...which ruins the effect of the torchlight.

Lighting torches.

Going for a ride.

Big man, big hill, big fun.

The tubing run.

Getting ready for a push.

Back to building.  With heat the upstairs is toasty warm.  Denise is running wiring.

Nate and our friend Tim (the other Tim) studying out how to run the wire for the 3 way switch upstairs.

Ella and Zane having fun playing house.

Pulling wire.

Yes, she does know how to wire an electrical box.  No, her head does not fully fill the pointed part of her hat.

Now that the wiring is done it's time for insulation.  We blew in cellulose insulation so first we had to staple up a product called Insulweb.

This fabric (much like a giant dryer sheet) lets the air escape from the wall cavity as you blow in the insulation in.

Mira doing her hard work.

Nevin assisting Nate in stapler surgery.

Zane tending the fire (or Mira).

The Insulweb is all up and we are ready to blow.

The first blower we tried.  We found out it didn't really have what it took to do the job.

Here is what will be insulating the Grouse.  Shredded newspaper!

Suiting up.

Masked crime fighters!

The second machine we tried.  Much better!

Here are some completed cavities.  You over fill each space and then later roll the bulge flat before you install dry wall.

Nate manned the wand.

Denise fed the beast.

Rolling a cavity flat.


We don't have a picture of him but our friend Lloyd gave us a day of help and a crash course on drywalling.

A freshly sheared Nevin lending a hand.

Home schooling at 8:30pm.  On the job training.

We put up furring strips in the upstairs to bring the drywall away from the insulation (which is rolled batts of Ecofill).

Stopping for a meal.  Soft tacos I think.

Here you can see the Ecofill (which is a natural rolled insulation with no fiberglass and other nasty stuff in it).  The row of studs in the foreground are the vertical parts of our roof trusses.  We cut the upstairs floor around them.  The second row of smaller studs is a knee wall (more like a calf wall) that we built to finish off the upstairs and allow us some extra storage space.

Downstairs again.  We want to keep the ceiling on the first floor open.  Someday it will be a garage and we want to be able to hang stuff from the rafters.  So we had to develop an angled wall section near the top to join the wall to the bottom of the floor above.  Turned out pretty well.

The upstairs before drywall.

Starting the upstairs ceiling.

Measuring for the next piece.

Getting a lot done.

I think this is the opening to the Muppet Show or something like that.

Working our way around.

Drill baby drill!

Some more homeschooling 101.  Measuring and power tools.
Good job Ella!

Some sort of random picture.

As the weather improves the kids start fort building.

A finished upstairs.  Except for the walls around the stove pipe.