Sawmill Back sideLike a kid on Christmas day.
Henry and I fashioned a 12 foot 6″ x 6″ post today – the first of many we’llSawmill first post close-up need. He’s quite the master taking one layer off at a time as he rotates the log – finding the highest quality wood and making thin boards (flooring) as he goes. Not much is wasted. The bark is burned for heat in our boilers and even the saw dust is composted. Here are a couple photos and a video of that first beam being cut – and now sitting under shelter to cure.

Poplar as a building wood is almost perfect. It grows quickly. It gives no slivers. It becomes a semi hard wood as it dries and as you can see, it has beautiful knot features. And, of course, it grows everywhere here, so we’re pumped to be using it.
The only down side is that poplar does not deal with sustained, high humidity well, so we’ll only use it inside the house – posts, beams, rafters, ceiling, loft flooring – and as wall studding on the south side.
Maggie’s been working on the floor plan. Here is the flattened space John Holden made with his Skid Steer. (John lives near Ninette, Manitoba and is available for hire to landscape your place. He and his machine literally work as one. 204.Foundation Raw528.3436) We’ve been looking forward to having a foot print on which we could scratch doors and counters and furniture to size. Here’s a shot (taken by our son Jonah) of us doing that. The plan feels great. She’s got it functioning as a spiral – with minimum interior walls – which will help with the heat distribution and a feeling of endless space. Once we have a photograph-able drawing, I’ll explain that further.
We should have a structure built for the solar array by next week – and a better idea on how well the excavated soil will serve our rammed earth walls.
If you’re interested in coming down for a day or two to help out, you can stay in the Pond House. Let us know at or call 204.534.2303 or text 204.305.0528. Enjoy the lushness of summer!