Winter Fields, Ridgway Chainsaw Rendezvous

The snow is insulating everything…the hopyard, the upper fields…the sound.

I threw on the snowshoes and headed up to the hopyard, and where our high tunnel use to stand. It is now a pile of scrap metal waiting to be hauled off for recycling. The metal we won’t be able to use, however all the black locust planks we used for the kick and hipboards will come in handy for many future projects I’m certain. One rub however – fire ants!

Before the snow fell in late 2014, I was prepping to move the lumber out of the fields and into the woods where it would be stacked properly and tarped. However the ants that took found a home in and around the pile didn’t like my idea. I couldn’t spray the wood with the classic insect killers (a no-no in the organic realm), so I decided to wait until the coldest day arrived, separate the wood and stand it up around the water tank to dry out and most especially, freeze out its newest residents.

Even though the temps were hovering near 10 degrees, it was pretty easy to work up a good sweat prying each piece of wood from its icy crypt, moving it over to the water tank and standing the heavy planks on their ends to dry in the sun. Once the snow melts, they’ll be moved to a neatly stacked (and covered) pile nearby in the woods for later use.

It also happened to be the week of the Ridgway Chainsaw Rendezvous. If you’ve never been there…go! Now it might at first sound like something most folks would find interesting…dozens and dozens of carvers from around the country…the world actually…coming to the nearby hamlet of Ridgway for a week long competition and celebration of their incredible chainsaw carving skills, but it is amazing! When you witness first hand these incredible creations made with a tool most consider unwieldy and crude, prepare for “MIND-BLOWN”! And it’s not just a handful of carvers, it’s street after street of what must be almost a hundred artists creating everything from furniture to lawn decorations to small hand-held crafts.

My brother Mike and I headed over for an hour or so in rather blistery conditions…great, great stuff! Of course we hit a local watering hole afterward in the search for some great craft beers…mixing business with pleasure. Although as someone who grows beer ingredients, I’m pretty sure that’ll always be the case 😉



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