Getting the trees out of the forest costs alot of energy and planning. Each year it is my aim to gather 1200 suitable logs but the reality is closer to 1000. The oak trees that I need are not particularly tall or big at the base and produce an average of 8 usable meters with a diameter between 8 – 18 cm. The 150 or so trees this year were felled in January by a couple of skilled young log fellers in 1,5 – 2 days. Most of the forests in the Netherlands are fairly close to a road or a track so it is not too much of a problem to carry the logs out to a collection point along the road. Producing 1200 logs is done in a jiffy but getting them out of the forest requires a lot of shoulders and many strong legs.
This year I was able to enlist the help of a lot of different people. Small groups of students from Wageningen University were more than happy to exchange their laptop screens for an outdoor workout, participants of a Groene Takken course learnt about choosing the right logs for Edible Wood whilst carrying them out of the forest and neighbours turned temporary forest workers were pleased to have a reason to do something else during these monotonous Corona days.
It is always fine to be able to work in a forest, quite different to just walking through it. The feeling of the first log of the day on my shoulder is a combination of pain (squeaky muscles) and contentment (the feeling of cold air on my cheek), the last log of the day also produces a feeling of pain (sore muscles) but also once again of contentment (less logs in the forest, a job well done).