Merck is an exciting place because it holds true to its title of a forest AND farmland center. While we apprentices spend a lot of time working on the farm, every day we also get to play in the woods: be it on our hike down the hill from the Lodge, hitting the trails on our off hours, or getting things done with the sugaring crew and forester during work.
Yesterday apprentice Bryan and I did the latter; we got to work out in the woods with Will up near the Barn Cabins. The tasks (common ones here at MFFC) were these: clear felled trees off the road, waste as little as possible. If these tasks require using awesome and fun tools, so be it.
The first step was Will giving us a refresher on chainsaw safety, use, and maintenance, which you can never hear too often. After we checked that we had all our ducks in a row, so to speak, and all of our safety gear on, he showed us the appropriate cuts to use for bucking up the trees into pieces that could fit into our cabin stoves.
Next, we got introduced to our amazing new Timber Wolf wood splitter. Bryan and I were smitten. This is a seriously cool and seriously serious machine, and it sure does beat chopping by hand.
By creating three stations: one sawyer, one person running the splitter, and one unloading the splitter and stacking, we were able to get the road cleared off and start the stockpile of wood for the Barn Cabins quite efficiently. One log at a time, we’re making sure guests have an enjoyable experience in the Merck woods and have warm fires come cooler weather to toast their toes after a brisk day.
It is so nice to get into the woods, and always nice to learn from pros like Will. Yesterday definitely whet our appetite for the Game of Logging Course we apprentices and will are taking at Merck this August. Pictures and updates from that to come!