Sustainable forestry and elimination of waste is of great importance to us. Our environmental impact is carefully planned to ensure the wellbeing of our forests for many generations to come.
When sourcing the logs for our mill, we support other small local foresters, who follow sound forest management practices. Some of our logs come from private tree lots, where a landowner may be clearing a small lot of trees or even a single tree from someone’s front yard. We offer a way to use the logs from those trees as dimensional lumber, rather than as firewood or waste to be burnt.
- First cut slabs: the first cut taken from the log when we put it on the sawmill, are bundled up for our customers who like them for rustic projects and as firewood. Many of our second cut slabs go through our edger, trimming off the live edges. These trimmings also get combined with the first cut slabs for décor and as kindling.
- Sawdust/Wood Flour: Very fine, and is an excellent medium for composting, or even as fill as it decomposes quickly. Wood flour can also be used as a medium for furniture makers and carpenters for filling cracks and making repairs to their woodworking projects. Wood flour can also be used as an absorbent in shops and even in cat litter boxes.
- Wood Shavings: Though we don’t plane our dimensional lumber, we do plane some of the craft and décor boards. The shavings from our planer come mostly from spruce and pine boards and is bagged for animal bedding and footing for walkways.
- Other Shavings and sawdust: When we occasionally mill logs that have properties not safe for all animals or that could have a negative impact on vegetation, such as cedar, the wood flour is kept separate from the other wood flour and shavings. Though limited, there are a few other uses for that sawdust and shavings such as selective use as a weed or pest control medium in landscaping.
- Live Edge décor and craft boards: These come mainly from from 1st and 2nd cuts made to the logs on the sawmill. Pieces are hand picked to be added to our inventory of décor and craft boards. Those boards are air dried and sorted based on size, widths and special characteristics, then further processed into boards ready to create with. Some are planed, to provide a smooth surface for crafts such as those boards selected for painting or wood burning projects. Others are left rough for a subtle rustic look. The boards are then cut to lengths, ready to head to stores and artisans. A select few boards are held back for making prepared signs. Further processing is done to these boards such as holes drilled for decorative hangers like re-purposed barbed wire or primed and painted with chalkboard paint, ready to personalize.
FOREST FIRE FIGHTING SERVICES
Working in conjunction with Double F Trucking Ltd, Gary’s Mill provides Wild Fire Equipment services. Each year we are on standby for Wildland Fire, ready to go at a moment’s notice to protect our forests and local residents from the threat of forest fires.
Our crew is made up of skilled equipment operators with many years of firefighting experience. When the call comes to fight a fire, we join other skilled local contractors and work as a team to help the ground and air crews bring the wildfires under control.
We provide our skidder and water truck, while Double F Trucking provides their bulldozer and heavy equipment hauling services. More equipment is available for reclamation after the fires, to help our forests make a healthy recovery from the fires.
GARY’S MILL IS EVEN BEE FRIENDLY
We are located in a region with many bee farms. Each spring, after the snow melts and before the flowers begin to bloom, our yard is filled with honey bees, attracted to the sap in the sawdust piles and on the freshly cut boards. For days, even weeks, they travel back and forth from their homes in bee boxes set up on neighbouring farms filling their bellies with sap and warming themselves on the piles sitting in the spring sun. Once the flowers and other food sources appear, they move on, coming back only occasionally to visit us.
In this time, we take great care to ensure this vital bridge between winter and spring is free of anything that may harm them.
Sound a bit sappy? Gary’s Mill takes the protection of our bees very seriously, conservation of bee populations for both ecological and local economic reasons it vital. Our contribution may be small, and even unplanned, but if everyone did just a little to help protect the bees, it would become a large contribution.