John Alexander’s Forest.
I came across John and Louise Alexander while riding on the Kandanga Range. I was taken by the mixed forest plantings that are mostly about 10 years old. The growth rates up here are quite remarkable. John is passionate about all aspects of trees including what he can make from the wood. John potters around the 20+ acre forest, pruning, planting and tending as a matter of pleasure. It is, in my opinion, one of the key stones of sustainability to derive enjoyment from a functional passtime. John loves what he does and produces something in the process.
Much of the pruning is done with hand tools. John prefers to prune progressively as it allows a more organic expansion of the canopy rather than large pruning events that shock the system in a similar, but less drastic, way to clear felling. This also fits well with John as he is able to do a little bit here and there on an on-going basis.
I found John in his workshop, tending to some freshly cut wood. He has several very simple and light wight chainsaw milling jigs and a well set up wood working shed. John later showed me the house. The wood in the house came from trees he milled him self or had milled from trees he salvaged and cut himself. The doors, windows and internal fit out of the whole house is made from Southern Silky Oak (Grevillea Robusta). I was blown away!
To top it off, Louise Alexander is a painter. Her pieces, framed by John in Silky Oak of course, are spectacular.
An lovely couple, a great property and a spectacular house.
Thanks for showing me around John and Louise.