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Gratitude and the Joy of Chopping Wood

Firewood

I’m thinking of firewood and the “thrice enjoyed gift” when a cord of freshly cut fir arrives and is dumped by the woodpile. Behold what pleasure awaits!

The delivery of firewood itself is the first gift. The second is the satisfaction you have when it is stacked and put away. And the third is the bright flames in the fireplace and the warmth that fills the room.

In an early blog post, I said that a fourth gift is the chopping of the wood. It is still true for me. 1

Wood-chopping support

But I’ve recently been the happy recipient of wood-chopping support from Roy Villa. He’s a reasonably new Penderite and, with his partner Laurel, are long-time Happy Monk bread customers. Roy just stepped forward one day and offered to do my wood-chopping, and I was bowled over!

Roy’s been coming to our woodpile every second week and chopping two weeks’ fuel for Mildrith, the wood-fired oven. Mildrith takes more “bite-size” pieces of firewood than what the Greenangel Choppers deliver, and Roy’s the man for that. In an hour or less, he’s chopped and moved a lot of wood!

He arrives on his chosen day, heads straight to the woodpile and starts to chop until it’s time to go home, about an hour later.

In a way, he’s been doing work that I enjoy myself. But the gift is that I can focus more on bread making, the core of the Happy Monk operation. I can’t overstate how satisfying it is to see a plentiful fuel supply for Mildrith’s firing. It’s magic!

Those who make it possible

I can’t thank Roy without also thanking the long list of other Happy Monk suppliers and supporters. These are people who provide services and expertise that keep us running and get our bread to the community.

Like the Greenangel Choppers, who are hyper-attuned to Mildrith’s fuel needs, and who can show up with a load of wood at the drop of a hat.

Like Eve and John Pollard, who offer the front porch of their house as a bread pick-up location for the Port Washington, Hope Bay and Hooson Road neighbourhoods.

How about Josie Spaxman, who cleans our flour-dusted, dough encrusted kitchen as soon as the bread is out the door. And what a sheer pleasure it is to return and find it spotless, warm and inviting.

Can’t forget Suzanne Stirling, who’s been tending the pick-up locations at Port Washington and the Magic Lake area … and Carrie McCarthy and her son Leighton. They were the original bread distributors/helpers. (Watch for more of Suzanne in the coming weeks!)

A cast of thousands

There have been other suppliers, like Mary Rehrer and Andy Nowak of Black Rabbit Farm for their delicious apples and poppy seeds. Michel and Brenda Clairo and their amazing apples, Stuart and Wendy Scholefield for applewood and pick-up truck services. Friends Matt Vasilev and Katie Selbee of Twin Island Cider for the exquisite cider that moistens the crumb of Happy Monk Pender Island Apple Bread.

I love the folks at Nootka Rose Mill, too, who provide such great flour and grain service with a smile and timely advice. Jen, Erika and Byron have been steadying influences and have saved me from a few mistakes

It takes a cast of thousands to make a business thrive, and I am indebted to all these people. And to all those who’ve bought the bread and loved it, but who have also been gracious with my flat, burned and misshapen loaves!

Thank you one and all!!


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Fun at 4 in the morning … first load of bread in the oven, first light, first birdsong, making the treacherous walk back inside with a tower of bannetons. In the rain.
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#bakerslife #bakersofinstagram #baking #baker #woodfired #woodfiredoven #woodfiredovenbread #coboven #earthoven #earthenoven #bread #sourdoughbread #sourdough #bbga #realbread #naturallyleavened #artisanbread #artisanbreadbaker #rusticbread #breadhead #breadlove #breadhour #penderisland #southpenderisland #happymonkbaking #happymonkbakery #happymonkbakingcompany #southerngulfislands #southerngulfislandsbakers #southerngulfislandsbakeries

Fun at 4 in the morning … first load of bread in the oven, first light, first birdsong, making the treacherous walk back inside with a tower of bannetons. In the rain.
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#bakerslife #bakersofinstagram #baking #baker #woodfired #woodfiredoven #woodfiredovenbread #coboven #earthoven #earthenoven #bread #sourdoughbread #sourdough #bbga #realbread #naturallyleavened #artisanbread #artisanbreadbaker #rusticbread #breadhead #breadlove #breadhour #penderisland #southpenderisland #happymonkbaking #happymonkbakery #happymonkbakingcompany #southerngulfislands #southerngulfislandsbakers #southerngulfislandsbakeries
...

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Post to The Happy Monk Baking Company
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Post to The Happy Monk Baking Company
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These corn kernels are headed to the mill to make cornmeal for Anadama Bread this week. It’s a bread with origins on the east coast, but that shouldn’t stop us west coasters from enjoying it, too, godanadamit! This is organic field corn from @fieldstoneorganics of Armstrong, B.C. … and the hard red whole wheat from Metchosin, B.C. make this Happy Monk take on Anadama a bona fide west coast phenomenon! Just sayin’!
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#anadama #anadamabread #cornmeal #cornmealbread #metchosinbc #armstrongbc #stoneground #stonegroundflour #stonemilled #stonemilledflour #stonemilledbread #woodfiredovenbread #bread #realbread #naturallyleavened #baker #bbga #artisanbread #breadhead #breadmaking #sourdough #sourdoughbread #penderisland #southpenderisland #happymonkbaking #happymonkbakery #happymonkbakingcompany #southerngulfislands #southerngulfislandsbakers #southerngulfislandsbakeries

These corn kernels are headed to the mill to make cornmeal for Anadama Bread this week. It’s a bread with origins on the east coast, but that shouldn’t stop us west coasters from enjoying it, too, godanadamit! This is organic field corn from @fieldstoneorganics of Armstrong, B.C. … and the hard red whole wheat from Metchosin, B.C. make this Happy Monk take on Anadama a bona fide west coast phenomenon! Just sayin’!
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#anadama #anadamabread #cornmeal #cornmealbread #metchosinbc #armstrongbc #stoneground #stonegroundflour #stonemilled #stonemilledflour #stonemilledbread #woodfiredovenbread #bread #realbread #naturallyleavened #baker #bbga #artisanbread #breadhead #breadmaking #sourdough #sourdoughbread #penderisland #southpenderisland #happymonkbaking #happymonkbakery #happymonkbakingcompany #southerngulfislands #southerngulfislandsbakers #southerngulfislandsbakeries
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  1. This blog post is worth re-reading if only to be reminded of the exquisite poem, “The Scent of Fresh Wood” by the Norwegian lumberjack poet, Hans Børli.

1 thought on “Gratitude and the Joy of Chopping Wood

  1. 😁❤..Best bread ever!!

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