The Taproot | Page 2 of 41 | West Wind Hardwood
Get Lost in a Forest

Get Lost in a Forest

Sometimes you just don’t know how important something is until it’s gone, or until you go somewhere that doesn’t have it.  Travel is that way.   Much can be learned by watching the land from the window of an airplane, train, or car. It opens the eyes; gives one pause to say, ‘Wow, I had no idea’.  Forests can be that way too.

But what is a forest?  The food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) defines forest land as an area where the tree canopy covers more than 10% of the total area and the trees, when mature, can grow to a height of more than 15 feet.  It does not include land that is predominantly urban or used for agricultural purposes.  And land that temporarily has no trees can still be considered forest when the disturbance is known to be temporary and trees are expected to grow back soon (i.e., after harvesting). Naturally caused additions/removals of tree cover (i.e., fire or pests) are included.

Stats…well, they can be manipulated any which way but here I go.  Forested area: (as of 2010) Denmark has 12.8%, the UK has 11.9%, Australia has 19.4%, Germany has 31.8% and Canada has a whopping 42%.

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Photos by Jan Nielsen – December 2011 – Denmark
Notice the farmer has tilled around the mound of trees; I am told most of these mounds reflect Viking burials (Left)
Beech Tree Forest with Jan’s Cousin/Wife and Me (Shelley) (Right)

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Restaurant Spotlight: Beasts and Bottles, Brooklyn

beasts and bottle Brooklyn restaurant

From left, Alexander LaPratt, Laurent Kalkotour and Leslie Affre of Beasts & Bottles. Credit: Danny Ghitis for The New York Times – Displayed on West Wind Hardwood’s Custom Charcuterie Board

Feasting in Fashion: Restaurant Spotlight

Beasts & Bottles (Brooklyn, NY USA) – Visit Website

Written up in The New York Times…Off the Menu by Florence Fabricant – May 3, 2016  

Equal parts wine bar and rotisserie restaurant, this Brooklyn Heights rookie comes from the team behind Atrium Dumbo, the Provence, France–bred duo of Leslie Affre and Laurent Kalkotour along with Alexander LaPratt. The latter is the borough’s sole master sommelier and 2011’s Best Sommelier in America, as chosen by the American Sommelier Association. He taps into these credentials with a wine list that spotlights smaller French producers and environmentally responsible wines. For the other half of the spot’s focus, Kalkotour fires up three breeds of rotisserie chicken: Crystal Valley cluckers from Indiana, served provençale style with rosemary, thyme and preserved lemons; Sasso chickens from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, slow-roasted and sauced with black truffle jus; and a Goffle Road Poultry Farm bird from New Jersey, finished with chili-infused hoisin, roasted peanuts and cilantro. The starring rotisserie can be seen in the open kitchen from the 55-seat dining room, which also features stained-glass paneling, whitewashed brick walls and a centerpiece wine station constructed from an 1876 tiger-maple butcher block.

Next year is someone’s 60th birthday; the following year is someone else’s 60th.  There has long been talk of a trip to the never-visited “Big Apple”. With Alexander (sommelier) LaPratt’s wine choices said to favour champagnes, I think a little trip might be apropos.

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Tony Grove – A Boatbuilder’s Perspective

Tony Grove – A Boatbuilder’s Perspective

Silva Bay Shipyard School – July 2016 – Photo by Jan Nielsen
Not so open any longer; the school has closed its doors and is the home to local businesses.


A True Renaissance Man

After completing a four-year boatbuilding apprenticeship that started in 1980, Tony Grove honed his skills as a shipwright, specializing in wooden boat restoration/construction, boat interiors building and custom furniture design. This led him to instructing at the Silva Bay Shipyard School on Gabriola Island BC. Tony taught traditional Boatbuilding plus a course (the first of its kind) that he designed on Ship Cabinetry/Joinery. Tony eventually became the school’s head instructor; leaving the school in 2005 to spend time with his family, working for himself as a custom woodworker, boatbuilder, artist, writer and teacher. A true renaissance man!

With the Silva Bay Shipyard School closed, the circle has come full round with The Grove Woodworking School  tucked amongst the trees on beautiful Gabriola Island, B.C.  Courses and Workshops focus on woodworking skills and techniques for the marine environmentwith all skills being transferable to general woodworking. A few non-marine programs will be offered as well. Course material is designed principally for novices; those for advanced learners will be noted.

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Live Edge Walnut Bar Top | Modern Home Victoria Magazine

Live Edge Walnut Bar Top | Modern Home Victoria Magazine

Nautical Family Embrace Natural Materials in Kitchen Design When these avid boaters wanted to do a home renovation they turned to David Sheridan from Splinters Millworks to create a contemporary…

Read the full article at the source: Nautical Family Embraces Natural Materials in Kitchen Design | Modern Home Victoria Magazine

We were thrilled to see our walnut slabs put to some beautiful use in this new kitchen. Read the full article to see more photos and to find out all who were involved in the project.

Thank you to Jody Beck of Modern Home Victoria for the use of the photo.

Polynesian Culture of Wood

Polynesian Culture of Wood

Few people who follow our newsletter do not already know that Jan and I spent some weeks traveling to Australia and back.  To break the 25 hour (in total) flight, we spent 3-nights in Auckland.  On the return home, we broke the trip up in Honolulu.  Of course, nothing was more natural than to pursue ‘all things wood’ in the Polynesian Triangle.  This triangle is a region of the Pacific Ocean with three island groups at its corners:  Hawaii, Easter Island and New Zealand.


Kia ora (Greetings) – Our arrival to Auckland at 5 am – Very few people wondering the corridor.

Having been to neither island before, there was much to absorb in 3-days.  We tested the waters of many attractions, trying to get a cultural sense without attending the larger touristy indigenous centres.

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