Blog 1: Let the Adventure Begin

(© Morten Bo Johansson)© Morten Bo JohanssonFSC Denmark annually hosts a Design Award competition for Danish design and architecture students based on their use of wood and sustainable practices. The winner of the 2014 FSC Denmark Design Award, Sigrid Juel Jensen, has won a trip to Canada, where she will visit FSC-certified forests, develop a version of her winning design at a local workshop and get a close look at FSC and responsible forest management in Canada.

Our journey begins in eastern Canada, an hour's drive from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Here, they drive in big cars on deserted, wide roads and forests stretch as far as the eye can see. It’s here that we will visit FSC-certified Windhorse Farm and where Sigrid will recreate a version of her winning design, "SCREW", from FSC-certified wood using local Canadian species.  See Sigrid’s winning design on her website.

Upon our arrival we learn that Windhorse Farm is managed based on a fundamental principles of sustainability which is in-step with nature and with great consideration to the diversity. The woodlot has been harvested each year for the last 170 years, yet has the same volume of standing timber today as it had when the first axe bit wood in 1840. 

One of our first encounters on Windhorse Farm was with Ted, a horse, whose job was to pull logs out of the woods.  But Ted is now retired and can enjoy himself in the shade of the barn.

Little House on the "Prairie"

"This is really simple and authentic," says Sigrid about the little wooden cabin in the forest that will be our home for the next few days. "It's kind of a mix of Little House on the Prairie and a forest worker housing, “she continues. With shingles on the roof, fireplace to warm up with a well to collect water and a toilet, which is located further inside the forest, it is not luxury, but a meeting with nature, which is paramount. 

After the first night in the cabin, the dishes are washed using water from the well with the birds and squirrels as spectators.  On our journey, Sigrid is joined by her boyfriend Fredrik, who played a big part in developing "SCREW" , the design that helped her win first place. ”I would like to share this great experience with him.” says Sigrid. "We have a huge common interest to the woods and nature and at the same time we both like to learn more. I think we can use this travel professionally in the architectural profession, but also privately. "she concludes. 

About Windhorse Farm

Windhorse Farm is a responsibly managed forest and working farm on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, with a wood-product business. Jim & Margaret Drescher, Co-founders Margaret moved to Windhorse Farm with her family in 1990 with the goal of saving this magical forest from the clear cutters. 

Forest Fact

Canada is for many the epitome of a forest country with deep, endless forests. One reason is that Canada is the world's third largest forest nation. Canada has 348 million hectares of forest and no less than about 45% of Canada is covered by forest. In addition, Canada is also among the world's largest producers and exporters of wood products.  Read more at Natural Resources Canada here .

What’s next for Sigrid? 

Read Blog #2 where Sigrid begins recreating her design and tells us about spending time in the woods alone after dark. 

© Forest Stewardship Council® · FSC® F000205