Back of Beyond Equine Centre

2019 Spring Wood Bee a Huge Success

By Nancy West


The early morning of May 4, 2019 saw a steady influx of cars and trucks winding down the lengthy driveway of Back of Beyond Equine Centre. Approximately 50 women and men of all ages, spilled out, with chainsaws and log splitters in tow, ready to tackle the mountain of logs waiting for them at the 5thannual Harvest Church wood bee!

The wood bee is a ministry where firewood is cut, split and delivered to many Muskoka families free of charge who would otherwise struggle financially to purchase wood to heat their homes over the long winter months.  Dozens of families have been ministered to in this way over the years.

By 8:00 a.m., the buzz of multiple chain saws could be heard at two wood processing stations at the farm. Rows upon rows of firewood were split and stacked by willing volunteers.  Meanwhile, women armed with brimming crock pots and food trays started trickling in to add to the growing lunch offering awaiting the workers in the barn.  The sun started to break through the clouds near noon, and temperatures rose high enough for workers to sit comfortably outside with their bowls of chili or stew. Once lunch was over, people jumped back into action, re-energized by the donated food, working well into the afternoon.

In talking to Chuck Payne, one of the organizers of the event, about the day’s activities, he was enthusiastic.  “We probably processed 45 cord of wood that day”, he stated.  “Even with 6 wood splitters, we couldn’t finish it all”, he added.  “It was amazing.  We will be working another evening with a bunch of people just to finish it up”. Usually happening in November each year, this year, the wood bee was switched to early May.  “The Lord really blessed us with good weather”, Payne noted. “I can’t ever remember the weather being nice enough for us to enjoy our lunch outside.”  When I asked why the event moved from late fall to spring, the answer was simple.  “We talked about it last fall because the wood was wet when being delivered to in-need families.  Processing firewood in the spring allows it to dry all summer and would be usable immediately when received this fall”.

“The hand of the Lord was on us no question”, he added.  “We had prayed big time for protection over us, and even with that many chain saws and 6 splitters going, there were no mishaps.”