Sustainability can take many forms, from large scale solar farms powering homes and businesses to the simple act of composting your kitchen waste into a powerful plant nutrient. At Ecowood Displays, we take reclaiming materials and producing new useful products from them very seriously. This story is a little bit different, but extols the message of sustainability just as loudly.
I found a handwritten note in my mailbox a couple of weeks ago requesting permission to cut down a couple of dead Agave Americana that were close to the road. Answering the number on the note was Don, a soft spoken man who proceeded to tell me how he wanted to craft a surfboard from the "wood" gleaned from the prickly plants. Not one to shy away from a mini adventure, I set a date and plans were made.
Chain saws, ropes and ladders were pressed into service and the four deceased agave stalks were cut into ten foot lengths and loaded into the back of Don’s Ford pickup truck. Because the truck was loaded to the max, the surfboard that he brought to show me had to stay at the house. (not a thank you gift!!!)
I brought the board to work on Monday so that Don could pick it up at the shop. Oohs and aahs abounded as all the wood junkies around here ogled the cool board. Turns out Don is the head winemaker at Three Sticks Winery, a very hot artisan winery here in Sonoma. Don’s pedigree includes a long stint as the winemaker at Chateau St. Jean in Kenwood.
So just where is the sustainability part of this story, you ask? Simple. 1. You harvest a dead Agave Americana stalk and build a surfboard for your son. 2. You plant a handful of new Agave plants. 3. Ten years later the new plants have grown to full size and flowered and died. 4. Your son leaves a handwritten note in my mailbox asking if he can cut down the stalks to make a surfboard for his son. and on, and on...