Well there is always one project or another to do on the farm and since moving into this lovely home we have wanted to build a deck off the back to take in the stunning sunsets and vistas that is our backyard. A sizeable deck, I wanted it to blend well with the house which is a Greek Revival farmhouse from about 1840. I didn't want an ugly stained pressure treated deck off the back. Instead, I wanted something that blended with the style of architecture (of course, back decks were not an attribute 100 years ago). We also wanted to support the local sawmills which are plentiful in the area. We settled on black locust for the posts (which will actually last longer than most pressure treated posts), Hemlock for the under structure and for the decking? Japanese Larch. As the name implies it is not native but it grows plentifully in our region. What is great about living where we do is that some of the wood actually came from a stand of trees my wife owned that we had cut for lumber to maintain the health of the forest area. The larch I needed for the steps had to be extra wide to fit the curved stair treads I had designed. So this morning I went to the sawmill which is 3 miles back on a dirt and gravel road to select the boards I needed. After meeting the owner of the mill, Cory, a young industrious man in his twenties, I proceeded to look through a stack of tree trunks to find the curved stock that would be transformed into my deck steps. Cory showed me this massive trunk over 18 inches across on the narrow end, that he said could easily be cut into the 6 boards I needed. It will be be striking that the 6 boards will be alike in grain, color, dimensions, matching each other up the staircase. The wood that I will have in this deck I would never be able to find at a big box store lumber yard and it will make this deck unique just like the rest of our home.