Apples don’t grow true to type when grown from seed – plant a pip and you’ll get a unique new variety each time, explains Greg Quinn, a heritage apple advocate, home orchard expert and greenwood furniture maker. You could say the same goes for the logs carefully stockpiled in Greg’s barn, each one of which holds the beginnings of a distinctive stool or chair. “The wood dictates what I use it for,” he says. “Often the stool I end up making isn’t what I had in mind when I started. The process evolves as the wood unfolds.”

Greg spends part of his working life caring for trees, bringing home orchards and backyard fruit trees back to peak health through careful pruning and pest and disease control, making them fruitful once again.

It is an expression of respect that when a tree does come to the end of its life, Greg puts its wood to good use, crafting it into practical and beautiful Windsor chairs, stools, rakes, brooms and other objects of use.

He works mainly with hand tools such as draw knives, braces and bits, gouges and travishers, many of which are antique pieces. “It gives a connection to the wood. It speaks to me when I use hand tools, I need to think more and understand the grain of the wood and how it will behave.”

Greg ensures a steady supply of suitable wood from local arborists who prefer that the logs are used for something useful, rather than just being fed into a chipper. Most trees come from parks or people’s backyards and can be more than 100 years old. “I know where every log has come from, where each tree was grown. I like it that they can be used to make something that will last for another 100 years. It’s a lovely continuation of the story of the tree,” he says.

Take part in one of Greg’s stool-making workshops at Rekindle and you will learn all about the ancient traditions of greenwood- working and take home your own handmade stool made from local wood. But that’s not the most important part. “It’s the process that’s the most valuable experience,” Greg says. “You’re out in the woods working with hand tools – that’s the important thing you carry away with you.” It’s a beautiful and calming place, this woodland workshop at Lincoln University’s Brandenburg Coppice, sometimes visited by pheasants and peacocks. Greg notes, “At the end of the day it can be jarring to come back to the real world.” homeorchardcare.co.nz, @homeorchardcare Tracy Whitmey