First, though we're formally one day late, both Dave and I want to extend our deepest, most heartfelt thanks to all of you for the support you've given us, both via kickstarter, as well as during our evolving research and writing phases. You have truly helped propel this project along, and we are forever grateful to place ourselves within such a powerful demonstration of community support.
We both realize it's been quite some time since our last update, and felt it was high time to check in. As we settle into the cold months of the year we both have thankfully begun to find a lot more space in our schedules to refocus on the development of Coppice Agroforestry. While Dave and his wonderful assistant, Daniel Plane, along with several other hard working volunteers, have been diligently amassing details on the wood qualities, growth characteristics, medicinal uses, and fodder values of nearly 600 species of woody plants, I've been diving deeply into the literature to see what additional insights and information I can find to further flesh our our growing manuscript.
What this means is that I've spent the past 3 months reading through a wide range of resources relating to forest management, woody plant physiology, craft work and value adding and more, pulling out the most pertinent gems which I'll next work to integrate into our manuscript. It's been a pretty monumental process, and I feel like I've only just begun to explore the mass that lies beneath the iceberg's tip.
The blurred photo below shows the stack of books I've poured through so far. Just two more books - Ecoforestry and the Ecological History of European Woodlands - and I'll start to dive into the vast sea of academic research Dave and Daniel have amassed.
For folks who are interested, I'm including a brief write up of some of the highlights to date...
Once again, thanks so much for your support, eagerness, patience and positive energy. We are honored to serve you and are excited to continue with this ever growing project!
Mark and Dave
Working with Your Woodland - by Mollie Beattie and others - Written in the early 1980s, Working with Your Woodland is the most approachable, comprehensive and well written book I've come across that explores the nitty gritty details of small scale woodlot management. Largely geared more towards forest management in non-brittle, cold temperate climes, the book covers a broad breadth of topics including the history of the northeastern forest, a suite of forest management strategies, the economics of woodlot management, the component parts of forest management plans and more. It's a great read and likely available as a used book on-line. While it pays little if any lip service to coppice growth, it does lay a strong groundwork for well-informed approaches to appropriate forest management.
The Forgotten Crafts - by John Seymour - This coffee table-esque resource is gorgeously illustrated and a delight to peruse. With individual 'chapters' (usually 2-6 pages each) covering well over 50 traditional crafts, the longtime author, researcher and purveyor of self-sufficiency skills creates a highly readable and clearly illustrated resource that explores the historical context of each craft, some of the details of material procurement, harvest and management, as well as just enough information to develop an understanding as to how products are made. This book features a strong emphasis on coppice crafts but also explores complementary crafts that relied on sustainable woodland management in some way shape or form (tanners, wheelwrights, etc).
The Book of Masonry Heaters - David Lyle - Also published in the early 1980s, The Book of Masonry Heaters offers a remarkably comprehensive (though perhaps somewhat dated) exploration of the subject. Starting with a history of human's relationship with fire, the book describes the evolution of our relationship with wood heat, finally exploring in-depth, the stove designs and construction details of masonry heaters from cultures throughout Europe and Asia. For those folks interested in exploring coppice management for fuelwood production, the link between coppice wood and masonry heaters is a match made in heaven. Well-illustrated, this book covers the breadth of this fascinating subject, making the information accessible and easy to digest.