Warm winter greetings from a snowy Vermont. We hope this message finds you all very well, and we're happy to share more details about our progress on the book. I recently 'completed' a milestone in the process, having integrated detailed notes (230 pages worth) from nearly 40 books I poured through during the past 4 months into our still-expanding manuscript. I included a photo of the stack (of books) in a previous update, but it included resources on traditional crafts, plant physiology, masonry heater technology, indigenous building techniques, coppice management and ecology, forestry and folklore. It proved to be a very involved process but I think it will pay off greatly in rounding out our resource and making it as comprehensive as we can.
I'm about to segue into the next phase in the writing process, reading through the manuscript, editing and refining and identifying gaps. From there, I plan to start to utilize the extensive literature database Dave has created along with a few volunteers to help root our findings in existing research. It's another big step, but we're confident it will help make our end product that much more robust.
In the mean time, Dave and our super-diligent, hard working friend Daniel Plane have been fleshing out the species database and are beginning to take steps towards refining the categories we'll ultimately include in the listings in the finished book. Including over 700 native, naturalized or otherwise useful woody plants that can be managed using coppicing and pollarding, we ought to have the most useful, comprehensive and intentional resource on the best-suited plants for this type of management.
I've got more updates in the works soon - namely reflections on our recent workshop/workday/'copp-mob' at the Sawyer homestead in Woodbury, VT where we initiated a coppice rotation amongst a 3/4 acre stand of red maple. It was a great day and remarkably impressive to see what a team of 15+ people could do in only a few short hours!
Well wishes from us as your winter proceeds!
Keep up the great work I'm sure you're all doing.