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Beautiful Cutting Boards Available

Posted by on Oct 31, 2013 in Blog |

We’re thrilled to be working in cooperation with Shari and Bryan of Dancing Roots Farm and other community partners to make six varieties of terrific cutting boards available for this holiday season.  They range from something simple (perhaps for second cousin George?) to something deluxe (for that future fiance’?).  Here is a sampling of how they look.  If you’d like to learn more, or better yet, buy a few, please get in touch. Update – 11.28.13 – Our boards are now available for purchase at either Food Front store and the Portland Audubon Nature Store, in Portland, at the Montinore Estate Tasting Room in Dilly, or directly from us.  Help in spreading the word is welcomed. Note – Because we have wondered about the pros and cons of wood vs, plastic cutting boards in terms of transfer of bacteria, we have been doing some research.  Contrary to what we and others assumed, we find that the research shows that wood is less likely to transfer bacteria than plastic.  To learn more, try this link: http://faculty.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/faculty/docliver/Research/cuttingboard.htm End grained oak – 11″x14″x3/4″   Oak and Maple – 11″x14x3/4″ Maple and Oak – 6″x8″x3/4″...

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Owl Mysteries Continue – Unsolved

Posted by on Oct 15, 2013 in Blog |

For nearly a year we have made regular owl sightings in the Timber forest.  Some of the owls are clearly barred owls (unwelcome newcomers that pose a threat to native owls).  Other owls, that have been seen clearly and at close range, do not seem to be barred owls, but fit the description of northern spotted owls.  When these sightings were first made, we mustered a special nocturnal session of calling and listening, using our standard protocol.  Nothing was heard.  Sightings continue.  Stay...

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Spotting a Neighbor – At Last

Posted by on Oct 15, 2013 in Blog |

For many years we have assumed that river otters make their home in our forests – but we have never seen one.  Until yesterday. We were excited to get word from Jeremy Milton, the forest keeper in the Timber forest, that he and his daughter, Lauren, had the good fortune to watch a river otter run across the large logjam, just upstream of the Lousignont Creek bridge.  Is this a sign of successful restoration efforts (build it and they will come), or have they been part of the forest community all along?  Our hunch is that it is the latter.  We hope to see more and will keep our eyes open. This reminds me of poet Mary Oliver’s advice that “our endless and proper work is to pay attention.”  .  Thank you Lauren and Jeremy for being out there and paying...

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A Wood Chooser’s Guide

Posted by on Oct 13, 2013 in Food For Thought |

A Wood Chooser’s Guide – A Resource for Better Aligning Values and Choices: DRAFT – 7.9.2013 We all make daily choices about what products from trees we will and won’t use; we are all “wood choosers” and our choices, no matter how small, shape the future of forests.  An increasing number of us express a will to become more mindful, deliberate, and educated about the choices that we make – because impacts we have on forests near and far matter to us.  But how will we find the information and frameworks of thinking we need to become better wood choosers?  The aim of this guide is to help fill that need.  We invite you to give it a try and make suggestions on ways to improve it.  In the interest of keeping things simple, the guide is made up of three sections –  Points to Consider,  Forks in the Road, and Activities.  Since the point is to be of service to you, feel free to jump around and explore the guide in whatever way works for you.  Happy exploring! Some Points to Consider: 1)      Choice – Whether we’re choosing Wheat Thins (original? Low salt? cheesey?….), jeans (standard? Slim fit? Husky?..), or something as apparently simple as a cup of coffee, consumers are confronted – and challenged – by an increasing variety of choices.  In the world of wood products this is a welcome change.  In more and more places, wood choosers have the opportunity to buy wood that is well aligned with their values and needs.  All across the region and planet innovative risk takers are bringing responsibly grown wood to market.  Success hinges on consumers voting to support these new options with their purchasing dollars. 2)      You Are Powerful – The choices you make shape wood markets, which, in turn, shape forest landscapes and related human communities.  Whether you are aware of it or not your current and future choices help determine what types of forestry are feasible and profitable and which are not.  In 1928 Aldo Leopold got it right when he observed: “The long and the short of the matter is that forest conservation depends in...

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Monitoring Plan

Posted by on Oct 12, 2013 in Uncategorized |

Tracking Forest Health – A Voluntary Monitoring Program:   Introduction: The Tracking Forest Health program provides a framework to support the monitoring of the changing health of forests.  Since 1998 the program’s development has been focused on the three forests making up Hyla Woods. At the same time, it has been designed with the goal of providing a framework which others could adapt and apply to their own forests.  We believe that we have a responsibility to track the changing health of the forest and study whether the actions we take lead to the intended results.  This document aims to summarize all main aspects of the program.   The Components: We believe that a successful approach must include and integrate the following four sequential elements: Questions      – What are the questions that our monitoring aims to answer? The      Strategy – What is our plan for answering the question(s)? Data      Collection and Storage – What data will we collect and how, when, and      by whom?  How will the data be      stored? Analysis      – What conclusions can be drawn from the data to answer the question(s)?   Characteristics: We aim to develop a program which has the following characteristics: Ongoing      – Focusing on tracking long term trends by engaging infinite generations      of forest keepers Balanced      – Investing enough time and energy to produce valuable results while      not requiring so much investment that forest keepers will not be able to      continue the work. Engaging      – Interesting and engaging enough to make the trackers and essential      volunteer partners want to continue the work indefinitely Scientifically      Sound – Using the best possible science to honestly answer questions      for which we do not yet know the answers Adaptable      – Can be modified to match the unique circumstances of each forest and forest      keeper Cooperative      – Wherever appropriate work in cooperation with others, including      using existing protocols, building and using partnerships with other      organizations, and openly sharing our work with others Voluntary      – Never linked to required or regulatory activities   The Questions: The three...

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