Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Supporting Coppice Agroforestry

Not as in the practice of, but as in the book project. CNN had a story today about Kickstarter, a website that allows you to help fund creative projects directly. I found this very interesting.

Poking around a bit on their list of current projects, I found this one: Dave and Mark write "Coppice Agroforestry". Dave Jacke and Mark Krawczyk are using Kickstarter to fund a book they'll be writing on the practice of coppicing. This is the management of woodland resources to harvest and regrow wood repeatedly on the same plant, sustainable over periods measured in decades. The wood produced this way is used for a variety of purposes.

Mark has a website dedicated to green woodworking, http://www.rivenwoodcrafts.com/. He has links to Drew Langsner, Don Weber, Jennie Alexander, and Mike Abbott, all people I'm familiar with. This falls right smack in my area of interest.

I don't know anything about these guys other than what I saw on Kickstarter and their websites, but I made a $50 pledge to help fund the project, for which I'll receive a signed copy of the book, for several reasons:
  • I would love to see more books on the subject.
  • I'd like to help support a fellow green woodworker.
  • I like the Kickstarter concept, another way the Internet allows a larger community to support a shared interest. This is an interesting experiment for both the specific project and the general concept.
The way it works is you make a pledge toward the project's fundraising goal, not as an investor, but as a patron of the arts. If the total goal is met or exceeded by a stated deadline, all the people who made pledges are charged for their pledge amounts; if the goal is not met, all pledges are canceled.

Dave and Mark's goal of $5,000 has been exceeded at this point, but they actually expect to need about $18,000 total, which has not yet been met. They have a funding deadline of December 10, so if you'd like to participate as well, time is growing short.

And hopefully sometime next year, we'll all get to read the book. I could probably just wait and get a copy cheaper, but part of the Kickstarter concept is that if it's something that interests you, you get to help make it happen.

That's the thing. Without support up front, these projects might never happen, and something that you might enjoy seeing or reading might never come to be. You never know what these might grow into. This is opportunity creation. You might even want to try a project yourself.


  1. Burnham Beeches was a small woodland near where we lived in England. They have been practicing coppicing (pollarding) for centuries. Made for a beautiful landscape, with some truly amazing trees: http://www.flickr.com/photos/denovich/2100706044/in/photostream/

  2. Cool pictures! I guess when people came to America the resources must have seemed unlimited, so they didn't bother to coppice.