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Re: [fukuoka_farming] Fukuoka forestry

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  • Stephen Inniss
    Aaron (& anyone else who is interested): I have the Merv Wilkinson s book in front of me now. Wildwood, A Forest for the Future by Ruth Loomis with Merv
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 25, 2003
      Aaron (& anyone else who is interested):

      I have the Merv Wilkinson's book in front of me now.

      Wildwood, A Forest for the Future
      by Ruth Loomis with Merv Wilkinson
      copyright Ruth Loomis, 1990
      ISBN 0-9692570-2-3
      Publisher: REFLECTIONS, Gabriola, B.C.
      Printed by: Phantom Press, Nanaimo, B.C.

      For anybody, who can't get a copy of the book but would like to know a
      little about it, here are a few key facts:
      136 Acres
      started in 1938
      calculates average board feet grown per year, then takes (on
      average) less
      selectively logged 9 times from then until 1990 (I'm sure it's been
      logged at least once since)
      does not worry much about diseases (can't wipe out a whole forest of
      mixed age & species trees)
      natural re-seeding (imported stock doesn't do well, and gets eaten
      by deer)
      no removal of "weed" species or "sickly" trees
      accounts for 1/3 of Merv Wilkinson's income & 22% of his time
      standing crop of timber (in board feet) essentially unchanged since
      1938
      philosophy: work with nature; use common sense
      no burning of slash
      access roads and skidder trails planned not to interfere with
      drainage
      small skidder machinery; horses if skidder can't get in
      products: firewood, fenceposts, shakes, Christmas trees, pulpwood
      (relatively small amount), specialty wood, lumber, plywood
      estimated employment from 500-600 acres: 2 people full time, plus
      crew & trucker at falling time
      some minimal brush clearance (by hand or managed grazing by sheep)
      Merv still has some concerns that the soil might not be properly
      replenished over longer time periods (I assume he means 200+ years)

      I think that a forest of this kind could also produce some maple syrup.
      That is usually thought of as an Eastern Canadian product, but it can be
      done on the west coast too. It's not reliable, because it needs crisp
      clear days for good production and we do not always have a long enough
      run of them in our springs, but it would supplement income from wood
      products. I know someone who will tap maples on a mixed 1 acre woodlot
      if he has time in the spring. The years he does it, I always get a jar
      of maple syrup from him, and I'm not the only one.

      I should clarify that I'm not a personal friend of Merv's, but did visit
      once. Wildwood does allow groups and individuals to tour the property.

      As you can see, lots of parallels to Fukuoka's approach; just working in
      a different medium. I think that this way of "farming" could have broad
      applications. I like the way that Merv is open about his results.

      Stephen
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