I recently backed a project on Kickstarter* – a book on Coppice Agroforestry by Dave Jacke and Mark Krawczyk. For you Permies, you’ll recognize Dave Jacke’s name from his well-known 2 volume book on Edible Forest Gardens, but the project sounded donation worthy regardless of the names behind it:
We humans must develop land management systems that provide diverse products to meet our needs while regenerating healthy ecosystems. Coppice agroforestry systems can do exactly this.
Many woody plants resprout from the stump or root suckers when cut to the ground–we call the regrowth “coppice”, and the management system “coppicing”. Many ancient cultures understood this plant behavior and managed coppice to produce their fuel, craft and building materials, livestock fodder, fencing, and much more. In North America, coppicing was a casualty of European emigration from a culture of resource conservation (by necessity) to one of widespread overexploitation and industrialization. We now must re-engage with these practices and develop them to a high art for our times and for our future.
Mark Krawczyk (www.keylinevermont.com and www.rivenwoodcrafts.com) and Dave Jacke (www.edibleforestgardens.com) have therefore decided to write “Coppice Agroforestry: Perennial Silviculture for the 21st Century.” Coppice Agroforestry will serve as a detailed manual for foresters, farmers, craftspeople, and land managers describing the history, ecology, economics, design, and management of agroforestry systems based on the repeated harvest of small diameter wood products from resprouting tree stumps. Bridging ancient coppice traditions and cutting-edge agroecosystem design, Coppice Agroforestry will articulate a practical vision of forest management that integrates ecosystem health, economic viability, multi-generational tree crops, and diverse non-timber forest products. Our book will fill several critical gaps that so far have been unfilled in the literature on coppice woodlands – namely:
– How to apply this strategy to North American ecosystems and species;
– Effective design processes for multifunctional, productive landscapes;
– Details on coppice system establishment;
– Consolidated research from a scattered literature;
– Data on projected system yields;
– An in-depth discussion of coppice products and market potential.
As we strive for solutions to stabilize our communities, economies and ecologies, it’s vital that we come prepared with a diverse and well-stocked toolbox. Coppice woodland management can and will provide complementary solutions for a post-petroleum world. We feel eager to contribute to this expanding toolbox with Coppice Agroforestry.
While we have found publishers interested in this book, we have chosen to self-finance the manuscript production phase, and need help to do so. We have already begun work, with literature research, searches for case studies, and first drafts underway. We expect to need at least **$18,000** to fully fund the writing of this book. We set our minimum goal at $5,000 to make sure we got enough to fund our research trips to visit case study sites, but every little bit helps. We also need money to support us while we work this winter and next spring, and we need money to cover the costs of research (many of the resources we need to access are overseas and therefore expensive to acquire). If we don’t raise the full amount we will need to earn money to pay bills and save enough to write on the side, which will slow us down a lot! So any help you can offer will be appreciated. We would love to finish the first draft of our manuscript by early spring if we can.
We look forward to hearing from you all, to developing this resource in support of our planet and people, and to sharing the results of our work with you in the future! Thanks very much!
It was a no-brainer to help fund a book by Dave Jacke, since he was so nice as to answer an email invitation I sent him over the summer to be an “artist resident” at Better Farm. The offer is still out there, Dave, if you ever want to set up shop at the Farm and put any of those Agroforestry ideas to work!
*Mini Spotlight On: Kickstarter is an amazing way for grassroots projects to gain support, both financially and community-wise.
Image from Coppice Agroforestry’s Kickstarter Homepage