Sometimes we are fortunate to be a part of someone’s special day. In this case our locust and rhododendron arbor set the stage for this beautiful outdoor wedding located in the gardens at Laughing Waters retreat site and community center in Gerton, NC. We were so happy to be involved in this couple’s wedding, and we wish them the best!
Lang will be representing Root Cause at the next evening networking event at HandMade in America in Asheville. The event “Let’s Talk: What Inspires Your Creativity?” will be held Thursday, September 11 from 5:00-6:30 pm! Come out for an evening of networking, connecting, and community. Featured guests will include Lang Hornthal representing Root Cause, WNC’s American Craft Week, and more!
This event will end just in time to attend Local Cloth’s Project Handmade Fashion Show at the Diana Wortham Theatre!
Wine will be provided, and Hors d’Oeuvres will generously be provided by Green Sage Cafe.
HandMade in America is located at 125 S. Lexington Ave. Suite 101, Asheville, NC 28801.
The Woodland Steward Series 2014 Western North Carolina Mountains Program begins next week and runs July 16-18 and August 20-22. This program is a great opportunity for landowners who want to learn more about how to manage their forested lands responsibly. Responsible forestry is a key part of the Root Cause initiative, so we are glad to promote this important workshop series.
The Series is an extension of the Biltmore Forest School, the first school of forestry in North America, begun by Carl Schenck in 1898 and commemorated by the Cradle of Forestry in America Historic Site in Pisgah National Forest. It is a series of workshops designed to equip landowners with the tools and resources necessary to manage their land in an environmentally sustainable manner. Information about the workshops is below. For more information or to register for the workshops visit the Woodland Stewards Workshops website.
Schedule of Workshops, Summer 2014
Workshop 1: Discovering Your Land: Basic Land Management Skills
Wednesday July, 16th, 9:00am – 4:30pm, at the Cradle of Forestry
Thursday, July 17th, 9:00am – 12:00pm, at Bent Creek Experimental Forest
Workshop 2: Woodscaping Your Woodlands & Firewise Management
Thursday, July 17th, 1:00pm – 4:30pm, at Bent Creek Experimental Forest
Friday, July 18th, 9:00am – 4:30pm, at Bent Creek Experimental Forest
Workshop 3: Native Landscaping & Water Management
Wednesday, August 20th, 9:00am – 4:30pm, at the NC Arboretum
Thursday, August 21st, 9:00am – 12:00pm, at the NC Arboretum
Workshop 4: Stewardship, Recreation & Liability
Thursday, August 21st, 1:00pm – 4:30pm, at the NC Arboretum
Friday, August 22nd 9:00am – 4:30pm, at the Cradle of Forestry
To learn more about the series and to register online, please visit: www.woodlandstewardsnc.org
Or contact Addie Thornton – Program Coordinator, NCSU FEOP
firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: 919-515-5065
Cradle of Forestry, Brevard, NC
Bent Creek Experimental Forest, Asheville, NC
NC Arboretum, Asheville, NC
The Series is sponsored by: * NC State University’s Forestry and Environmental Outreach Program * The Cradle of Forestry Interpretive Association * SFI Implementation Committee – NC * The Pisgah Field School* Th e NC Forest Service * NC Cooperative Extension Service * USDA Forest Service * The Cradle of Forestry in America * The NC Arboretum * Bent Creek Experimental Forest *
Appalachian Designs was excited to be featured on the NC Design Online blog in a June 27 post that included an interview with Lang. We appreciate the coverage—especially of our work to use sustainable, regional materials in our rustic furniture designs. Using small diameter trees that would otherwise go to waste, and materials like black locust, we aim to contribute to the local economy and advocate for sustainable forestry.
Read an excerpt below and check out the full blog entry online.
From NC Design Online: “There really are few things more wonderful than watching a skilled craftsman make something spectacular out of raw materials. Lang Hornthal fell into his career as a craftsman years ago, and never looked back. Today his company, Appalachian Designs, located in the Asheville area, is well known for making high-quality, beautifully hand-crafted wood furniture – and more – for homes throughout western North Carolina, and beyond.” Read more.
I was proud to be featured as a guest columnist in the Asheville Citizen-Times on Sunday, June 15 with a piece called ‘Help lawmakers see the forests.’ It raises important points about the economic and environmental value of our private and public forest lands, and the natural and political threats facing them today.
Below is an excerpt from the piece. To read the whole piece, click the link above, or the image below.
Our forests, both private and public, offer us a bounty of things that make our region desirable to live, work and visit. The Native Americans and first settlers used this abundant resource in every part of their life, it provided them shelter and food. Ultimately, our forests were the resource used to drive the first local economies. Today, these trees are a part of our forest products industry that is responsible for approximately 67,500 jobs with an annual payroll of $2.7 billion dollars in North Carolina. (http://cnr.ncsu.edu/blogs/wpe/2013/08/01/north-carolinas-forest-products-industry-is-an-economic-engine/). They are also one of primary factors that bring people to our region to enjoy the clean air/water that make hiking, camping, hunting and fishing so desired. Suffice it to say, our forests are a major economic driver in our state.
It’s funny how things seem to come together if you let them. I’m usually the one that charges right by it, but this time it happened on its own. A couple of weeks ago, we celebrated our new location at 12 Smith Farms Road and the launching of Root Cause, an initiative to raise awareness to the use of local forest products. It’s also about sustainability and honoring the materials found in these mountains. And even still about supporting local businesses and the communities you choose to build or remodel a home in. I keep hearing, “When are the jobs coming back?” My question is, “What are the jobs going to be when they come back?” We will always look for opportunites for innovation and new paths for employment. But we should also be making the most of what we have right here…businesses and builders that utlilize local forest products.
It is not about chopping down trees either. It’s about working with land owners, both private and public, and helping them get the most from their land use plan. (You do have a land use plan right?) Why would you not want to inventory and cultivate every foot of your property or maintain your current forests by keeping out invasive species? You would also be playing a role in inventorying what species are here now and how they are being affected by our current environment. Lord help us if we have another blight that tries to wipe out another native species, but if we do this helps contain it or maybe even stop it in its tracks. Your trees and shrubs and plants have value, both monetarily and environmentally. And there is no value you can place on the beauty of our many forested mountains. Anyway, Root Cause continues to evolve with time. It is our hope to build something that can be used to create awareness and educate the public about what is available to them in the backyard.
If anyone out there would like additional information on Root Cause feel free to drop me a line: email@example.com
I wanted to follow up on my entry where I mentioned meeting with fellow Fairviewians regarding the quality of local forest management. Our discussion focused on 25 – 100 acre parcels located in the greater Fairview area that either have working forest plans or those that would qualify to have one.
What is the best way to educate land owners about the importance of containing exotic, invasive species, maintaining healthy stands and getting the most value out of their trees?
Not only is education necessary, but so is a viable infrastructure of foresters, graders, loggers and end-users for the materials. There is a growing need for a cooperative of business to help land owners manage their forestry plans, maintain the value of their forests, and to connect them with businesses that can use their trees (that’s where I come in).
Think of it like this: You are a land owner and have neglected the upkeep of your 40 acres and now you don’t know where to start. What should stay, what should go, how to harvest, etc. So you contact a list of foresters that can consult with you about the best use and how to implement it. If you need better roads/trails for access, they put you in touch with graders or trail builders. Need invasive species removed? Here’s how it’s done or who can help. What trees should stay and which should be removed to make room for the good ones? And who can help remove them in a cost effective manner without clear cutting or taking the trees that I want? And lastly, who will buy these materials at fair market value to help offset my management plan?
We think it can work, but it will take time and commitment from many people.
I have not had a post in a while as my grant period was winding down and I’ve been all over the place. As the rush wears off, I can reflect more about where we go from here. Helping me with these thoughts have been two particular happenings: one a gathering of like-minded people, and the other a short course on kiln drying wood.
The gathering was with local foresters, sawyers, land owners and business people looking to promote good forest stewardship. We met under the roof of Rob White’s sawmill and business, Burnt Shirt Wood Products. The crux of the conversation was how we can better help local landowners manage the asset that is their forest land.
From keeping out invasive exotic species (think Bittersweet) to making room for the trees that add the most value to their property, we batted around ways to offset the many costs facing land owners in maintaining their land.
The short course on kiln drying was an eye-opener. Meant mostly for commercial kiln operators, this course discussed the properties of wood, how to dry woods properly, and how to add the most value to your materials. As we work towards building our sterilization kiln, this course provided invaluable and practical information. My time there also deepened my understanding of the state of the timber industry in this country. Most of our great hardwoods (and soft) are being cut, dried, shipped overseas, and then turned into value-added products. In other words, our forest value becomes part of another economy. It’s time to turn that tide and make local forest products part of the U.S. economic recovery.
Both opportunities completely reinforced the current direction for my business. These issues are all part of the Root Cause!
Why should everything that is harvested from local forests in WNC have value? No one disagrees that small diameter trees and shrubs have value and can be used for something, but used enough to create a market? Without a market, the time spent harvesting these materials can never be recovered and this is precisely why, once felled, they are usually left to rot. This has been accepted in many cases in hopes of leaving this energy, this matter, to be recovered by the forest. Often this is the right idea, but usually it depends on what the expectations are for the use of the forest. On the flip side, this energy is also there to be used in the case of a forest fire. This material is often removed before a prescribed burn can occur in an effort to keep temperatures in check.
Following the same principles of a regular, wood drying kiln, you need controlled heat, air flow and moisture control.
Following the same principles of a regular, wood drying kiln, you need controlled heat, air flow and moisture control. Standard kiln drying slowly dries materials of a certain thickness enough to become stable. Sterilization, on the other hand, gets temperature up to 125 degrees for a shorter period of time. The trick is not heating the materials too quickly and risk ruining them. If moisture is removed from wood too quickly, the stress created from the fibrous cells contracting causes the wood to become unstable and move or check. This is how logs release the energy that is created by moisture leaving the wood. So, we need a good heat source that can be controlled and a vessel that will be insulated and allow for airflow. Easy right?