Sustainable Lumber at Innisfree
Innisfree on the Stillwater is a smallhold family farm owned by Keba and Dennis Hitzeman founded by Keba's parents in 1968. Our goal is to achieve attainable sustainable operations so that Innisfree can remain a smallhold farm for generations to come. We pursue this goal by exploring ways to integrate historical sustainable farming practices with modern technology and materials.
One such historical undertaking is the forest management practice called coppicing. Coppicing is the technique of harvesting wood from trees without destroying them and using already fallen wood in woodworking projects. We have 30 acres of woodland on our farm to coppice from, which we can then use to build everything from fence posts to animal enclosures without having to purchase as much material from outside sources.
This fundraising campaign represents one step in our process to achieve our goals: With the funds from this campaign, we will purchase the necessary tools and supplies to coppice effectively. We will use coppicing to advance our operations at Innisfree by reducing our long-term outlay of cash for tools and supplies by producing them ourselves. We will give anyone interested a chance to learn these techniques in a hands-on environment.
As a supporter of this campaign, you will receive regular updates on our progress, showing how we are putting this historical practice to work on our farm. We will document our work so that anyone can see what we are doing and how to do it themselves. We hope to eventually publish a book detailing what we have done. Finally, we hope to share the fruits of our labor with our supporters in the future.
And most important, as a supporter of Innisfree on the Stillwater, you will be supporting a movement to bring balance, sanity, and sustainability to modern American agriculture. Come and visit us, and see how we are growing in life by growing our food.
(Please note that the wishlist items below represent a sample of the kinds of tools and materials we plan to purchase. We're providing them as a reference for interested parties)
I suppose you can look at it that way, but if you'll indulge me, I can offer a different idea.
Historically, whether any of us want to admit it or not, agriculture has always been a communal activity, especially at the local level. This was a give and take relationship, but it was one everyone benefited from, if not always right away.
Sustainable agriculture is, in part, an attempt to return to that historical root. Over the past several decades, we moderns have dismantled most of what made agriculture and its communal base the center of identifiable societies for thousands of years. Now, we're paying the price for that effort in ways we could not have imagined when we started.
Here at Innisfree, we are trying to rebuild and rebirth that old way in a modern context, but as is so often the case in modern society, such efforts are resource intensive and, frankly, lie beyond our capacity to do it alone.
And so we need your help.
And what do you get out of it? A farm that combines what we believe are the best aspects of the historical ways of conducting agriculture combined with the realizations and technologies that allow us to bring those ways into the 21st century. You get access to sustainably farmed food that is near, available, and perhaps most importantly, reasonably priced because the cost of making it possible has been shared by everyone.
If that sort of thing matters to you, then that is why you should support something like this. I hope it does matter and that you help us make it happen.
You will be able to find info on our coppiceworking here: http://innisfreeonthestillwater.com/farmhack/coppicework/