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Ancient crafts -greenwood furniture, thatching, blacksmithing etc.

If anyone is interested in seeing how some of these old crafts are done using little or no electricity, go to the BBC iplayer website and type in Mastercrafts in the search box. It will take you to a site where for up to a month you can view each program in the series. Unfortunately it is only available in the UK, fortunately it is possible to view it through a UK proxy. I have been figuring out if there is a way to download the programs to put on a dvd to loan out to TW folks, but no luck so far. Hopefully it will be available eventually in the UK, I'll look out for it next time I am there. Anyone really busting to see this and clueless about proxy use, let me know and I'll tell you how I do mine.

The greenwood program uses wood from a coppice, which some of you may know about. For those not familiar with it, it is a technique for growing wood of various sizes and from various hardwood trees. Basically when you chop down a hardwood tree such as oak, ash, maple, birch etc., and do not disturb the roots, new shoots come up the next year from the stump. These can be taken once they reach the size desired, usually leaving the straightest and strongest shoot to become a full sized tree -and so the cycle continues. In Britain, I have stood in some old coppiced woodland and realised that a 25 foot diameter or more circle of ash trees were clones, all originating from the one tree. In the middle of this circle, where the original stumps have long since rotted away, other trees grew.
Our Northwest conifer trees do not resprout like this, it can only be done with oaks, maples, alder, birch, and apparently redwoods so I'm told.

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Comment by David MacLeod on February 28, 2010 at 3:00pm
Sounds like a valuable program! Thanks for posting this Christine.

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