Climate change, energy instability and economics allow us to rethink how we use resources. This program explores the use of wood fuel in various ways: to heat a whole home, as a supplement to a fossil fuel or electric heat source, or just for cool days, for ambiance or as a backup for power outages.
As one of the most forested regions on earth, we in Maine have the chance to responsibly use our woodlands for heat. There are many forms of readily available wood including firewood, pellets, slash or compressed bricks.
Maine forests can provide a renewable, sustainable and clean source of energy if done right. Trees are a carbon sink. Proper management through low impact forestry with appropriate tools increases the effectiveness of the forest for capturing CO2.
This program will explore how Mainers use trees to heat their homes. Some institutions such as The Jackson Lab and the Blue Hill Library have heated their facilities with processed wood for a decade or more. Firewood provides a local business for loggers, arborists and for firewood dealers for those who want to buy instead of harvesting their own.
Wood smoke can pollute. Depending on the topography, particles can accumulate in the air, nuisance smoke can be produced from poor burning or old wood stoves, and indoor air quality problems can arise with improper wood burning practices.
In this colloquy we start with the premise that wood heat is appropriate for rural environments. We will explore many practical questions as well as the more intangible aspects of adopting a wood heat lifestyle. What are the heating options? Is there a personal benefit to spending time outdoors harvesting your own wood? How valuable is the knowledge of the self sufficiency produced by harvesting one’s comfort? How did Mainers adapt to cold before central heat and well insulated structures? What is the latest wood stove technology?
The first two indoor sessions will cover the subjects above and more. It will also include skills, training and tools.
The third session will be a woodland tour of our 57 acre woodlot with a State Forester. There will also be an optional home tour available after the woods walk.
Try to visit one or both of the wood stove shops in Ellsworth for an understanding of current EPA mandated requirements.
In 1999, the facilitator, Aaron, and Ann, bought land under conservation easement. Their home was designed and built with wood stoves as primary heating. It also has a rarely used backup heater.
Before a commercial harvest of their 57 acres in 2000, the days spent transecting their woodlot with Consulting Foresters from Sewall Corporation were the start of a continuing education in forestry science.
Before moving to Maine, Aaron Glazer did field work in Peru, Ecuador and Trinidad for PHD study in Cultural Anthropology. He taught at Outward Bound and Special Ed programs for dyslexic kids. He also restored an original Dartmouth Outing Club cabin in Massachusetts.
Session 1 & 2:
Master Tree Finder and Winter Tree Finder by May and Tom Watts (the smallest, most compact simple guide to trees)
A Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs by George Petrides (classic with pictures)
Norwegian Wood: Chopping, Stacking and Drying Wood by Lars Mytting — this is an interesting description of Norway’s wood culture and is available at Blue Hill Books with a 20% discount to colloquy participants
Session 3 : Note this session will be from 2:00 pm until 4:00 pm to take advantage of the available outdoor light. The colloquy will meet at the facilitator’s property on Cape Rosier in Brooksville. Details will be provided to registered participants.
Bookings are now closed (or the colloquy has been cancelled)
We aren't currently accepting bookings for Maine Wood: A Lifestyle.
If you are trying to pay for a colloquy that you've already attended or have questions about refunds, please contact our Treasurer to work out the details.