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  • Published Articles - Living By Wood - Permaculture Activist
    our wood cookstove each is powered by wood we have logged onsite The wood that heats the space in which we eat and the wood that heats the water with which we wash our dishes yes it all comes from onsite Living by wood Wood therefore has a plethora of uses here at D Acres A source of heat it powers woodstoves in our community building in personal dwellings and in the cob greenhouse animal house multifunction building It complements a solar hot water system to heat our water effectively in the colder darker months Hot water in turn is part of a radiant heating system utilized in the community building Indoor woodstoves are used to cook on when seasonally appropriate in the warmer seasons a wood fired outdoor cob oven stovetop combination is used regularly as well as an outdoor kitchen area operating with two wood cookstoves Wood is also used to boil down sap for our maple sugaring practices Small diameter trees limbs and crowns are harvested for chipping Woodchips are an integral aspect of our forest to field garden system Chips are used in animal bedding as described above the building blocks of compost and soil fertility Chips are also used to sheet mulch paths and edges within the annual gardens and to provide additional organic matter and weed suppression around perennial plantings Woodchips are also utilized in our bathrooms and outhouses as part of our humanure composting procedure Wood is employed in many facets of our building and construction efforts While we also use stone and cob wood dominates our building style Animal buildings treehouse dwellings outbuildings storage sheds greenhouses coldframes and much more facility needs are routinely met by building with wood harvested onsite Smaller scale woodworking is also essential to D Acres This includes bed frames and bookshelves as well as cottage industry production of wooden spoons bowls chopsticks frames and hearts These products are sold onsite as well as local galleries and online venues Wood is an abundant home grown resource that with the addition of talent and vision readily produces functional beauty Purposeful place based art in other words a rarity alongside the homogenizing force of mass media Currency of wood Additionally wood is a source of income Money does not however stem from the more predictable categories of firewood sold only on rare occasions nor tree felling wood chipping services sold even more infrequently Rather wood represents cash through three facets as functional art as the subject of educational programming and through outdoor recreation Through these means D Acres is aspiring to restructure our economy to reflect our resource base As suggested above D Acres has close relationships with different artistic galleries within the region Most notably D Acres Director was also a founding member of Artistic Roots 2004 an artist co op gallery currently operating in Plymouth NH D Acres also participates in the Cardigan Mountain Art Association League of NH Craftsman and the online venue Local Harvest Sales of

    Original URL path: http://www.dacres.org/media/articles/forestry/livingbywood.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Published Articles - Maple Sugaring - Permaculture Activist
    Program Farm Products Wish List Donate Contact Us Media Published Articles Forestry Maple Sugaring Maple Sugaring Identification Summer fall Sugar Maple Canadian leaf has 3 sugar content Red maple gives sap as well ½ the sugar content Winter go by bark silver gray in color shaggier in appearance as age Sugar maples reach their ideal sugaring capacity after 40 years Tapping When late February Below freezing nights warm days make for ideal conditions Where look for strong branches roots Keep the sun in mind southern western exposure are best Don t tap too high the snow will melt as the season progresses How much don t tap a tree under 10 in diameter two buckets over 18 three buckets over 24 Fine print 7 16 drill bit fits standard taps drill 1 ½ 2 into tree Tools drill drill bit hammer taps buckets lids covers Boiling Process of evaporation Use pans on top of woodstove Evaporators and reverse osmosis machines for industrial efficiency Wood stock early plan on using lots 40G of sap yields 1G syrup 2G syrup requires 15 16hrs minimum Finishing cookstove allows for more control watch for bubbles to rise up side of boiling pot filter through

    Original URL path: http://www.dacres.org/media/articles/forestry/maplesugaring.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Published Articles - Sustainable Forestry
    difference comes out of our taxes Our taxes support government programs designed retroactively to combat the environmental problems associated with irresponsible forestry practices When vast tracts are cut using heavy machinery the soil is compacted and the ability of the soil to filter the water is compromised Federal and state funding pays for erosion remediation measures and funds air and water quality research Government funding for reforestation is often limited to replanting with high value timber species such as White Pine Visitors come to New Hampshire to enjoy hiking camping peaceful streams beautiful vistas and above all fall foliage Though reforested White Pines may provide timber for the next generation leaf peepers pay little attention to conifers In addition row planted tree mono crop agriculture does not result in healthy natural climax forests Mono crop tree production is also susceptible to plant disease and pests that thrive in single species environments Tourism is a valuable economic incentive to preserve the Northern Forest but conservation also comes from the heart Our landscape is intrinsic to our identity and culture A natural forest is full of life in abundance Consider for a moment the alternative the landscape of New Hampshire nothing but brambles poplar and tire treads captured in dried mud maturing through time into rows of Christmas Trees A more holistic approach to forest management is necessary to avoid these consequences Woodlot management by landowners can be both sustainable and provide a steady income Selective cutting and thinning of forestlands can be accomplished by land stewards equipped with a chainsaw Forest products harvested using sustainable forestry practices can provide the landowner and their neighbors with all the wood that they need year after year A forest that is host to a variety of species will provide for diverse uses within the

    Original URL path: http://www.dacres.org/media/articles/forestry/sustainableforetry.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Published Articles - Nimbys and the Northern Pass
    advocate of further power line construction But the reality is we in New Hampshire are using more electricity every year not less This perpetual growth in consumption is the problem And the real drama is that our way of life will be affected by climatic change and the end of cheap oil Take for example the snow sports resort industry Well to do environmentalists routinely use the excuse of outdoor recreation to be chair lifted up a mountain so they can point skis downhill and allow gravity to pull them back down to the valley on artificial snow and groomed slopes These resorts are horrendous eyesores powered by distant oil fields as well as nuclear and coal powered electrical generation plants In the name of sport we are wasting energy Some folks will even get in an airplane to fly west in a self absorbed quest for ideal conditions Instead of choosing readily available exercise on cross country skis resort skiers receive instant gratification and adrenaline rushes from fossil fuel consumption So when folks get angry and complain about property values notice the number of real estate agents and second homeowners involved as opponents of the project I ask you to take a look in the mirror because we are all to blame The problem is US U S Because we are unwilling to compromise our way of life we engage in distant wars shop at box stores full of Chinese products and get our food from Chile and California Instead of taking responsibility for our consumption problem we are choosing to blame others who are just responding in the traditional American way by supplying to the demand It is similar to a drug user blaming the dealer If power lines are capable of producing dramatic affects on our way

    Original URL path: http://www.dacres.org/media/articles/energy/northern-pass.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Published Articles - Biofuels
    Volkswagen and 70 of the cars sold by Mercedes Benz in this country were diesel engines Diesel engines are still the choice for trucks heavy machinery and marine engines because of their efficiency and durability The marketing of the petro industry and the American desire for immediacy and ease have limited contemporary usage of the diesel Vegetable based fuels in diesel engines can be used in two fashions Either modify the vegetable oil by making biodiesel or modify the car s fuel system and use pure vegetable oil Any kind of vegetable oil can be used including corn soybean peanut hemp sunflower rapeseed and recycled vegetable oil from restaurant fryers Biodiesel can be poured straight into a diesel engine Biodiesel is created by a chemical process using vegetable oil alcohol and a catalyst The process removes the glycerin which can then be used to make soap Once the glycerin is removed the fuel becomes smoother runnier and less viscous than the thick veggie oil Biodiesel does not require changes to the fuel system but will actually clean your fuel lines and clog old filters rapidly To use straight vegetable oil it is recommended to modify the vehicle s fuel system The main components of the veggie oil system are a fuel selector solenoid a second fuel tank and a heating system for tank filter and fuel lines Straight vegetable oil burns best at 160 degrees Fahrenheit so it prefers preheating When the temperature dips below freezing veggie oil gets too thick to flow in the fuel system without supplemental heat The veggie oil is heated using engine coolant or electric power from the alternator Typically the engine is started on diesel and run until the veggie oil reaches adequate temperature Then before shutting down the engine is flushed with diesel

    Original URL path: http://www.dacres.org/media/articles/energy/biofuels.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Published Articles - Running on Empty : Searching for Transportation Solutions
    vehicle each day mass produced by robots traveling 80 mph in bumper to bumper traffic to an activity far from home sounds a little adventurous to me Combine that with the realization that the fuel for the outing comes with an extremely high price tag to humanity and the trip becomes fully nerve wracking Cars were an innovation that was supposed to bring convenience but that convenience has had unforeseen external costs to our health and the environment Not only do we pollute on a global scale we sacrifice the exercise and invigoration of bicycle horse or people powered transportation Finding our way back home We must search for solutions to this dilemma by examining the multitude of needs to be addressed The whole nation can t stay at home We need transportation to trade economically and be physically present to perform services Frivolous frolicking with automobiles is a part of our culture and tradition in this country but we must consider the economic and social costs of petro consumption Toward this end we can be much more proactive about technological options like biodiesel and waste vegetable oil We also need to make consequent behavioral changes by first recognizing that our dependence on fast food box stores and the daily commute is an aberration of the last fifty years Then we can alter the direction we have taken through a conscious effort to recognize and rectify our current system In NH we have a strong motorcycle tradition When single passenger transportation is necessary motorcycles are the environmentalist s preferred means of travel Lightweight two wheeled vehicles wear the roads less then cars Motorcycles are usually more than twice as efficient as cars in miles per gallon and they are three times as thrifty as an SUV Three to five bikes fit in one car spot so they also help with parking issues Ride shares car shares and car pooling must become the status quo We must create and implement a rural public transportation scheme The cumulative costs of road usage and petroleum consumption are enormous but we can minimize them by consciously planning and shifting our patterns of usage to emphasize conservation Rebuilding our city centers will help with the dilemma of sprawl If we designate commerce zones for people friendly high density land use than they can be thriving centers of life for residents and visitors alike The survivability of city centers is based on choices made within the community If a community values the culture and diversity of these centers than they can be consciously maintained and promoted In a diversified downtown economy the multitude of shops provide employment and trusted service to consumers and residents alike Building an infrastructure of self reliance in suburbia will also help reduce further sprawl People need opportunities to work at home producing cottage goods and food Internet communication has allowed people earn income from rural locations The influx of urban dwellers has affected property values and strained local human services These

    Original URL path: http://www.dacres.org/media/articles/energy/running-on-empty.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Published Articles - Natural Medicines of the Northern Forest
    useful as a natural first aid offering relief when the crushed leaves are applied to minor cuts scratches insect bites splinters and skin rashes Plantain is gentle enough to be used readily on children who are often pleased to take part in their own healing by wrapping fresh plantain leaves around scraped or splintered fingers The white flowers and feathery leaves of yarrow Achillea millefolium can be applied fresh to broken skin as a styptic to aid in stopping bleeding In the form of a tea yarrow has also been used to combat colds and the flu and to break fevers as it induces sweating Elderberries Sambucus sp in addition to making a wonderful jam can be harvested when ripe and also used as a remedy for colds and the flu combining quite well with yarrow for this purpose Red clover Trifolium pratens historically used as a blood purifier or cleansing herb is believed by some to have the potential to decrease the body s susceptibility to cancer An herbal powerhouse goldenseal Hydrastis canadensis is one of nature s strongest antibiotics Due to its effectiveness goldenseal has been detrimentally over harvested in the northeast and is now endangered as such it should not be harvested from the wild but can be cultivated in shade gardens with rich soil Goldthread Coptis trifolia a forest groundcover named for its thin bright yellow orange roots also has antibacterial potential and has historically been used as a gargle for mouth sores and toothaches Goldthread is on the United Plant Saver s At Risk list and thus must be harvested only using the utmost care and responsibility to avoid depleting native populations Perhaps the heart of eastern forests hawthorne Crateagus sp leaves flowers and berries are one of the most potent cardiac tonics identified in the herbal world Hawthorne is useful for such conditions as hypertension and arteriosclerosis but should only be used in conjunction with other cardiac therapies under the direction of a medical and herbal professional Women who identify a kinship with the natural world may not be surprised to learn that the northern forest offers them a number of powerful medicines Partridgeberry Mitchella repens a creeping vine is a common forest groundcover Also called squaw vine in reference to its use by Native American women partridgeberry has historically been used to alleviate menstrual discomforts Both Blue Cohosh Caulophyllum thalictroides and Black Cohosh Cimicifuga racemosa are at risk native medicinal plants that offer natural relief of imbalances specific to women Black Cohosh is becoming one of the leading remedies used to alleviate menopausal symptoms while Blue Cohosh is a wonderful tonic for the female reproductive organs Partridge berry Blue Cohosh and Black Cohosh should be avoided during pregnancy as all can cause uterine stimulation and contractions A wonderful tea to promote reproductive health during pregnancy can be made using fresh or dried red raspberry leaves Rubrus sp which are gently nurturing for women in all stages of life Herbs are used increasingly in

    Original URL path: http://www.dacres.org/media/articles/herbalmedicine/naturalmedicines.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Published Articles - Preparing Medicinal Oils & Salves
    Simplers method This process is as easy as putting your collected herbs in a clean dry container and then pouring enough oil to completely cover them It is important to add enough oil that the herbs are completely submerged exposure to air may encourage bacterial growth This process of soaking herbs in oil is called maceration Solar infused oils This is the method of processing medicinal oils that is most commonly used by traditional herbalists When traveling through the countryside and villages of Europe it is common to see homes with jars of mysterious herbs and oils adorning windowsills or in boxes of sand to gather more heat This is a beautifully simple process that involves placing your container of herbs submerged in oil in a warm and sunny location where they can infuse for at least two weeks You can make your oil stronger by adding a fresh batch of herbs in the container and then infusing for another couple of weeks Oven extracted oils If the season or weather does not allow for solar infusion then your oven may be the answer The herbal infusion is placed in glass canning jars and then put into a water bath that covers half the jar The oven is turned on to the lowest setting and the oil is left to infuse for several hours They should be checked periodically to prevent over heating Double boiler method This method is quick and easy and can be very useful when you need a medicinal oil or salve sooner rather than later The herbs and oil are placed in a double boiler covered and brought to a low simmer The lower the heat and the longer the infusion the better your oil will turn out While this method appears to be simple and timely it can also be very easy to ruin The oil can become too hot and ruin your product so be very mindful and keep an eye on your temperatures Straining and Storage Once the process of maceration has been completed you are ready to strain and store your beautiful herbal product The easiest way is to pour the oil through a tight woven cheese cloth Then in a separate container squeeze the remaining oil from the herbs This makes a first pressing and a second pressing The first pressing should be your high quality blend without sediment The second pressing will have a higher moisture and sediment content It is still very effective and should not be thrown out however the two should not be combined The oil is rebottled and stored in a cool dark place Refrigeration is not necessary but heat and light exposure will cause your oil to deteriorate Preparing Your Healing Salves Basic Recipe After you have prepared and strained your medicinal oil it is time to blend it with some beeswax Your wax should be a nice dark sweet smelling beeswax Avoid bleached out looking and odorless beeswax much of the healing properties of

    Original URL path: http://www.dacres.org/media/articles/herbalmedicine/salvesandoils.html (2016-05-01)
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