Saturday, March 26, 2016

Demystifying the Woods

Photo by Brett Whaley CC BY-NC 2.0
The University of Maryland Extension's Watershed Steward program imitates the Master Gardener and the Master Naturalist programs in acquiring volunteers to be "boots on the ground" promoting care of their respective commons. There is another similar program called the Maryland Woodland Stewards program that has been around for decades under the title "The Coverts Program." The name changed in 2007, probably so as not to let it get mixed up with so many other covert programs with obscure names in this deep state vortex surrounding our nation's Capital.

The Woodland Stewards program (not covert in the usual sense) is interested in people who have acreage of forest (coverts, if you will) that they own and/or manage. I don't think they would be too interested in me, since I am responsible for less than an acre and I'm planning on converting it to a food forest.

On the other hand, there are many links to biochar and mushrooms that would make Maryland Woodland Stewards of interest to me. Before proceeding with my plans to replace most of the trees on my property, I should avail myself of the booklet and workshop entitled, "The Woods in Your Backyard," and another, "Your Woodlot and Your Wallet," with relevance to raising mushrooms. There are also resources about wood energy, which could educate me about better using the heat from making biochar. The presentations from two years' worth of MWS classes are also downloadable, along with a great number of other resources for folks like me who need more than the average level of knowledge about trees of the forest.

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