It’s a funny old world!
I look around and see lots of events and festivals that have a strong wood focus, events such as:
- Illawarra Festival of Wood;
- Melbourne Guitar Makers Festival;
- Timber & Working with Wood Shows;
- National Folk Festival (as well as numerous other folk music festivals);
- Adelaide Guitar Festival;
- Australian Wooden Boat Festival;
All of these events either feature wood or have a strong link to wood.
But none of these events show any interest whatsoever in where their wood comes from, or who grows it!!
It’s as if they think the wood magically falls from the sky!
Do they not care?
I understand the history behind this attitude and thinking. In Australia we have had 200+ years of abundant public native forests to plunder. Why worry about tomorrow when there is a tree to cut down today!
But those days are clearly behind us. The treeless/woodless tomorrow is rapidly approaching. I read about it every day!
Or perhaps they believe there are hundreds of private tree growers out there happily and profitably growing so much quality wood that they don’t need to worry. I don’t see much evidence of that. Yes there are a few private tree growers around Australia but they are rare.
Or a third possibility is that these organisations believe it is NOT their responsibility to support and encourage private tree growing. If it isn’t the responsibility of markets to do this then I’m not sure who is responsible.
And still the festivals continue.
Even woodcraft galleries (and Australia has some world class woodcraft galleries) behave as if there is an endless abundance of wood.
It doesn’t make sense to me.
The idea of having a wood festival in the 21st century without any reference to where the wood comes from or who grows it is just extraordinary!
These events and businesses should think about how they can encourage and support private tree growers as part of their event/business program.
In encouraging and supporting private tree growers they ensure the future of their event.
It’s not just about existing tree growers, it’s about building a strong positive culture of tree growing in the rural community.
Some of these events and festivals are huge. They could make an enormous impact in rural communities, helping build a culture of tree and timber growing.
And including existing and potential tree growers into the program would bring a whole new audience to these events.
If anyone wants ideas or to start a discussion about how to include existing and potential private tree growers into their event program I’d be happy to help. Give me a call; send me an email…
PS. And knock me down with a feather!
Here we have a woodcraft festival that does acknowledge the importance of tree growers:
We must more and more use timber from privately-owned forests as our appreciation of old growth forests leads to cessation of logging. Private forests provide not only timber – they’re an important farm asset and income stream. They repair and protect our land and provide biodiversity and habitat, shelter and support for agricultural and grazing enterprises, landscape aesthetics, bushfoods and much more. The Barung Nursery supplies quality tree stock for boutique and larger plantations.
They could do a lot more to encourage and support private tree growers but its a start.
Hey the world is changing!!