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Author Topic: sustainable forestry  (Read 4628 times)

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Offline RavioliKid

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sustainable forestry
« on: October 01, 2000, 10:41:34 AM »
In addition to the black walnut project, we are also making paper out of milkweed, mixed with other pulps.  If anyone is interested in how I processed the fibers in the plant, I'll be glad to share my methods with you.

I have this idea of making a "milkweed plantation" on an empty part of the school property.  I think this will tie in nicely with teaching about renewable resources and the economic concepts we need to work on.

Does this idea spark any other ideas out there?
RavioliKid

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: sustainable forestry
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2000, 05:11:27 PM »
You might want to check out one of the Euwell Gibbons books at your local library.  He has quite a bit about different foods to be made from wild edibles.  Even has a recipe for alcholic birch beer made from birch sap.  (I imagine that would be frowned upon by the school administrators.)

Are you trying to do things the way of colonial America, or just something that would be environmentally sound?  

Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline RavioliKid

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Re: sustainable forestry
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2000, 06:09:56 PM »
Thanks for the advice about the Ewell Gibbons books.  I remember him for his Grape Nuts commercials: "Reminds me of the taste of wild hickory nuts."

In third grade we study the history of the area - back to the Potawatami. In science and social studies, we study how people and animals use the resources they have or can get easily to meet their needs. We also have a lot of economics concepts to teach. I can't even remember them off the top of my head.  I have to look them up before I teach them, as they weren't part of my education!

The alcoholic birch beer might be a nice touch for the staff Christmas party.
RavioliKid

Offline Scooby Doo

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Re: sustainable forestry
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2000, 03:15:27 PM »
Can you tell me how to make paper out of milkweed?


  Scooby Doo
Owner/Operator of a 1986 Wood-Mizer LT30 Manual

Offline RavioliKid

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Re: sustainable forestry
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2000, 04:27:34 PM »
Are you familiar with the handmade papermaking process? If not, I can fill you in.

There are two parts of the milkweed plant I am using in paper.  One part is the floss - the silk-like stuff attached to the seeds that you find in the pods. The other part is from the "bark" of the stem.

The floss is easier to process.  Just take it out of the pods and separate it from the seeds.  It's a little tricky, but you get the hand of it rather quickly.

Then, boil it in a solution of water and soda ash in a stainless steel pot for a few hours.  The floss will turn kind of gold colored, and the water also turns gold. Rinse it very well!

If you are using the bark, strip it off. Soak it in water for a while and then beat it to start to loosen things up.  Boil it in the soda ash and water solution for a long time - as much as 6 hours. Rinse it well, and then beat it. Rinse and beat, rinse and beat. Keep at it until the fibers are white. Believe it or not, they can get very white, if you work at it long enough.  I didn't have my students work on the stem fibers, because it would take too long.

Be very careful with the liquid containing the soda ash!  It is quite caustic. Wear rubber gloves.  It has some of the same properties as drain cleaner, so it won't overload the sewer system to put a few potsful down the drain.

An interesting website is http://www.es.uiowa.edu/~jones/prairiepaper.html.

Let me know if I can help you further!

RavioliKid

Offline Scooby Doo

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Re: sustainable forestry
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2000, 06:23:42 PM »
I am only 14 and I was wondering if this would be something that I could atempt to do? And what is soda ash?? Do you know if you can write on the paper?

    Thanks

   
Owner/Operator of a 1986 Wood-Mizer LT30 Manual

Offline RavioliKid

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Re: sustainable forestry
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2000, 03:18:07 AM »
Soda ash is a product you can get at art supply stores.  It is used for fixing dye - making it so that it won't wash out of clothes.  It is found in a lot of other products, according to my paper making instructor last summer.

We are going to include our fibers from the milkweed in pulp made from recycled paper - this means that the paper won't be purely from milkweed.  

Some handmade papers are suitable for writing on. There are some technical considerations to making it useful for that purpose. You need to have sizing in it - either in the pulp or applied to it afterwards or both.  Also, you have to make sure that the paper is smooth enough, which you can do by pressing it.

I suppose you next question will be, "What is sizing?" =o)

RavioliKid

Offline Scooby Doo

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Re: sustainable forestry
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2000, 04:39:53 AM »
Hi,

 Yes you are right my next question is what is sizling?? And do you think this is to difficult for me to try??

     Thanks
Owner/Operator of a 1986 Wood-Mizer LT30 Manual

Offline RavioliKid

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Re: sustainable forestry
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2000, 04:52:33 PM »
Paper making isn't hard at all, and every kid I've ever taught has loved it!

There are a lot of options and choices in making paper.  Simple recycled paper can be made from just about any sort of paper. You just need a blender, some basins to hold the pulp, a mould, a deckle and some cloth to use to take the wet paper off the screen.

I would recommend two sites to you.  www.arnoldgrummer.com has a place for you to ask questions - and they answer them! www.twinrocker.com is a good supply house, if you get into paper making in a big way.  I have ordered pulp from them. There are many different things you can make paper out of - and recycled junk mail isn't the highest quality paper you can make.

Incidentally, sizing is something you add to the pulp to reduce how much moisture it will absorb. Paper towels don't have sizing in them, and you can see how durable they are!

Have fun!
RavioliKid

Offline Scooby Doo

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Re: sustainable forestry
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2000, 05:24:31 AM »
OK

 Thanx could you do me a favor if you want if not I can find it some where else but can you make a list of things I need and a list of how to make the paper!!!??? Please if you would.

   Thanks
Owner/Operator of a 1986 Wood-Mizer LT30 Manual

Offline RavioliKid

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Re: sustainable forestry
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2000, 04:07:00 PM »
Scooby,

I'm glad to help, but the web sites I've given you have more accurate information.  Why don't you look them up and see if they answer your questions.  If there is anything else you want to know, please get back to me.
RavioliKid

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Re: sustainable forestry
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2000, 10:47:04 AM »
Kim,

I believe you are not far from the Kalamazoo Valley Museum.  Have you been to the Paper Quest Exhibit yet?  The museum had an open house for the traveling exhibit last month.  Paper Quest is a travelling exhibit by TAPPI.  (Technical Association of Pulp and Paper Institute, or something close to it)  I forget exaclty what the acronym stands for.  The exhibit is awesome thought and I recommend taking your class if possible.

Offline RavioliKid

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Re: sustainable forestry
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2000, 06:24:23 PM »
Yes, I have been to the Kalamazoo Museum's paper exhibit. It was really great!  I'd like to schedule a visit. I have a few people in my class I can't trust in public yet, so I have put off the field trip.  When I talk to the parents at conferences, I'll see if they would be available to monitor their children.

We have gone through one round of paper making in the classroom. We used Kraft paper grocery bags for the main pulp, and added some of our milkweed floss to some sheets.

Now that we know how the process works, we'll try it using a higher grade of pulp with the "pulp" we made as an inclusion.

RavioliKid

Offline Forester Frank

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Re: sustainable forestry
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2000, 02:32:35 PM »
What an excellent idea with the paper. your kids are trully learning science. Thanks for the dedication to the classroom. The more teachers like you the better.

Forester Frank

Offline RavioliKid

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Re: sustainable forestry
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2000, 04:10:50 PM »
Thanks so much for your kind words!  It also reminds me that it is time to make another batch of paper.  I guess we'll have to make some pulp next week.

RavioliKid

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: sustainable forestry
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2004, 04:18:23 PM »
We have alot of milkweed in pastures, ditches and abandoned farmland in my area. I'm not interested in making paper personally, but I think its an interesting topic. I once saw the process done in a documentary about Japan and thought that would be kewl. I was a teen back then, and its been a few years. ;)
No amount of belief makes something a fact. James Randi

1 Thessalonians 5:21

Offline RavioliKid

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Re: sustainable forestry
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2004, 07:19:27 PM »
I have been eyeballing the milkweed stands in the ditches and empty spaces around town. I think we are going to be making paper with the kids in the fall, so I just might be harvesting them again before too long.
RavioliKid


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