Knots and Bolts Archive

  • Wild Leeks: A Wild Food Rock Star thumbnail

    Wild Leeks: A Wild Food Rock Star

    by Benjamin Lord | Spring 2017
    If you know anything about wild edible plants, chances are you know about wild leeks. Also known as ramps, the wild leek (Allium tricoccum) is…

  • Familiar Forests Halfway Around the World thumbnail

    Familiar Forests Halfway Around the World

    by Celia Evans | Winter 2016
    Globally speaking, annual precipitation and temperature are the two most important factors that determine what grows where on Earth. Close to the equator, where it’s…

  • Ski Hearth Farm thumbnail

    Ski Hearth Farm

    by Meghan McCarthy McPhaul | Winter 2016
    The name – Ski Hearth Farm – is a hint to the diversity that has helped preserve this pastoral landscape of 630 acres in Sugar…

  • Building a Hauling Toboggan thumbnail

    Building a Hauling Toboggan

    by Kerry Lambertson | Winter 2016
    Though few today are familiar with the working toboggan of the North Woods, it was once ubiquitous – the tool of trappers and travelers, a…

  • Takeout thumbnail


    by Mary Holland | Winter 2016
    Eagles obtain food mainly in three ways – by capturing it, by stealing it, or by scavenging it. When securing their own live prey, they…

  • Two Wild Winter Teas thumbnail

    Two Wild Winter Teas

    by Benjamin Lord | Winter 2016
    Winter must have been hard for the first human inhabitants of the Northeast as long months passed with few fresh plant foods. Foraging is difficult…

  • Cutting-edge Timber Technology thumbnail

    Cutting-edge Timber Technology

    by Lee Burnett | Autumn 2016
    A new breed of building appeared on the UMass campus in Amherst this past winter. In a landscape full of concrete, brick, and stone rose…

  • Slime Time thumbnail

    Slime Time

    by Mary Holland | Autumn 2016
    Yellow-fuzz cone slime (Hemitrichia clavata) is a slime mold that is found in clusters on rotting wood. Neither plant nor animal, slime molds are known…

  • Vernon Town Forest thumbnail

    Vernon Town Forest

    by Anne Dempsey | Autumn 2016
    In the southeastern corner of Vermont is a 465-acre forest owned by the town of Vernon. It’s named the J. Maynard Miller Municipal Forest, after…

  • Wild Grapes: Vital Fruits thumbnail

    Wild Grapes: Vital Fruits

    by Benjamin Lord | Autumn 2016
    The grapevine was so important to the ancient Romans that they called it vitis, after the Latin word for life. Today, botanists still give the…

  • Peruvian Non-timber Forest Products thumbnail

    Peruvian Non-timber Forest Products

    by Dave Sherwood | Autumn 2016
    In Peru, a botica is a pharmacy – the sterile, white kind, with glass countertops, bright lights, and shelves lined with tidy boxes. But I’ve…

  • A Forestland Timeshare thumbnail

    A Forestland Timeshare

    by Charley Stevenson | Summer 2016
    Editors’ Note: We tend to think of forestland as being either publicly owned or privately owned. But tens of thousands of acres in the Northeast…

  • Fire and Western Forests thumbnail

    Fire and Western Forests

    by Naomi Heindel | Summer 2016
    Parts of the arid West are so biologically different than the temperate East that they seem like they’re on a different planet. Even places that…

  • Wood Sorrels thumbnail

    Wood Sorrels

    by Benjamin Lord | Summer 2016
    Many people who profess to know nothing about wild plants forget that they enjoyed eating wood sorrel (Oxalis spp.) greens as children. It’s a common…

  • Border Forests: Legacies of the Iron Curtain thumbnail

    Border Forests: Legacies of the Iron Curtain

    by Kerstin Lange | Spring 2016
    It was the woods that brought me to Vermont. More precisely, it was the footpath through its woods – the Long Trail. Its moniker “A…

  • Bug in a Bolt thumbnail

    Bug in a Bolt

    by Elizabeth Lee | Spring 2016
    Like many North Country residents, I typically light my woodstove in November, burning 16-inch logs until April. While carting an armload last winter, I noticed…

  • Marsh-marigold: An Underappreciated Spring Green thumbnail

    Marsh-marigold: An Underappreciated Spring Green

    by Benjamin Lord | Spring 2016
    The marsh-marigold (Caltha palustris) (also known as cowslip and kingcup) is not a marigold at all; it is a member of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae)…

  • Four Decades of Management thumbnail

    Four Decades of Management

    by Phil Primack | Spring 2016
    Dive-bombed by deer flies and jabbed by blackberry thorns, I was in a rush to cut down the beech trees that were blocking the growth…

  • When a Tree Falls in a Forest thumbnail

    When a Tree Falls in a Forest

    by Rebecca Heisman | Winter 2015
    Say you want to know how long a fallen tree takes to completely decompose. You could walk into the woods, cut a tree down, and…

  • What Lead Leaves Behind thumbnail

    What Lead Leaves Behind

    by Kristen Fountain | Winter 2015
    As scavengers, vultures rely on leftovers that hunters, both animal and human, leave behind. And when they feed on carcasses or gut-piles of animals that…