Author Archives: JohnMatel

Forest visit March 24, 2019 (1)

This was one of the rainiest years ever in Virginia. Our stream management zones were carrying more water than usual. You see in the first picture how high the water was by looking at the sand and mud that the … Continue reading

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Forest visit March 24, 2019

I attended a talk about the need for white oak for bourbon barrels and decided to do my part for the 2050 class of bourbon drinkers by planting one of my patches with white oak. So I ordered some from … Continue reading

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Still developing a land ethic

Land empty of people is sad and incomplete – A land full of people who overreach and destroy nature is a horror. A land empty of people is sad and incomplete. Walking gently on the earth is essential, but that … Continue reading

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You need not eat the whole egg to know it is rotten

You need not eat the whole egg to know it is rotten. Like many Virginia landowners lately, I am getting unsolicited offers from companies wanting to lease my land to exploit it for solar farms. I throw all of them … Continue reading

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A simpler and better way to choose students

This is the simple, fair & transparent solution. Determine threshold requirements based on a combination of tests, grades and courses taken. This might produce many more qualified students than places available. Then do a lottery. There is no such thing … Continue reading

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The Study of Leadership

Who should you trust to write about leadership? Academics generally can write more eloquently and more persuasively than practicing leaders, but can they appreciate it as well? There is no such thing as writing history as it really was. All … Continue reading

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Have you participated in any competitions? How did you do?

Have you participated in any competitions? How did you do? It is not too much to say that swim team was what I cared most about at Bay View HS. It ordered my life.  I was a good natural swimmer … Continue reading

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“Do you believe in a higher power?”

My story worth for this week. A deeper subject. “Do you believe in a higher power?” I had been living away from home for many years, had a family and life of my own. I was an adult far from … Continue reading

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We are the original “green deal”

We are the original “green deal.” The American Tree Farm System has been conserving forest land in the USA since 1941 & I think we have done a good job. The ATFS logo includes the four things our land produces: … Continue reading

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You cannot make Bourbon w/o white oak

  Bourbon is a gift of the oak tree. More than half of whiskey’s flavor & all of its color comes from the oak in the barrels. The whiskey is taken in and out of the wood as it ages … Continue reading

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