March 7th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Speaking of organic, did you know that Vermont is also famous for it's organic furniture? Last count there were some 2000 small wood furniture makers scattered across Vermont. Although the styles and methods of craftsmanship are quite varied, these furniture makers have in common a deep respect for the forest where their wood furniture originates.
I haven't been able to find a definition for organic furniture yet but I do think Vermont would logically be the place to start. Vermont woodworkers have a long history of sustainable woodworking, sourcing their wood from our local forests abundant in native hardwoods like maple, oak, ash, cherry and birch. And we avoid the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in Vermont's sustainable forests, relying instead on Mother Nature to regenerate after careful selective harvesting.
When it comes to applying a finish to Vermont's furniture, you'll be hard-pressed to find harsh chemicals with high levels of VOCs or formaldehyde. Instead furniture makers use natural linseed oil finishes, clear non-toxic lacquers and even a natural coating made from whey (a recycled byproduct of our dairy industry).
Yesterday I wrote about organic food in terms of where it comes from and how it's grown. The organic food movement has been around for over a century but has picked up more steam in the last 20 years as people become more aware of where their food comes from. I think the next step for the organic movement is into the world of organic furniture. And Vermont will lead the way.