If you want to branch out in your gift giving this year, consider giving a gift from the forest.

Skilled woodworkers in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York turn out a variety of beautiful, useful, fun and durable products from the region’s forests. Each item is made by a local artist or manufacturer from the renewable resources of the forest. These gifts speak of tradition, creativity, and lasting quality, plus you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that your purchase is supporting the forest economy in our region.

When I made the jump from middle school to high school in the early 1990s, I honestly was not concerned with asking myself, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” Truth be told, I was fairly certain I was headed to the big-leagues to play the hot corner for the Red Sox, but beyond that, I hadn't really thought about it too much. I don’t know that many 13- or 14-year-olds do.

Tappan Chairs is in the midst of a revival in the town of Sandwich, New Hampshire, and the new owner, Adam Nudd-Homeyer, successfully raised seed funding online through the crowd-funding tool Kickstarter.com for new equipment and marketing. Founded in 1819, by Abraham Tappan, the company produces ladder-back chairs with hand-woven seats using some of the many pieces of original equipment that date back to the 19th century. In a time when many of our traditional furniture industry players have departed, Adam’s campaign is inspiring. Turns out, I' m not the only one who thinks so either...

Beginning this Fall and continuing through 2014, the Northern Forest Center is sponsoring a series of articles in Northern Woodlands magazine that captures success stories of innovation occurring in the region’s wood products manufacturing industry through the help of the Regional Wood Products Consortium.