Joseph T. Birch V was educated at Harvard University, majoring in Social Relations/Psychology until leaving to manage The Bicycle Revival, a thriving recycled bicycle parts business he launched from a Cambridge garage in 1965. Under his leadership, the enterprise expanded to 17 stores spanning from Florida to New Hampshire. Seven years later, Birch sold the business to the Italian racing bicycle company Portofino International and purchased a farm with 200 acres of timberland in Lyndeborough, New Hampshire.
Joe Birch in 2010 doing maintainance work on his equipment with his boys Joe and Sam
In New Hampshire, Birch founded a commercial sawmill and pallet shop, managing as many as six logging crews and a half dozen Caterpillar 518 skidders at a time. At the same time, he owned and operated several sand and gravel operations in NH and MA. At peak, his logging operations cut millions of board feet of timber and he also produced or brokered up to 50,000 cords of long-length firewood annually. Birch employed over 50 people, and his logging company became the country’s largest firewood dealer. Such a brisk volume garnered him the title “The Emperor of Firewood.”
Photo of Joe excerpted from article written about Joe's Logging Operation
Throughout his logging career, Birch maintained a conscientious regimen of prudent timber management practices. In some ecologically sensitive timberland, Birch logged with horses that frequently stood 21 hands high and weighed over a ton. Horse logging does not punish the land and the immature tree growth as huge logging skidders and whole tree processors do. One of the biggest horse logging jobs he did was in Marquette, Michigan, in an ecologically sensitive area adjacent to a river which salmon used as a breeding ground. With three teams of Percheron and Belgian horses, he and his horse loggers selectively cut 600 acres.
Birch’s success in land development, sand and gravel, firewood sales and horse-logging, captured the imagination of local newspapers, magazines, and television programs. Media interest included an eight-minute feature on The Today Show hosted by Mike Barnicle and Tom Brokaw.
From the late 60’s through the 90’s, while his logging business flourished, Birch was also involved with numerous land development projects. In 1996, Birch turned to residential land development full time. Birch developed numerous properties in his career including a 53-lot subdivision which some consider the most beautiful housing development in Hollis, New Hampshire. As the housing market crashed in 2007 and 2008, Birch and his two sons, Joseph and Samuel, returned to logging and firewood sales. They also constructed nine units of apartment housing, mostly from lumber produced on their sawmill. In addition, they concentrated on what until then had been only a side project – a technology for converting solid waste and biomass into profitable energy.
Houses constructed on Birch's 53 lot Hollis Subdivision
Birch and his sons investigated numerous strategies for recycling waste products and biomass into profitable fuel products. In one avenue of research, they converted wood fiber into activated carbon which is ideal for purifying air and water. Birch consulted with former MIT Professor Thomas Reed, a leading expert in alternative fuel research, now retired and living in Western Massachusetts. Under the tutelage of Dr. Reed, Birch developed viable waste-to-energy technologies and immersed himself in the literature of “green” chemistry, mechanical engineering, and the history of various technologies for biomass and waste conversion.
Targeting used tires as the most viable and profitable waste product, Birch and his sons built four separate experimental conversion plants and a small-scale refinery. The fuel oil they produced was tested at Clean Burn Energy Systems laboratory in Northfield, Massachusetts with better-than-expected results. Birch’s fuel oil burned cleanly with no visible stack emissions and slightly higher BTUs than #2 heating fuel. Clean Burn was impressed enough to agree to undertake, at their expense, additional testing for EPA certification, which is upcoming at the firm’s Pennsylvania headquarters.
Birch and his sons maintain a variety of light and heavy construction and excavation equipment. But perhaps more importantly, they possess the experience and the drive to move forward on a proposed 240-ton-per-day tire-to-fuel plant, the next phase in their ongoing waste-to-energy initiatives.
Thanks for visiting our site, and we look forward to keeping you up to date on this exciting project!
JOE BIRCH - December 2010
see great pictures below!
Birch and Sons clearing land for future sub division road in Hollis
Birch hauling a load of logs to the landing
A photo of Joe Birch with Frank Baker and Marvin Nelson on a logging job on Birch land in Hollis NH. Frank and Marvin were two highly experienced horse loggers. We had a morning ritual. We would feed the horses and then we had to wait a half hour for them to digest their meal of oats and hay before we could work them.
Birch with Big Ned and a three horse team that was used for heavy pulling and long log hauls to the landing when we literally needed more horsepower.
TIRE TO FUEL™ - Turning Waste Tires into Fuel and Energy!
Since 1974 Joe Birch has been engaged in alternative, complementary health care research. He began his studies when his mother was deathly ill with autoimmune diseases and her doctors could do nothing to help her. After considerable research he discovered her psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and other symptoms were caused by dietary factors including gluten sensitivity and leaky gut syndrome causing malabsorption of nutrients. These factors were seriously compromising and deregulating her immune system causing her autoimmune disorders. He formulated a regimen of dietary, vitamin and life style changes that completely cured her of her symptoms as long as she stayed on the regimen. He has helped numerous people with chronic diseases and has nearly completed three books relating to alternative, complimentary therapies for cancer, heart disease and autoimmune disorders. He publishes a blog that has been rapidly expanding with thousands of readers..
Read the medical blog at: