The first in-depth guide for farmers and gardeners who have access to an established woodland and are looking for productive, innovative ways to create a natural forest ecosystems that produces a wide range of food, medicinals, and other non-timber products.
What a joy to read Nice pictures, great case studies, and well organized. . . . Farming the Woods is the source for temperate climate agroforestry.--Jonathan Bates, Owner of Food Forest Farm
While this concept of "forest farming" may seem like an obscure practice, history indicates that much of humanity lived and sustained itself from tree-based systems in the past; only recently have people traded the forest for the field. The good news is that this is not an either-or scenario; forest farms can be most productive in places where the plow is not: on steep slopes, and in shallow soils. It is an invaluable practice to integrate into any farm or homestead, especially as the need for unique value-added products and supplemental income becomes more and more important for farmers.
Farming the Woods covers in detail:
- How to cultivate, harvest, and market high-value non-timber forest crops
- Comprehensive information on historical perspectives of forest farming
- How to mimic the forest in a changing climate
- Cultivation of medicinal crops
- How to create a forest nursery
- Harvesting and utilizing wood products
- The role of animals in the forest farm
- How to design and manage your forest farm once it's set up
Forest crops covered include
- American ginseng
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Ramps (wild leeks)
- Maple syrup
- Fruit and nut trees
- Ornamental ferns
- And many more
This book is a must-read for farmers and gardeners interested in incorporating aspects of agroforestry, permaculture, forest gardening, and sustainable woodlot management into the concept of a whole-farm organism.