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To many, the practices of forestry and farming are mutually exclusive, because in the modern world, agriculture involves open fields, straight rows, and machinery to grow crops, while forests are primarily reserved for timber and firewood harvesting.
Farming the Woods introduces a remarkably different perspective: that a healthy forest can be maintained while growing a wide range of food, medicinal, and other non-timber products such as ginseng, mushrooms, and ramps.
In Farming the Woods, authors Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel demonstrate how forest farms can be most productive in places where the plow is not: on steep slopes, and in shallow soils. Forest farming is becoming an invaluable practice to integrate into any farm or homestead, especially as the need for unique value-added products and supplemental income becomes increasingly important for farmers.
Many already know that daily indulgences we take for granted such as coffee, chocolate, and many tropical fruits, all originate in forest ecosystems. But few know that such abundance is also available in the cool temperate forests of North America.
Mudge and Gabriel cover in detail how to cultivate, harvest, and market high-value non-timber forest crops such as American ginseng, shiitake mushrooms, ramps (wild leeks), maple syrup, fruit and nut trees, ornamentals, and more. Farming the Woods includes profiles of forest farmers from around the country who are practicing many of the techniques described in the book.
Farming the Woods is a must-read for farmers and gardeners who have access to an established woodland and are looking for productive ways to manage it, and are interested in incorporating aspects of agroforestry, permaculture, forest gardening, and sustainable woodlot management into the concept of a whole-farm organism.
Buy this book from Chelsea Green: Farming the Woods