Cover image for Farming the woods : an integrated permaculture approach to growing food and medicinals in temperate forests
Title:
Farming the woods : an integrated permaculture approach to growing food and medicinals in temperate forests
Author:
Mudge, Ken, 1949-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
White River Junction, Vermont : Chelsea Green Publishing, 2014.
Physical Description:
xv, 359 pages : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Summary:
Farming the Woods covers in detail how to cultivate, harvest, and market high-value nontimber forest crops such as American ginseng, shiitake mushrooms, raps (wild leeks), maple syrup, fruit and nut trees, ornamentals, and more. Along with profiles of forest farmers from around the country, readers are also provided comprehensive information on historical perspectives of forest farming; mimicking the forest in a changing climate; cultivation of medicinal crops; cultivation of food crops; crating a forest nursery; harvesting and utilizing wood products; the role of animals in the forest farm; and how to design your forest farm and manage it once it's established.
Language:
English
Contents:
What is forest farming? -- Historical perspectives on farming the woods -- Mimicking the forest in a changing climate -- Food from the forest: fruits, nuts, and more -- Forest cultivation of mushrooms -- Forest medicinals -- A nursery in the forest -- Wood products -- Animals in the forest -- Designing and managing a forest farm.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9781603585071
Format :
Book

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Material Type
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Central Library S494.5.P47 M83 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Orchard Park Library S494.5.P47 M83 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

In the eyes of many people, 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 invites a remarkably different perspective: that a healthy forest can be maintained while growing a wide range of food, medicinal, and other non-timber products. 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.nbsp; 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.

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. Farming the Woods is the first in-depth guide for farmers and gardeners who have access to an established woodland and are looking for productive ways to manage it. Authors Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel describe this process as "productive conservation," guided by the processes and relationships found in natural forest ecosystems.nbsp;

Farming the Woods covers 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, ornamental ferns, and more. Comprehensive information is also offered on historical perspectives of forest farming; mimicking the forest in a changing climate; cultivation of medicinal crops; creating a forest nursery; harvesting and utilizing wood products; the role of animals in the forest farm; and how to design and manage your forest farm once it's set up. 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.nbsp;


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

It seems that the only thing farming and forestry have in common is that they both take place outdoors. Yet, according to the authors of this unorthodox but exceptionally useful handbook, forest farming, which involves gathering a wide variety of plants, from mushrooms to medicinals, predates agriculture. Aiming their advice at readers living in temperate climate zones, including the upper half of North America, Mudge and Gabriel draw on their expertise in the rapidly emerging field of agroforestry to provide in-depth tips on cultivating mushrooms, gathering fruits and nuts, harvesting popular herbs such as ginseng, and even managing goats for maintaining canopy-sheltered grasses and ornamentals. Along with sumptuous illustrations and invaluable case studies, their work provides a wealth of information for anyone with wooded land looking for ways to better manage it as well as reap a little extra profit from its rich agricultural potential.--Hays, Carl Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

In this latest of the publisher's serious, readable, and eminently useful books on cutting-edge permaculture practices, Cornell University professor Mudge and Fingerlakes forest farmer and horticulturalist Gabriel take a step outside the permaculture trend toward forest gardening--gardening that emulates forest patterns--and focus on farming in the woods by maintaining a healthy forest while growing a wide range of food, medicinal, and other non-timber products. Beginning with a nuanced cultural history of forest farming, Mudge and Gabriel share their expertise on an abundance of woodland products: pollination techniques for paw-paws; the comparative economics of shiitakes and ginseng; maple, birch, and walnut sugaring methods; hazelnut breeding; and the safe use of a chain saw, to name but a few. A thoughtfully speculative but practical section on the possible effects of climate change reflects the authors' humble and hopeful perspective that much of the trouble in the world today is due to disconnection from... larger cycles. Forest farming invites us to change these cycles and to offer a gift for generations to come. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Choice Review

This excellent book by Mudge (Cornell Univ.) and Gabriel (educator, forest farmer, and ecologist, Finger Lakes region, New York) highlights the diverse income streams that forest landowners or individuals who want to design a forested environment on their land can cultivate. The book begins with clear definitions of forest farming, agroforestry practices, and a historical perspective on cultivating crops in the forest. A foundational understanding of forest ecology is presented, including forest food webs, succession and disturbance, nature mimicry, and adaptation as the climate changes. Later chapters focus on cultivating trees for fruits, nuts, or syrups; using nontimber forest products; growing mushrooms for food and medicine; gathering high-value medicinal plants; producing forest products in nurseries; harvesting wood products; and incorporating animals in the system as possible forest farm endeavors. The discussions of crops suggested in this detailed text are supported with diverse charts and interesting case studies to help readers find the path that best suits their interests. The conclusion provides guidelines for success in the design of forest farms. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. --Marisha Auerbach, Oregon State University


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