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Forest Farming Introduction

Forest farming is an agroforestry practice which cultivates medicinal and edible crops, decorative and craft materials under a forest canopy that is managed to provide ideal shade levels and habitat.


Forest farming on a larger scale supplies marketable crops, materials and products made from non timber forest products to community, local, regional and online marketplaces as well as internationally.  

Forest farming also provides several opportunities for land owners, families and communities to benefit while managing, protecting and conserving the forests for the future. 

Forest Trees

What is Forest Farming?


Who Are Forest Farmers?

First, it is very important to acknowledge, honor and respect the indigenous peoples and their practice of stewardship and land management. The first nations have been stewards, foragers, and farmers since time immemorial, and continue these practices to this day.


Individuals and families:

Forestland owners are incredibly interested in forest farming. Opportunities abound to bring supplemental income, partially relieve tax burdens and invest in the future of families and forests. However, unlike traditionally agriculture with clear seasons, harvests and yields, forest farming is generally a longer term investment, but one with potentially higher values. Forest farming can also be a legacy endeavor of conserving forests, and a family's land well into the future.



An ever-growing group of communities now sees the need for community supported agriculture (CSAs), and forest farming is yet another opportunity for folks to come together to make plans, build visions and create these local, resilient and economically viable

projects using forest farming and other agroforestry practices.


Technical Services

Though always high on the list of interests, non-timber forest products and forest farming assistance are generally limited and associated forest resource inventory and habitat management planning services scarce. However, markets for forest farmed products are evolving quickly and forest farming education and networking has increased in the past several years. Improving management services, education and outreach has never been more important.

What do forest farmers need?

To develop the operational capacity needed to capitalize on emerging markets, forest farmers need technical, administrative, market sales, and state regulatory training and support related to production using forest grown verification, organic production, and best handling and processing practices. They also need access to extension and state agency personnel that are prepared to assist them with forest resource assessments and medicinal plant habitat management.

Learn more and connect with other forest farmers
in our online community!

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