Forest Farming Intensive
Propagation to Processing

What's new on this page as of September 9, 2021?
Registration deadline extended to September 15!

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Event Overview

Safety Statement

Updated September 7, 2021

We want to make sure that everyone is aware of our COVID safety plans as they pertain to this event. The health and safety of our staff and participants is a primary concern in making this event successful and enjoyable for all. 

As we all know, COVID-19 is an ever-evolving global pandemic. As such, we will follow COVID safety protocols required by federal, state, and/or local regulations at the time of the event.


This may include guidelines from one or all of the following organizations: 

  • Center for Disease Control (CDC)

  • Virginia Department of Health (VDH)

  • Virginia Tech University (VT) and Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE)*

*ABFFC (managed through VT) is a co-host of this event and so VT and VCE protocols must be considered.

Our current plans for COVID safety are as follows:

  • NEW: All plenary sessions and meals will be outside under a large event tent. This is an added safety precaution that we feel will make our attendees and instructors more comfortable.

  • Face masks will be worn in the Appalachian Harvest Herb Hub

    • As per current CDC guidelines, we are going to require that everyone, vaccinated or not, wear a facemask while indoors at this facility. This is a food processing facility that farmers depend on to distribute their products and we are going to use extra caution to make sure we do not inadvertently contaminate any area or equipment in the facility.

  • Face masks will be optional at the Forest Farm where sessions will be held entirely outdoors.


*NOTE: THIS MAY CHANGE!! Continue to check this page for updates.


We would also like you to be aware of the following:

  • This conference will have indoor and outdoor sessions.

  • If we need to implement COVID safety protocols, they may include, but are not limited to:

    • Requiring all attendees to wear a mask unless they are eating or drinking; even when outdoors

    • Requiring physical distancing in all sessions

    • Breaking the attendees into small groups to help limit interaction among a large group of people


If you feel the possibility of having to follow these protocols is not appealing to you, we understand. If you have already registered but no longer wish to attend, we will honor refund requests received on or before September 10, 2021. After that date, we will be placing final orders for food and will not be able to issue refunds.


Please keep in mind that while it is up to each individual how they handle their own personal safety, we are hosting a public event and must do what we feel is necessary to best keep this public group safe. We are all in this together, and we’d like to thank you for your understanding and patience as we navigate an ever-evolving global pandemic and changing CDC guidelines to bring you a safe, informative and fun educational event. We look forward to seeing you there!


Registration Types and Fees


You can register for this event HERE.

Registration for the event will be $40.

This ticket will include the dinner and keynote on Friday and all activities and lunch on Saturday.

Registration deadline is September 15 at 5pm.


Participants will be responsible for their own lodging if that is needed. Please see the "Lodging & Travel" section below for more information.



The Forest Farming Intensive - Propagation to Processing will be September 17-18, 2021. We will begin at 5:30pm on Friday evening and continue through Saturday at 4:15pm.


Our workshop host, Appalachian Sustainable Development, welcomes you to the Appalachian Harvest Herb Hub and Appalachian Cove Forest Farm and Homestead, both in Duffield, Virginia.



Anyone interested in learning more about forest farming. 


Whether you’re just getting started with forest farming, or looking to ramp up production for market, this intensive has something for everyone. On Friday evening, spend time networking with other aspiring and experienced forest farmers over dinner and enjoy a keynote from Dr. Jeanine Davis. On Saturday, get ready to dig in with intensive learning stations covering site selection, propagation, syrup production and sustainable harvest at Appalachian Cove Forest Farm, and post-harvest handling and processing at the Appalachian Harvest Herb Hub. From propagation to processing for sale - we look forward to seeing you for a day and a half of networking and learning from experienced forest farmers, researchers, technical service providers, and herb brokers!

Logistical Note

This intensive will take place both indoors and outdoors, rain or shine. The field component of this event will take place in the woods at a forest farm, and will require approximately ½ mile of walking in mountainous terrain. We recommend bringing weather appropriate clothes, sturdy shoes, a walking stick if needed, and other comforts (i.e. sunscreen, bug spray, reusable water bottle). A more robust packing list will be sent out with the Welcome Letter about one week before the event. Please no pets at this event.

Schedule & Program

Schedule Overview with Instructors Listed

Friday, September 17

*Friday evening activities will take place at Cove Ridge Center in Natural Tunnel State Park

5:30pm, Registration

6:10pm, Welcome and Introductions

6:30pm, Dinner

7:15pm, Keynote with Jeanine Davis, North Carolina State University

Talk Title: Forest Farming Medicinal Herbs: Reviewing the Past and Looking to the Future

8:30pm, Adjourn


Saturday, September 18

8:00am, Check-in and Group Organization

9:00am, Groups Depart


9:00am-12:00pm, Field Sessions

Group A @ Appalachian Harvest Herb Hub*

Group B @ Appalachian Cove Forest Farm and Homestead**

12:00pm, Lunch

Cove Ridge Center in Natural Tunnel State Park

1:15-4:15pm, Field Sessions

Group B @ Appalachian Harvest Herb Hub*

Group A @ Appalachian Cove Forest Farm and Homestead**

4:15pm, Adjourn

NOTE about Keynote with Kat Crane, Mountain Rose Herbs

Kat was scheduled to speak on Buyer Specifications for Forest Grown Botanicals during lunch on Saturday but will not be able to travel from Oregon to Virginia to attend the event. Instead, she is recording her talk and the link to that recording will be sent to workshop participants after the event. 


*Topics to be covered at Appalachian Harvest Herb Hub

Washing with Margaret Bloomquist, North Carolina State University

Drying with Katie Commender, Appalachian Sustainable Development

Garbling with Robin Suggs, Appalachian Sustainable Development

Creative Marketing with Jeanine Davis, North Carolina State University


**Topics to be covered at Appalachian Cove Forest Farm and Homestead

Responsible Harvesting and Plant Propagation of Forest Botanicals with Ryan Huish, ACFFH

Why Tap a Tree? The Possibilities of Tree Syrup for your Forest Farm with Kate Fotos, Future Generations University

Forest Botanical Site Assessment with Eric Burkhart, Penn State

​For session descriptions and more details, download the complete schedule HERE.



Eric Burkhart, Penn State

Margaret Bloomquist, North Carolina State University

Katie Commender, Appalachian Sustainable Development

Katheryn Crane, Mountain Rose Herbs

Jeanine Davis, North Carolina State University

Kate Fotos, Future Generations University

Ryan Huish, UVA Wise and Appalachian Cove Forest Farm and Homestead

John Munsell, Virginia Tech

Robin Suggs, Appalachian Sustainable Development

Download speaker bios HERE.


Scholarship Opportunities


We have 5 scholarships available to those in need. They will be awarded on a first come/first serve basis. To inquire, please send an email to

Lodging & Travel


We strongly suggest securing your lodging NOW for this event if you are planning to attend. Lodging in the immediate area of Duffield, VA is limited, so please be aware that your lodging may be 18-30 minutes from the event venue depending on where you would like to stay. Please note that we are not promoting or condoning any particular lodging, only offering information on options.

There are two lodging options: 1) Natural Tunnel State Park cabins or camping,

2) Local cabins and hotels.

Natural Tunnel State Park in Duffield, VA

Camping and Cabins available. Check here for availability and pricing.


Local Hotels and Cabins

Appalachian Mountain Cabins (requires a 2 night minimum)

You can also look for lodging in these nearby locations:

*Note that times listed are the driving distance from Cove Ridge Center to that location

Big Stone Gap, VA (18 minutes)

Gate City, VA (20 minutes)

Pennington Gap, VA (25 minutes)

Kingsport, TN (30 minutes)


General Questions


If you have any questions about this event, please email Tiffany Brown at 

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