YouTube Channel Forest Farming Charcoal Series

Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent, Adam Downing, explains what to look for when harvesting wood for charcoal or firewood. Hardwood is more dense and makes a better quality charcoal while pine is lighter and burns hotter, making it less desirable for cooking chicken, for instance. Leaving the dead trees on the forest floor is best because it provides habitat for forest dwellers. Live trees should be cut, which will open the canopy and allow the remaining trees to receive …

Forest Botanicals Deep and Tangled Roots Webinar with Eric Burkhart

There are many native plant species on eastern US forestlands that are wild harvested for the domestic and international plant trade. In this talk, Eric Burkhart, Program Director with Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center (Penn State University), will share insights from his studies and involvement with this complex and little understood trade, and highlight the opportunities and challenges facing forest farmers interested in production of forest botanicals for market. Quality-control, profitability, and sustainability within this industry will be discussed along with …

Seasonal Greening in U.S. Forests, Fields, and Urban Areas

Using the assessment tool ForWarn, land managers can monitor the growth and development of vegetation that signals winter’s end and the awakening of a new growing season. Researchers have devised a way to more precisely characterize the beginning of seasonal greening, or “greenup,” and compare its timing with that of the 14 previous years. Such information helps land managers anticipate and plan for the impacts of disturbances such as weather events and insect pests.

Three maps detailing greenup in …

YouTube Channel Pine Needle Basket Series

Long leaf pine needles are the most prized when it comes to weaving pine needle baskets. The long leaf pine tree is typically found in the Southeast from the east coast of North Carolina to the Florida’s Gulf coast.  The long leaf pine needles last longer in the weaving process than shorter needles do and are therefore used more often in basketry. Nancy Basket is a Cherokee descendant and is renowned for her pine needle baskets and kudzu installations. In …

YouTube Channel Maple Syrup as a Hobby Series

Steve Caccamo, President of Next Generation Maple Products, explains how making maple syrup has become a growing hobby over the years. It’s easy to start out by tapping a few trees in your yard and boiling the sap with a turkey fryer and propane, but it is more cost efficient to use wood. We take a look at a small evaporator that Steve made for his sugar house once he decided to expand his maple syrup production.

YouTube Channel Ostrich Fiddlehead Fern Series

University of Maine’s Agriculture and Non-Timber Forest Products Professional, David Fuller, explains what an ostrich fiddlehead looks like and how it compares with its toxic cousin, the bracken fern. When harvesting fiddleheads, it’s extremely important to choose those from the ostrich fern which are characterized by a hairless, smooth, deep green stem that has a deep groove on the inside. The fiddleheads have a brown, papery substance on the outside of the unfurled frond called ramenta. Ostrich fern fiddleheads should …

YouTube Channel Wasabi Series

Wasabi is generally thought of as a pungent green paste that accompanies sushi. That green paste is more often than not, made up of grated horseradish or mustard. In this video, we take a look at the plant whose grated root makes up the real wasabi. It was traditionally eaten with sushi to combat food poisoning that can result from eating raw fish. Today, it’s considered as the natural condiment for sushi. Joe Hollis, founder of Mountain Gardens, explains what …

From Ginseng to Mushrooms: Goodies from Your Woods Webinar with Jeanine Davis

Forest landowners often want to make some profit from their land, if only to pay the property taxes. Other than cutting timber, which can only be done so often, how can you generate income from your woods? In North America, our forests are often populated with a wide variety of valuable native plants and fungi that can be sustainably wild-harvested and sold. Many others can be introduced and cultivated to provide a steady stream of products to harvest for many …

The Incredible Edible Ostrich Fern Fiddlehead Webinar with Dave Fuller

Wild fiddleheads have long been a part of the springtime diet for folks over the range of the ostrich fern, Matteuccia struthiopteris. Ostrich fern fiddleheads are tasty and beautiful in the landscape. But it’s important to properly identify ostrich fern fiddleheads and to not over-harvest in the wild. Other considerations in the consumption of fiddleheads is proper cooking. If you don’t have wild ostrich ferns growing on your property, perhaps you can establish your own planting for future harvest. Ostrich …

YouTube Channel Native Plant Series

Woodland medicinal, edible and decorative plants can be managed in prepared beds beneath the forest canopy. We take a look at some of the woods-grown plants at Enchanter’s Garden and see how a changing forest may dictate where new beds should be planted and old ones should be abandoned. Once invasive plants or insects enter the picture, various tree species may die off, leaving an open canopy and allowing for too much sunlight to reach the forest floor. A prepared …