What type of canopy/tree species are required to grow ginseng, goldenseal, and/or black cohosh?

Assuming the species in question are ginseng, goldenseal, and black cohosh, look for a stand of mature hardwoods — typically beech, birch, maple, tulip poplar, oak, and cherry located on north- and northeastern-facing slopes. Some pines can be present but shouldn’t predominate. The site should have dabbled shade (70 to 85 percent) and the soils should be well drained and high in organic matter.

Is forest farming of ginseng, woody florals, ramps possible in hardiness zones of the Midwest using 3 or 5 row shelterbelts (Green ash, Eastern red cedar, Chinese elms)?

Yes. You would need to confirm that conditions in your shelterbelt agree with growing conditions for the plant(s) you want to grow. Ginseng and ramps, best grown in moist hardwood forests, may not be good choices in a Midwest shelterbelt, especially a new planting without deep shade or if the area does not have rich soils high in organic matter. If you are in a forest type (rich, moist and high in organic matter) where you know ginseng grows (or …

YouTube Channel Bee Keeping Series

Jon Christie, owner of Wild Mountain Bees in Western North Carolina, explains the various ways one can begin with bees: catching a swarm of bees, buying a package of bees, or purchasing a bee nuc. Each option has its pros and cons. Since the introduction of the varroa mite in the early nineties, most feral bee colonies have died off. Buying a package of bees can help ensure a stronger start. A package consists of about three pounds of bees …

YouTube Series Forest Farmed Lion's Mane, Oyster, and Stropharia Mushrooms

Steve Gabriel, co-author of Farming the Woods and eXtension aide at Cornell University, introduces the practice of totem inoculation for forest farming mushrooms. Oyster mushrooms and lion’s mane can be grown on various hardwood species beneath the shade of the forest’s canopy as they are typically found in nature. Lion’s mane prefers to grow on sugar maple and American Beech while oyster mushrooms will colonize a variety of hardwoods including cottonwood, box elder, and tulip poplar, to name a few. …

Forest Cultivated Mushrooms, a Rotten Business Webinar with Ken Mudge

Specialty forest mushrooms include such delicacies as shiitake, oyster, lion’s mane and wine cap which can be cultivated on wood substrates, as non-timber forest products for forest farming. Unfortunately, other choice wild edible mushrooms like chanterelles, morels, or boletus are not included because they cannot be deliberately cultivated. Shiitake is by far the most developed of the specialty forest mushrooms from the standpoint of both cultivation and marketing. There are four stages that the prospective grower must consider for forest …

Charcoal Making, Then and Now with Adam Downing and Sanford S. Smith

When producing charcoal in a kiln, it’s important to protect your hands with insulated leather gloves. Leather gloves without insulation will not provide enough protection against the heat of the kiln. It’s also important to wear closed-toed shoes., preferrabley leather work boots.

Kilns for charcoal production come in a variety of styles. A common feature of all kilns is the ability to control oxygen. The control of oxygen within the kiln is critical during the charcoal making process as is …

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 …