YouTube Channel Growing Forest Medicinal Herbs for the Market

Robert Eidus, owner and operator of Eagle Feather Organic Farm, explains the ecology of ginseng, goldenseal, trillium, and ramps. In order to successfully grow these forest medicinals, edibles, and decorative plants, it’s imperative to understand their relationship to their environment and in some cases, to each other. While their rate and success of propagation in the wild are different, they enjoy similar forest ecosystems. Loamy soil that drains well, often related to slope, in addition to the shade of deciduous …

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis L.)


Botanical Information

Bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis L., is a member of the Papaveraceae family. It is a native spring wildflower that grows in rich woodlands of North America from Nova Scotia to Florida and west to Alabama, Arkansas, Nebraska, and Manitoba. It can grow in full sun but is more often found in semi-shaded, light-wooded areas with moist, acidic soil. A perennial that grows up to 10 inches tall, the plant has a single basal leaf that can be as wide …

False Unicorn or Fairy Wand (Chamaelirium luteum)


Botanical Information

False unicorn or fairy wand [Chamaelirium luteum (L.) A. Gray], member of the Liliaceae family, is native to North America with a natural range stretching from Florida north to New York and west to the Mississippi River. Most of the significant wild populations of this plant exist in the southern portion of its range. An herbaceous perennial, its leaves form a basal rosette with an emerging flower stalk that bears either a male or female flower spike …

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 …