Forest farming can increase the economic value and utility of your forest and provide numerous environmental benefits, as well. If you are managing your forest for eventual timber harvest, forest farming can provide supplemental and more frequent income while you are waiting for the timber to mature. It is up to you as to how active you become in forest farming. You can simply manage wild populations of plants, fungi, and other natural resources that already exist in your forest or you can establish plantings of desired products. Examples of some forest products you might want to consider producing and harvesting include:
- Handicraft and specialty woods, such as basketry materials, mulches, aromatics, and carving materials
- Forest-based food products, such as ferns, mushrooms, nuts, fruits, and sap
- Medicinal and botanical herbs, such as ginseng, goldenseal, and black cohosh
- Decorative florals, such as ferns and galax
Environmental benefits of forest farming can include improved wildlife habitat and the creation of a more diverse ecosystem. Many people report that forest farming increases their personal enjoyment and appreciation of their forests and makes them better managers of their timber because they are in their forests more often.