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Non-timber Forest Products and Forest Stewardship Plans

To many woodland owners “harvesting” typically means the removal of timber from forests. In recent years many landowners have become aware of the role non-timber forest products (NTFPs) can play in supplemental management strategies to produce income while preserving other forest qualities.

Forest Farming

Forest Farming

Forest farming is the cultivation of high-value specialty crops under the protection of a forest canopy that has been modified to provide the correct shade level. Crops like ginseng, shiitake mushrooms, and decorative ferns are sold for medicinal, culinary, and ornamental uses. Forest farming provides income while high-quality trees are being grown for wood products.

Related Publications

Agroforestry Notes

  • Forest Farming: An Agroforestry Practice, Agroforestry Note #7, Forest Farming #1
  • Farming Exotic Mushrooms In The Forest, Agroforestry Note #14, Forest Farming #3
  • Economics And Marketing Of Ginseng, Agroforestry Note #15, Forest Farming #4
  • Forest Production Of Goldenseal, Agroforestry Note #16, Forest Farming #5
  • Pine Straw: A profitable agroforestry enterprise, Agroforestry Note #37, Forest Farming #6
  • Developing Consumer and Market Research for Non-Timber Forest Products, Agroforestry Note #45, Forest Farming #7
  • Forest Farming Ramps, Agroforestry Note # 47, Forest Farming #8
  • Non-timber Forest Products and Forest Stewardship Plans, Agroforestry Note #48, Forest Farming #9
  • Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Agroforestry, Agroforestry Note #44, General #14

Inside Agroforestry

  • Volume 16, Issue 2: Non-Timber Forest Products
  • Summer / Fall 2003: SARE
  • Winter 2003: 2002 Farm Bill
  • Summer 2000: Specialty Forest Products
  • Spring 2000: Status Of Our Nation's Water
  • Fall 1998 / Winter 1999: Small Farms
  • Winter 1996: Enterprise Development
  • Winter / Spring 1996: Partnership Special Education
  • Spring 1995: Agroforestry Is National
  • Fall 1994: Alternative Crops

Working Trees

Working Trees Info Sheets

  • What is forest farming?
  • Where can edible non-timber forest products be sold?

Additional Brochures

  • Marketing Specialty Forest Products (4 pages)
  • Opportunities for Enhancing Nontimber Forest Products Management in the United States
  • Managing Shade Coffee Fact Sheet
  • National Association Of RC&D Councils (NARC&DC) Report: RC&D Survey Of Agroforestry Practices
  • Agroforestry In The United States: Research And Technology Transfer Needs For The Next Millennium

En Español

Árboles Trabajando

  • Árboles Trabajando En Beneficio De La Agricultura
  • Árboles en Acción para las Islas

Folletos Adicionales

  • Manejo de Cafetales bajo Sombra Hoja Informativa

Forest Farming - Ask an Expert

The eXtension forest farming community shares information about growing and selling high-value non-timber forest products. Members are from across the country and have experience farming and studying edible, medicinal, decorative, and craft-based products in woodlands. The community provides woodland owners and managers with information about startup, best practices, and markets, and policies.

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About Agroforestry

Agroforestry intentionally combines agriculture and forestry to create integrated and sustainable land-use systems. Agroforestry takes advantage of the interactive benefits from combining trees and shrubs with crops and/or livestock. Agroforestry practices include:

About the NAC

The USDA National Agroforestry Center (NAC) had its origins in the 1990 Farm Bill. It began as a Forest Service Research and State & Private Forestry effort in 1992 and expanded into a partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in 1995. It is administered by the Forest Service's, Washington, DC, Office of Research and Development. NAC offices are located in Lincoln, Nebraska.

NAC accelerates the application of agroforestry through a national network of partners. Together, we conduct research, develop technologies and tools, coordinate demonstrations and training, and provide useful information to natural resource professionals.

About Working Trees

The right trees planted in the right places for the right reasons can add value to land-use systems. That's the Working Trees message that helps natural resource professionals, community leaders, and landowners identify with the concept of agroforestry. NAC uses the Working Trees theme to promote the development of sustainable agriculture and communities.


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