The 2022 WV Forest Farming Forum offers opportunities for new and experienced forest farmers! The two day event will focus on forest farming as a means for generating agricultural income while conserving and rejuvenating forested land.
Saturday workshop topics will cover the cultivation of medicinal herbs and mushrooms, maple syrup production, creative marketing for forest farmed products, and how to make forest farming work for you. On Sunday, guests can tour the Yew Mountain Center’s forest farm and take a deeper dive into site selection, propagation, and possibilities for producing value-added products. Information on mini-grants and technical assistance will be available to get you started or to expand your forest farm.
All experience levels are welcome!
COVID-19 Protocols: We will follow COVID safety protocols required by federal, state, organizational and/or local regulations at the time of the event. Currently, there are no plans to require attendees to wear face masks or practice physical distancing.
Location: This year's event will take place in downtown Marlinton, WV on Saturday, May 21, and at the Yew Mountain Center in nearby Hillsboro, WV on Sunday, May 22. Drive time from Marlinton to the Yew Mountain Center is around 30 minutes. GPS is not always reliable.For driving directions to the Yew Mountain Center,click here.
Sat. May 21st
10am - 8pm (Registration at 9:30am; break from 5pm-6:30pm)
Pocahontas County Opera House, 818 3rd Ave, Marlinton, WV
Sun. May 22nd
9am - 12:30pm (Registration 8:30am; Optional Tour of YMC Forest Farm 12:30pm-2pm)
Yew Mountain Center, 9494 Lobelia Road, Hillsboro, WV
Lodging: There are many places to stay in and around Marlinton. Housing options can be found on Airbnb and the Pocahontas County CVB webpage. For a list of lodging options in the area, including options for camping,click here.
Introduction to Uses of Appalachian Herbswith Ruby Daniels Spending her childhood summers learning about native plants, herbal medicine, and African American traditions from female family elders in West Virginia, Ruby D. has had a lifelong passion and relationship with Appalachian herbs that led to her pursuing formal training in therapeutic herbalism. In this talk she will share her knowledge on the history of Appalachian herbal medicine, historical uses of Appalachian forest herbs, and how uses and trends have changed over time.
Business Planning for Botanical Forest Farmers with Ed Daniels With Ed’s extensive background in growing medicinal herbs of the forests of wild West Virginia, he will discuss their somewhat challenging propagation and the value of growing at risk and other medicinal herbs whose native habitat is the forest. He will outline the basics of starting an herb business with a focus on growing, harvesting and selling roots like ginseng, goldenseal, black/blue cohosh as well as ramps and other native forest plants.
Creative Marketing Ideas for your Forest Farming Business with Jeanine Davis Many beginning forest farmers expect to sell their roots and herbs to the same buyers that wild-harvesters sell to. Farming, however, has much higher inputs financially and time-wise than wild-harvesting, and the volumes needed to make it profitable often exceed what a new forest farmer can provide. This presentation will provide alternative ways to sell your roots and herbs and the creative marketing strategies needed to do it successfully.
Resources and Q&A for Beginning Forest Farmers with John Munsell & Will Lewis This session will address the opportunities and challenges of cultivating non-timber forest products and the resources available to start or expand your forest farm, including technical assistance and mini-grants available through the West Virginia Forest Farming Initiative and/or the Appalachian Beginning Forest Farmer Coalition.
Forest Farming with Fungi with Jon Lamastra This class will cover multiple methods of forest farming with both wood-loving and soil growing Fungi, including such methods as Log Cultivation, Live Tree and Tree Stump inoculations, Mushroom Beds, and the Spore Slurry technique.
What's in Trees? Intro to Saps, Syrups, and Other Sweet Products with Evelyn Hartman & Michael Lucero In this presentation, we will cover the basics of tree saps, how you can get them, and what you can make with them
Keynote: Making Forest Farming Work for You with Jeanine Davis Forest farming is practiced in many ways and can fit into almost any forest landowner's business plan and schedule. Opportunities range from large-scale, full-time operations with employees to small, part-time family businesses to generate a little extra income. This presentation will cover many of the opportunities available with the goal of helping you find your niche in this emerging industry.
Sunday Workshops: Site Selection with Will Lewis & John Munsell Learn the specifics of what to look for when assessing a location for growing at-risk forest botanicals including common indicator species, soil conditions, and shade/sunlight considerations.
Propagation with Ed Daniels Ed offers a practical and sustainable approach to growing at-risk forest botanicals using organic methods.
Value Added Products & Tinctures Demonstration with Ginny Lane Rush What can we do with these wonderful forest herbs? An overview of types of value added products, the basics of herbal preparation, and a hands on demonstration of tincture making.