Appalachian Beginning Forest Farmer Coalition
ABFFC Partners include:
Additional Coalition Initiatives
Appalachian Sustainable Development’s Herb Hub in Duffield, Virginia (https://asdevelop.org/agroforestry/), and United Plant Savers’ verified Forest Grown program (https://unitedplantsavers.org/forest-grown-verification-program/) help forest farmers profitably manage, harvest, and sell NTFPs to companies that aim to increase their access to unadulterated, sustainable, and predictable raw material. On top of price premiums, forest farming is seen as an economic opportunity for forest-dependent communities, landowners, and wild harvesting stewards.
There are many ABFFC resources for individuals who are interested in learning more about forest farming and thinking about how it may fit into their land use and management:
- Virginia Tech maintains an expansive YouTube library of videos about forest farming, products, harvesting, production and sustainable management. https://www.youtube.com/user/exforestfarming/featured
- PlantShoe is an online mapping tool that allows people to study a section of woodlands for preferred forest farming habitat. One can easily and freely create a site report indicating source data relevant to forest grown species (aspect, elevation, slope, soil fertility, soil moisture, soil drainage, and forest canopy). In just a few simple steps, one can draw a parcel on a map and utilize the site assessment tool to generate data. Based on the source data, PlantShoe also provides a heat map indicating areas with preferable habitat for several iconic NTFP species. Furthermore, there are resources available to learn more about NTFP species. Access to Plantshoe can be found here: https://plantshoe.org/Assessment/index/
- Virginia Tech and the Southern Regional Extension Forestry team have developed an online course consisting of video-based modules that introduce forest farming, products, management, harvesting, marketing, and economics. This course will lead you on a tour through exemplary forest farms and meet pioneers in the field to learn from their successes. In this course you will not only learn about the components needed for establishing and managing a successful forest farm, but you will also lean about sustainable management of important NTFP species. You will also get introduced to the Appalachian Beginning Forest Farming Coalition as well as being provided a suite of educational materials and supplemental modules.
Not only is this an opportunity to learn more about forest farming, but one can also obtain Continuing Forestry Education (CFE) credits. The course can be found at: https://campus.extension.org/enrol/index.php?id=1572.