How to Stay Involved?

Black Cohosh. Photo by Katie Commender.

Image: Black cohosh. Photo by Katie Commender.

NOTE: We are still adding resources to this page.

Moving Forward

Wondering how to stay involved? If you haven’t already, fill out the surveys to provide input into the ABFFC Point of Harvest Survey and the American Forest Farming Council. This is an opportunity to get involved in the early stages of developing these new programs.

Donate Today to Support Forest Botanical Sustainability!

Forest Botanicals Week has been provided free of charge by the Appalachian Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Herbs Program. Please consider making a contribution to support the work of these organizations.

Stay Informed

Learn more about the ABFFC partners, sign up for the newsletters to find out about training opportunities, new initiatives, and other ways to stay involved. Below are some highlights from each organization.

  • Appalachian Sustainable Development
    • Appalachian Sustainable Development’s Herb Hub in Duffield, Virginia (, and United Plant Savers’ verified Forest Grown 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.
  • North Carolina State University
  • Organic Growers School is excited to launch Farmer Mentor Services this fall! The purpose of the program is to support beginning and intermediate farmers by partnering them with experienced regional farmers who can provide them with one-on-one practical planning skills in the areas of farm design and production, marketing, and business development, systems management, and connect them to the regional farming community. And, we will have two mentee spots reserved specifically for beginning forest farmers!
  • Rural Action
  • United Plant Savers
  • Virginia Tech University
    • Virginia Tech maintains an expansive YouTube library of videos about forest farming, products, harvesting, production and sustainable management.
    • 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 here.
    • 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:

  • Warren Wilson College is substantially expanding its propagation infrastructure in an effort to become a consistent supplier of sustainably grown forest medicinal plants. This planting stock will be made available to landowners and forest farmers throughout the region. Species that are nearing distribution scale are goldenseal, black cohosh and solomon seal. Other species in the pipeline include false unicorn root, wild ginger, ramps, blue cohosh, wild yam and stone root. Warren Wilson is also cooperators in a project run by Jim Hamilton to investigate the potential for establishing a North Carolina source of ginseng see.
  • Yew Mountain Center is a community-run non-profit organization on 500 acres in Hillsboro, WV. Their mission is to provide programs that explore Appalachian ecology, culture, and arts while promoting community and personal wellness.
  • Penn State University for articles and information on work by Eric Burkhart.
  • Catawba Sustainability Center

Learn New Skills

  • In addition to videos on farming botanicals in the forest, the Appalachian Beginning Forest Farming Coalition (ABFFC) has a wealth of detailed videos on everything from seed collection and stratification to maple syrup to bee keeping.
  • These videos document different types of value-added production. The videos include both how-to videos on herbal body scrubs, essential oils, and tinctures as well as a behind the scenes at Gaia Herbs and Herbal Ingenuity.