Sustainable Farming of Woodland Crops
|CSANR Project 84||Status: complete|
|Annual Entries:||X2010:084 (2010)|
|Progress Reports:||(2010) http://www.tfrec.wsu.edu/pdfs/P1866.pdf |
215 thousand small forest landowners own 5.7 million acres of forestland, half of the 11.6 million acres of private forestland in the state. Declining timber prices, and changes in landowner demographics have created an educational need from small woodlot owners that want to explore other, non-timber agricultural enterprises. Changing forest practices can offer new opportunities for small farmers to manage wild edibles, mushrooms, floral greenery and medicinal plants for direct marketing and value added markets.
We created “Non ‐Timber Forest Products & Woodland Crops” curriculum in fashion with the Cultivating Success TM model. We took beginning and transitional farmers through the process of exploring forest crop management, Organic certification of wild ‐harvest and crafting, and agritourism opportunities in small woodlots. This curriculum is available as stand ‐alone workshops or as an addition to the Cultivating Success TM Sustainable Small Farming & Ranching class.
Products completed include scripted PowerPoint presentation draft and instructor materials draft for “Wood Crops and Special Forest Products“ and student resources draft for “Wood Crops and Special Forest Products“ in Cultivating Success format.
We received funding with a partnering non-profit organization, Gorge Grown Food Network, from NIFA Beginning Farmer Rancher Program in the amount of $246533 that will used to assist in accomplishing our proposed goals and beyond. The funding is for our three-year project entitled “Growing Gorge Farmers through Producer Working Groups.”
|Impacts and Outcomes:|
Short Term: During the woodland crops and special forest products Cultivating Success class, all participants showed positive responses when asked knowledge was gained and intent to develop a wild or cultivated alternative forest product. 87% of the respondents felt that they were prepared to develop a plan to develop a special forest product line. At a single class for mushroom cultivation, 97% of the class participants developed new information. 78% of the class participants felt prepared to cultivate shitake mushrooms.
Intermediate‐Term: Retrospective survey for product development is currently being implemented.