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Book Data

ISBN: 9781603585071
Year Added to Catalog: 2014
Book Format: Paperback
Book Art: 4 Color, Photos/Illustrations
Dimensions: 8 x 10
Number of Pages: 384
Book Publisher: Chelsea Green
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Web Product ID: 810

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Farming the Woods

An Integrated Permaculture Approach to Growing Food and Medicinals in Temperate Forests

by Ken Mudge, Steve Gabriel

Foreword by John F. Munsell

"What a joy to read! Nice pictures, great case studies, and well organized. I can tell the authors put their heart and soul into this book. Farming the Woods is the source for temperate climate agroforestry, particularly for Northeast permaculture designers and teachers."

Jonathan Bates, owner of Food Forest Farm and contributing author of Paradise Lot

With information on mushrooms, sugaring, ginseng, fruit and nut trees, forest farming in a changing climate, and more...

Learn how to fill forests with food by viewing agriculture from a remarkably different perspective: that a healthy forest can be maintained while growing a wide range of food, medicinal, and other non-timber products.

The practices of forestry and farming are often seen as mutually exclusive, because in the modern world, agriculture involves open fields, straight rows, and machinery to grow crops, while forests are reserved primarily for timber and firewood harvesting.

In Farming the Woods, authors Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel demonstrate that it doesn’t have to be an either-or scenario, but a complementary one; forest farms can be most productive in places where the plow is not: on steep slopes and in shallow soils. Forest farming is an invaluable practice to integrate into any farm or homestead, especially as the need for unique value-added products and supplemental income becomes increasingly important for farmers.

Many of the daily indulgences we take for granted, such as coffee, chocolate, and many tropical fruits, all originate in forest ecosystems. But few know that such abundance is also available in the cool temperate forests of North America.

Farming the Woods covers in detail how to cultivate, harvest, and market high-value non-timber forest crops such as American ginseng, shiitake mushrooms, ramps (wild leeks), maple syrup, fruit and nut trees, ornamentals, and more. Along with profiles of forest farmers from around the country, readers are also provided comprehensive information on:

  • historical perspectives of forest farming;
  • mimicking the forest in a changing climate;
  • cultivation of medicinal crops;
  • cultivation of food crops;
  • creating a forest nursery;
  • harvesting and utilizing wood products;
  • the role of animals in the forest farm; and,
  • how to design your forest farm and manage it once it’s established.

Farming the Woods is an essential book for farmers and gardeners who have access to an established woodland, are looking for productive ways to manage it, and are interested in incorporating aspects of agroforestry, permaculture, forest gardening, and sustainable woodlot management into the concept of a whole-farm organism.

About the Authors

Ken Mudge

Ken Mudge, associate professor at Cornell University, has been involved in agroforestry research, teaching, and extension for over twenty years. His domestic and international research has focused on nontimber forest products including nitrogen-fixing trees, American ginseng, forest-cultivated mushrooms, and others. He teaches both on-campus and online courses in forest farming, plant propagation, and grafting. He is Director of the MacDaniels Nut Grove, which is the foremost center for forest-farming education in the country. Mudge was the principal investigator on a NE SARE-funded extension project in collaboration with the University of Vermont and Chatham University that trained forest owners in shiitake ...

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Steve Gabriel

Steve Gabriel is an ecologist, educator, author, and forest farmer who has lived most of his life in the Finger Lakes region of New York. His personal mission is to reconnect people of all ages with the natural world and to provide the tools for good management of forests and other landscapes. He cofounded the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute and currently works for cooperative extension in the department of horticulture at Cornell, where he focuses on permaculture and agroforestry research and education. Along with his fiance, Liz, he operates Wellspring Forest Farm ( in Mecklenburg, New York, which ...

View Steve's full profile page >

Price: $39.95
Format: Paperback
Status: Available to Ship
Ships: Next day

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International orders can be placed by phone (802-295-6300) or email

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