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Beginning Track Class Descriptions
The Beginning Farmer Track is designed for those with 0-2 years worth of experience in forest farming.

Growing Woodland Medicinals 101 with Jeanine Davis

Participants will be introduced to common native botanicals and how to grow them. Site selection, planting methods, diseases and insects, and harvesting.

Propagation 101 with Jeanine Davis & Eric Burkhart

Participants will review basic principals for selecting seed, seed handling, and starting plants using vegetative propogation. Some hands-on work will be incorporated.

Marketing 101 with Jeanine Davis

Understanding what it costs to grow and produce your product is critical in order to make money from a forest farming enterprise. This class will cover basic budget creation, ways to increase the bottom line, common prices being paid, how to find buyers, and lots of marketing ideas with real-life examples.

Certifications & Verifications 101 with Jennifer Flynn & Eric Burkhart

This will be an overview of different types of verifications and certifications available to forest farmers. What are the costs and benefits? Certified Organic, Forest Grown, Blue Ridge Naturally, and Biodynamic options will be discussed. Application information presented and available for participants.

Harvesting & Processing 101 with Margaret Bloomquist

This class will be an overview of post-harvest handling considerations and techniques including washing, drying, and storing. Small-scale, low-tech, and industry scale operations will be covered.

Demo Descriptions
The Demonstrations are more hands-on, extended workshops designed to show the Warren Wilson College forest farming in action.


Non-Timber Forest Product and Agroforestry Tour of Warren Wilson with Shawn Swartz

Participants will get the chance to explore a large-scale American ginseng planting, a black walnut syrup operation, a charcoal kiln, hazelnut, elderberry, and truffle orchards, ramp plantings, and a mushroom yard.

Shadehouse Propogation & Nursery Production with Dave Ellum

Participants will learn about shadehouse construction, seed stratification, rhizome division, growing in beds, and transplanting to the field. We will also touch on nursery production techniques.

Mushroom Inoculation with the Warren Wilson Forestry Crew

Learn about mushroom propagation! Participants will get the chance to participant in a hands-on demonstration on log inoculation for mushroom production, along with instruction on bed production and the totem method.

Advanced Track Class Descriptions
The Advanced Farmer Track is designed for those with 3-10 years of forest farming experience.

Growing Woodland Medicinals 201 with Eric Burkhart

This class will be in the format of an Advanced Forest Farmer Round Table with ample time to address your specific questions about raising woodland medicinals. Site Selection, planting methods, disease and pest issues, and soil ammendments will be discussed.

Propagation 201 with Dave Ellum

Learn about seed physiology and statification, rhizome division and ouplanting, and more advanced and specific techniques addressing both currently economically viable species as well as those with possible future potential.

Marketing 201 with Meghan Baker

This session will apply budgeting techniques for forest and diverse crop operations. What does your profit forcast look like in year 1? 5 years? 10? In this session we’ll work though and combine enterprise budgets for multiple forest botanicals. Inputs, labor, harvesting above ground and below ground plant parts, and more will be assesed in this advanced session.

Processing & Value-Added 201 with Rolando Boye

Learn about processing methods and products, including small-scale and new processing technologies. Drying, cut and sifting, powdering, and more will be covered.

Rules and Regulations Pertaining to Your Forest Farming Operation with Jeanine Davis, Rolando Boye & Elena Rodgers

It is important to be aware of all the rules and regulations in your small or large scale forest farming operation. In this session you will learn about Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), Good Agricultural and Collection Practices (GACPs), and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) for growing and making dietary supplements. What size or stage of harvesting/processing is required to abide by regulations ~ what is the liability of the grower/maker at any stage?

Bonus Session! Class Descriptions
The Bonus Sessions are designed to address forest interests beyond those of forest medicinals, exploring other marketable forest products.


Silvopasture: Animals & Tree Crops with Osker Brown

We will discuss silvopasture practices at Glorious Forest, a small farm in Mars Hill working to integrate animal systems into existing forests and renovated pastures. Topics will include ecological history, animal husbandry, acorns as a staple food, hazelnut culture, and coppice systems.

Establishing a Fruit & Nut Orchard with Justin Holt

In this basic introduction to orchard establishment and care, we’ll cover layout, management considerations, crop selection, nursery establishment and management, profit potential for various tree crops, as well as some basic info on grafting and other essential orchard skills. We’ll also look at a cooperative, community-based approach for profiting from our native nut trees.

If you have any questions, please email Sera at

OGS Farmer Programs are made possible by our farmer network and our funding partners: USDA-NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, Grant #2016-70017-25341, USDA Rural Business Development Program, Community Foundation of WNC, Polk County Community Foundation, CLIF Bar Family Foundation, New Belgium Brewing, Simply Organic 1%. Our Growth Partners (year-round program support) are: Carolina Farm Credit, French Broad Food Coop, Mountain Rose Herbs, Earth Tools, Biltmore Company, Red Moon Herbs, Living Web Farms, and Chelsea Green Publishing. Our Media Sponsors are Hendersonville Community Co-op, and WNCW. 

Sera Deva

Author: Sera Deva

Sera Deva has a B.S. in Microbiology & Agroecology from The Evergreen State College. She was hired at OGS as the Farmer Programs Associate in 2016, and as the Conference Coordinator in 2017. She has served on the board of the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) since January 2018. When she’s not geeking out over genetics, systems theory or soil hydrology, she spends her time working for farmers, homesteading, and river jumping in the South Toe Valley in Burnsville, NC.

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