forest farming intensive

Forest Farming Series: Growing Under the Canopy in Western NC

June 5th, August 14th, and August 28th, 2022


Join us to explore the world of forest farming during farm tours and workshops to develop an understanding of the wealth and history of woodland botanicals and forest products. Participants will dive into plant propagation and production, forest stewardship and observation, and alternative and value-added products. These tours will include hands-on workshops and site visits to offer beginning and advanced forest farmers valuable learning opportunities.

Most farms in Western NC and the Southern Appalachians contain forested land. These forest farm tours and on-farm workshops aim to train beginning forest farmers and land stewards, both novice and experienced, to understand the wealth and history of woodland botanicals and forest products. 

Additionally, this series will explore the opportunities for land stewardship and possible income streams within existing farm operations while also promoting health, respect, and diversity for forests.

Forest farming has long been practiced by the Indigenous people of our region, who have a significant relationship with native plants for food and medicines, and are the original and current stewards of these forests. 

On all the farms and lands we showcase, we want to name and acknowledge that the land we gather on is the traditional, unceded territory of the Tsalaguwetiyi/Cherokee People, today known as the Eastern Band of Cherokee (see this map). At OGS, as an agricultural support organization, we feel it is essential to honor and offer our respect to the Cherokee people who have stewarded and farmed this land throughout the generations while fighting to retain sovereign rights to land and community. Today, forest farming is a practice of cultivating medicinal, edible, decorative, and handicraft non-timber crops under a forest canopy. Forest farming contributes to healthy human and natural ecosystems and can contribute to land conservation, stewardship, and economic viability.

Organic Growers School offers this series of forest farm tours and workshops in partnership with the Appalachian Beginning Forest Farmer Coalition (ABFFC). ABFFC is dedicated to increasing opportunities for farmers and forestland owners in Appalachia and beyond. Join the ABFFC coalition to become part of the movement! 

LOGO for Appalachian Beginning Forest Farmer Coalition

Both of our remaining workshops are sold out. To be added to the waitlist, please contact Stephanie at

Workshop 2: Encouraging Mushroom Production within a Forest Ecosystem: A Practical Approach to Collaborating with Nature 

Date & Location: August 14th, 2022, in Marshall, NC, 1-5 pm.

Join Chris Parker for a tour of the Forest Farmacy to better understand how to propagate and expand the forest production operation, including a tour of the mushroom spawn and grow rooms. Participants will work on observation and deepening awareness of mushroom and mycorrhizal forest systems and cultivation techniques, specifically how to use wood chip beds and pasteurized straw for mushroom cultivation.

Workshop 3: Planting and Propagation of Forest Farmed Botanicals 

Date & Location: August 28th, 2022, in Candler, NC, 1-5 pm

Tour Greenheart Gardens forest botanicals and learn how they are managed and tended to. They will demonstrate a wild-simulated planting and a workshop on other forest farming types, including woods grown and nursery-raised beds. Wild Yam, Ginseng, blue cohosh, Solomon’s seal, wild ginger, and goldenseal will be the plants showcased.

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