Agroforesty and Forest Farming

Echinacea /ˌɛkɪˈneɪʃiə/ is a genus, or group of herbaceous flowering plants in the daisy family. Many members of the genus grow natively throughout Kentucky.

Agroforesty Alternatives

Agroforestry is a rapid growing field of economic interest because it provides an alternate model to income generation, ecological maintenance and poverty reduction in heavily forested regions like the Appalachian Mountains of Eastern Kentucky.

The practice of agroforestry is defined broadly as the intentional integration of trees and shrubs into crop and animal farming systems to create environmental, economic, and social benefits. It has been practiced in the United States and around the world for centuries and stands poised to become an important alternative to commercial style agriculture.

Strictly speaking, land use is categorized as agroforestry when it is intentional, intensive, integrated and interactive. However, the Appalachian Renewal Project is pursuing a hybrid model of development that will extend beyond basic agroforestry. Our innovative approach to land management aims to yield dividends for investors as well as the community and environment.

Sustainable By Design

Forest Farming Overview

  • Overview

    Agroforestry is a system of land management that creates a valuable symbiosis between the natural, existing forest ecosystem and other deliberatly introduced agricultural commodities and plants. Sometimes plants are artificially propogated or otherwise encouraged to grow at a higher predominance than would otherwise be possible.

    This intentional combination of more traditional agricultural goods and forestry has multiple benefits, such as greatly enhanced yields from staple food crops, enhanced farmer livelihoods from income generation, increased biodiversity, improved soil structure and health, reduced erosion, and carbon sequestration.

    Agroforestry shares properties with intercropping but tends to much more easily support complex multi-strata biologies, with hundreds of different types of plants and trees.

  • Benefits of Forest Farming

    The benefits of agroforestry are multifaceted and include improved plant and animal diversity, better soil quality, creating productive farmland with a highly sustainable focus, improved carbon sequestration through increased tree cover as well as many other environmental and sustainability goals.

    Forest Farming is unique in the ways it can balance and optimize agricultural productivity with ecological and social benefits to a specific region.

  • SilvoculturesSilvocultures are a prime example of how trees can benefit fauna. In animal production, they provide shade and limit heat stress. In pure plant production, silvocultures augment crop yields through similar means—reducing wind and heat moisture evaporation.
  • Forest Farming RecommendationsArP is working quickly to test and create wide-reaching recommendations across the forested region of Eastern Kentucky.

Agroforestry and similar systems of forest farming based land management are among the best ways to deliver sustainable economic growth to the Appalachian region while yielding attractive returns to asset managers through land improvement and appreciation.

The Wilds of Emily Creek will be unique in its development of tourism and use of public and private partnerships alike to accelerate the transition of this site into a positive benefit to community and equity holders.

We hope to be a laboratory for to explore the possibilities and opportunities afforded by this unique region of the eastern United States.

Our forest farm planning includes programs for growing food, herbal products, and decorative crops using the naturally varying levels of light exposure and shade levels that occur in the Appalachian forest canopy.

Plants will be distributed throughout the forest floor, providing a low cost cultivation system for dozens of decorative plants.

Introducing plants intentionally is well suited to the Eastern Kentucky forest. The naturally homogeneous forest that occurs here provides ideal natural shade levels for many products.

In addition to intentionally growing value added products, the region provides a heap of naturally occurring foods and medicinal botanicals.

Products are grown all the while managing the containing forest and providing valuable ecological services.

In addition to producing consistent cashflows from products created by the farm, forest farming provides many ecological benefits such as humus accumulation in soil and perhaps more importantly, carbon sequestration through facilitated primarily through wide stem trees.

Agroforestry in eastern Kentucky presents an optimistic picture of untapped income sources for land owners and forest stewards everywhere.