By Edan P. Collins
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Additional resources for Agroforestry : a practical guide to profitable farms and woodlands
They do need to be in an area where they will receive 80% or more shade year round, so if you have a little pine stand, that might be the best place to put the logs. Marketing these unusual mushrooms is the hard part. You will need to contact both local grocery stores, farmers’ markets and restaurant chefs to sell them. It would be good to check out the market possibilities before you inoculate logs, but if you start with a small number of logs, you have about six months to do your homework before the mushrooms start appearing.
Goldenseal is on the endangered species list due to overharvesting in the wild. Beavers developed a domesticated form of the plant that small farmers and landowners can grow. They have 23 growers in the Southeast and are a 100-percent, grower-owned company. In 1993, Randy and Cindi Beavers saw that they would one day be faced with the choice of either selling her grandfather’s farm or moving there and trying to make a living. The couple spent three years learning about different crops. In 1996 they decided to build on their long time interest in native medicinal plants and try to grow several plant types organically, especially those considered endangered or threatened such as goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis).
Christian, Rory E. Fraser et al. gross $300 per year for all bee products, and remember their value in pollinating crops. In an 800-log shiitake business, a grower can earn about $6,000 per year (see Success Stories). Returns from timber can take 50 to 80 years. In the past, forests in the South have been managed badly or not at all. Their quality can be improved by “weeding,” which foresters call timber stand improvement (TSI). Economic returns on weeding can take many years. A guaranteed way of making cash flow faster is by farming the forest.