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Forest farming

Forest farming

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Forest farming is an agroforestry
Agroforestry
Agroforestry is an integrated approach of using the interactive benefits from combining trees and shrubs with crops and/or livestock.It combines agricultural and forestry technologies to create more diverse, productive, profitable, healthy and sustainable land-use systems.-Definitions:According to...

 practice characterized by the four "I's"- Intentional, Integrated, Intensive and Interactive management of an existing forested ecosystem
Ecosystem
An ecosystem is a biological environment consisting of all the organisms living in a particular area, as well as all the nonliving , physical components of the environment with which the organisms interact, such as air, soil, water and sunlight....

 wherein forest
Forest
A forest, also referred to as a wood or the woods, is an area with a high density of trees. As with cities, depending where you are in the world, what is considered a forest may vary significantly in size and have various classification according to how and what of the forest is composed...

 health is of paramount concern. It is neither forestry nor farming in the traditional sense.

Forest farming, or three-dimensional farming, was pioneered by Toyohiko Kagawa
Toyohiko Kagawa
thumb|right|200px|At Princeton Theological Seminarythumb|right|200px|Great Kantō earthquake, 1923thumb|right|200px|In America, 1935 was a Japanese Christian pacifist, Christian reformer, and labour activist. Kagawa wrote, spoke, and worked at length on ways to employ Christian principles in the...

 in the 1930s. Kagawa addressed problems of soil erosion by persuading many of Japan's upland farmers to plant fodder trees to conserve soil, supply food and feed animals. He was an inspiration to Robert Hart
Robert Hart (forest gardener)
Robert Adrian de Jauralde Hart was the pioneer of forest gardening in temperate zones. He created a model forest garden from a 0.12 acre orchard on his farm.-Highwood Hill farm:...

 who pioneered forest gardening
Forest gardening
Forest gardening is a food production and agroforestry system based on woodland ecosystems, incorporating fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and perennial vegetables which have yields directly useful to humans...

 in temperate climates.

Forest farm management
Agricultural science
Agricultural science is a broad multidisciplinary field that encompasses the parts of exact, natural, economic and social sciences that are used in the practice and understanding of agriculture. -Agriculture and agricultural science:The two terms are often confused...

 principles constitute an ecological approach to forest management through efforts to find a balance between conservation of native biodiversity
Biodiversity
Biodiversity is the degree of variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome, or an entire planet. Biodiversity is a measure of the health of ecosystems. Biodiversity is in part a function of climate. In terrestrial habitats, tropical regions are typically rich whereas polar regions...

 and wildlife habitat within the forest and limited, judicious utilization of the forest's varied resources. It attempts to bring secondary growth forests
Secondary forest
A secondary forest is a forest or woodland area which has re-grown after a major disturbance such as fire, insect infestation, timber harvest or windthrow, until a long enough period has passed so that the effects of the disturbance are no longer evident...

 that have been overused and whose ecosystems have become so fragmented that their natural processes are out of equilibrium, back into ecological balance through careful, intentional manipulation over time, emulating natural processes to restore original, natural diversity of species and ecosystem stability.

In some instances, the intentional introduction of native or native-related species for use as botanicals, medicinals or food products is accomplished, utilizing the existing forest ecosystem to aid in support of their growth. The tree
Tree
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

 cover, soil type
Soil type
In terms of soil texture, soil type usually refers to the different sizes of mineral particles in a particular sample. Soil is made up in part of finely ground rock particles, grouped according to size as sand, silt and clay...

, water supply
Water supply
Water supply is the provision of water by public utilities, commercial organisations, community endeavours or by individuals, usually via a system of pumps and pipes...

, landform and other site characteristics determine what species will thrive, as opposed to field-grown crop plantings. Developing an understanding of species/site relationships as well as understanding the site limitations is necessary in order to utilize these resources for current needs, while conserving adequate resources for the health of the forest today and for the future.

Forest farm management is a type of forest stewardship ethic whose philosophy is that the term "sustainable" means what is sustainable for the earth, not what is sustainable for human demands, and its objective is to restore and maintain the health of the forest land's many and varied ecosystems.

In recent years, the concept of ecosystem services
Ecosystem services
Humankind benefits from a multitude of resources and processes that are supplied by natural ecosystems. Collectively, these benefits are known as ecosystem services and include products like clean drinking water and processes such as the decomposition of wastes...

 has been developed to satisfy the human demand for a means of participating actively in support of ecosystem health and appreciation of the Earth's natural assets. This movement is taking many physical forms - the planting of trees; the leaving of timber to grow older; the protection of forest habitat for animal species; creek riparian enhancement. Forest health is already a priority and is currently undertaken on forest farms as part of the management program. This positions them well to respond to this societal need, of conservation-minded individuals who are willing to provide monetary support for the program.

Methods


Forest farm management methods may include: Intensive, yet cautious thinning of overstocked, suppressed tree stands such that no individual species is decimated and such that the crown cover is never depleted leaving the forest floor exposed to excessive sun, rain and erosion ; multiple Integrated entries to accomplish thinnings so that the systemic shock
Systemic shock
A systemic shock is a shock to any system that perturbs a system enough to drive it out of equilibrium. Systemic shocks occur in a wide range of fields, ranging from medicine to economics to engineering...

 is not so great; and Interactive management to maintain a cross-section of healthy trees and shrubs of all ages and species, rather than a monoculture of timber species. Caution is used to ensure that physical disturbance to the surrounding area is minimized in order for the forest ecosystem to recover more quickly.

See also



  • American Tree Farm System
  • Agroforestry
    Agroforestry
    Agroforestry is an integrated approach of using the interactive benefits from combining trees and shrubs with crops and/or livestock.It combines agricultural and forestry technologies to create more diverse, productive, profitable, healthy and sustainable land-use systems.-Definitions:According to...

  • Conservation movement
    Conservation movement
    The conservation movement, also known as nature conservation, is a political, environmental and a social movement that seeks to protect natural resources including animal, fungus and plant species as well as their habitat for the future....

  • Ecosystem services
    Ecosystem services
    Humankind benefits from a multitude of resources and processes that are supplied by natural ecosystems. Collectively, these benefits are known as ecosystem services and include products like clean drinking water and processes such as the decomposition of wastes...

  • Forestry
    Forestry
    Forestry is the interdisciplinary profession embracing the science, art, and craft of creating, managing, using, and conserving forests and associated resources in a sustainable manner to meet desired goals, needs, and values for human benefit. Forestry is practiced in plantations and natural stands...

  • Forest gardening
    Forest gardening
    Forest gardening is a food production and agroforestry system based on woodland ecosystems, incorporating fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and perennial vegetables which have yields directly useful to humans...

  • Forest management
    Forest management
    200px|thumb|right|[[Sustainable development|Sustainable]] forest management carried out by [[Complejo Forestal y Maderero Panguipulli|Complejo Panguipulli]] has contributed to the preservation of the forested landscape around [[Neltume]], a sawmill town in Chile...

  • Natural environment
    Natural environment
    The natural environment encompasses all living and non-living things occurring naturally on Earth or some region thereof. It is an environment that encompasses the interaction of all living species....

  • Natural resource
    Natural resource
    Natural resources occur naturally within environments that exist relatively undisturbed by mankind, in a natural form. A natural resource is often characterized by amounts of biodiversity and geodiversity existent in various ecosystems....

  • Permaculture
    Permaculture
    Permaculture is an approach to designing human settlements and agricultural systems that is modeled on the relationships found in nature. It is based on the ecology of how things interrelate rather than on the strictly biological concerns that form the foundation of modern agriculture...

  • Stewardship
    Stewardship
    Stewardship is an ethic that embodies responsible planning and management of resources. The concept of stewardship has been applied in diverse realms, including with respect to environment, economics, health, property, information, and religion, and is linked to the concept of sustainability...

  • Sustainable forestry
  • Tree farm
    Tree farm
    A tree farm is a privately owned forest managed for timber production. The term tree farm is also used to refer to plantations and to tree nurseries.-American Tree Farm System:...

  • World Forestry Congress
    World Forestry Congress
    The World Forestry Congress is the largest and most significant gathering of the world's forestry sector and it has been held every six years since 1926 under the auspices of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations , organized by the government of the host country...



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