Agroforestry

Project Lead: Steve Gabriel, Tracey Testo

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Agroforestry @ Cornell

Agroforestry describes a wide range of practices that integrate trees, forests, and agricultural production. These systems can be adapted to almost any site and condition, though considerations like climate, slope, soil characteristics, and grower goals will ultimately determine the crops that are appropriate for a specific piece of land.

In response to increasing interest in agroforestry over the years, Cornell has created an extension program work team and a number of tools and resources to help woodlot owners start farming their forests. Each category below has videos, guides, and websites to help, along with the contact information of key individuals in the Cornell community you can reach out to get more information.

 

We have opened a short survey for anyone working with lands in New York State who is interested in agroforestry in any capacity.

Help us learn about your interest and how we can help. In addition to understanding current agroforestry adopted practices, we would like to be aware of obstacles or limitations that may be preventing agroforestry adoption to better meet the needs of farmers, landowners, and managers. Knowledge about your concerns, challenges, and needs is vital to effective extension programs and to obtain grant funding to support these efforts.

 

Complete the survey by May 1, 2022

It should take less than 15 minutes to complete:

TAKE THE SURVEY

 

View this recent presentation from members of our Agroforestry Team:

Join our email list for periodic updates from the Agroforestry team!

2022 Webinar Series

Join us live for our FREE bimonthly webinar series where we share the latest research and resources on a variety of topics. Each takes place at 3pm EST on the date listed below.

 

The series is open to the general public with FREE registration here: 

https://forms.gle/A5LvVYncsy8cQigj7

 

You only need to register ONE TIME to receive links to all these events. 

 

Each webinar will be recorded and posted to t http://CornellAgroforestry.org as well as the program’s YouTube channel.

 

BookCover_MarkKrawczyk
ForestCanopy_Gabriel
A shiitake log fruiting ripe mushrooms.
An established patch of intensive woods cultivated ginseng.

 

VIEW THE FULL PRESS RELEASE AND DESCRIPTION FOR EACH WEBINAR HERE

 

 

April 26: NRCS Assistance for Agroforestry in NY

VIEW RECORDING

 

June 28: Coppice Agroforestry Fundamentals

Many trees and shrubs don’t die when you cut them—they resprout! When done to rejuvenate the plant and yield wood products, tree hay, wildlife habitat and other ecosystem services, and more, we call the practice coppicing. Learn the basics and how it can help transform farm landscapes in the region.

VIEW RECORDING

 

August 31: Haudenosaunee Agroforestry and Forest Relations

Join Samantha Bosco (PhD), Abraham Francis (Mohawk) and Neil Patterson, Jr. (Tuscarora) for a multidimensional view Indigenous forest relationships in Haudenosaunee homelands (now called New York State). 

 

October 25: Model Forest Farm Demo Site

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties’ Agroforestry Resource Center is building a forest farming understory demonstration site in the Siuslaw Model Forest. Learn about the site assessment, design, and implementation process of this site.

 

View archived recordings:

Sourcing Logs for Mushrooms - VIEW RECORDING

Silvopasture Systems in New York and Capturing Carbon - VIEW RECORDING

Growing Ginseng with Success - VIEW RECORDING

Nut Production in New York: Past, Present, Future - VIEW RECORDING

Maple Program Research Update - VIEW RECORDING

 

Link to the playlist of all previous Agroforestry webinar recordings

 

 

Agroforestry and Climate Change

As the climate continues to shift, agroforestry is increasingly seen as a critical solution for farms and forested landscapes both in adapting to changes as well as mitigating impacts that further negative effects on our climate. The USDA Forest Service has published a report: Agroforestry: Enhancing Resiliency in U.S. Agricultural Landscapes Under Changing Conditions based upon a national scientific assessment of agroforestry. With contributions from more than 50 experts from the United States, Canada, and Mexico, this report presents the first-ever synthesis on agroforestry as a mechanism for improving the resiliency of agricultural lands under climate change.

ACCESS THE FULL REPORT HERE: https://www.aftaweb.org/138-2018-vol-24/volume-24-no-2-august-2018/238-title-assessing-agroforestry-s-role-in-mitigating-and-adapting-to-climate-change.html

NORTHEAST REGIONAL SUMMARY: https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/55738

Agroforestry is rooted in Indigenous Knowledge

While the word "agroforestry" was coined in the 1970s, many of the practices and knowledge has long been practiced around the world. While both indigenous and non-indigenous practitioners have developed agroforestry systems, often the focus is on more recent work and indigenous contributions are overlooked. Cultural sensitivity and recognition of these deep roots is important to understanding the long-term perspective needed to successfully implement agroforestry across landscapes. Some resources for further reading:

US Forest Service Agroforestry Notes: Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Agroforestry

https://www.fs.usda.gov/nac/assets/documents/agroforestrynotes/an44g14.pdf

Some Ecological Aspects of Northeastern American Indian Agroforestry Practices

http://www.daviesand.com/Papers/Tree_Crops/Indian_Agroforestry/

Woodland Mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms grow on a log

Woodland Mushrooms can be grown in many forest conditions. Cornell has been researching these practices since the early 2000s.

Common species produced include Shiitake, Oyster, Lions Mane, Stropharia, and Nameko. Our program is a nationwide leader in providing guidebooks, factsheets, and videos to help you get started.

Visit  www.CornellMushrooms.org for factsheets and videos describing in detail how to grow and market forest mushrooms, and connect with other growers.

 

Key Contacts:

Maple Syrup

CLICK to visit the Cornell Maple Program YouTube channel

Globally, humans have tapped trees and enjoyed saps and syrups for centuries. While production in New York is heavily focused on maple Syrup production, new opportunities are growing for birch and walnut syrups and for sap beverages and other value-added products.

The Cornell Sugar Maple Program web site provides maple syrup production information for people with varied syrup knowledge, activities and information for students and teachers, and extension research project information.

Also check out SWEET TALK: All Things Maple, their new podcast!

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/sweet-talk-all-things-maple/id1546134868

 

Website

https://blogs.cornell.edu/cornellmaple

 

Key Contacts:

American Ginseng

An established patch of intensive woods cultivated ginseng.

Ginseng is a high-value crop that can be grown in the right type of forest and ample patience on the part of the grower.

Learn how through the series of videos above, and the downloadable guides from former Cornell Extension Educator Bob “Mr Ginseng” Beyfuss.

Resources:

Key Contacts:

Tracey Testo, Agroforestry Resource Center of Greene County, tet35@cornell.edu

Silvopasture

3.24_angussilvopasture

Silvopasture integrates livestock, trees, and forage and can be done in existing woodlots or by bringing trees into pasture settings. There are many variations and options for systems and the resources below offer some starting points.

Resources:

Key Contacts:

Brett Chedzoy, Extension Forester Cooperative Extension Schuyler County, bjc226@cornell.edu

Steve Gabriel, Cornell Small Farms Program, sfg53@cornell.edu

Nut Production

 Hybrid hazel trees with jumbo grade sized nuts are successfully grown without pesticides or fungicides in USDA zones 4b/5a, in the Finger Lakes region of New York.

 

Resources:

 

 

  • Resource Guide from Samantha Bosco: peer reviewed publications, nurseries, and more!

 

Key Contacts:

Sam Bosco, PhD student

Paw Paw

 

Resources:

The pawpaw (Asimina triloba) is a fruiting tree native to the eastern United States, growing from the Florida lowlands up to the Southern Tier in New York. It is believed that the pawpaw's range is as large as it is because Indigenous Peoples cultivated this tree. Pawpaws have great value as a food crop. They contain 7 of the 9 essential amino acids and are an excellent source of iron and manganese.

 

Pawpaws used to be a widespread food crop throughout eastern and midwestern states. They were eaten by many during the Great Depression (1929 - 1939). At this time pawpaws gained the nickname "poor man's banana". Pawpaws became less popular in the 1950's, as grocery stores became the place where most people purchased food. Produce buyers for grocery stores showed preference for crops that could withstand shipping over large distances. Marketing by large corporations, such as Chiquita Bananas, made other fruits more popular.

 

Pawpaws in New York: A Guide on How to Grow and Care for Pawpaws, written by Anya Osatuke, Berry Specialist with CCE Harvest NY, Sean Dembrosky of Edible Acres in Trumansburg, NY, and Marvin Pritts of Cornell University, shares practical information on how to grow and care for pawpaws, based on conversations with growers and researchers in New York State and the information provided by the references cited.

Key Contacts:

Anya Osatuke, Berry Specialist with CCE Harvest NY

Forestry

silvopasture

The Cornell Forestry Extension Program includes information for forest owners, educators, loggers, and foresters regarding how best to engage in sustainable production on private forest lands. http://www2.dnr.cornell.edu/ext/bmp/contents/cce.html.

Key Contacts:

Peter Smallidge, State Extension Forester, pjs23@cornell.edu

Research and Education Sites

The Cornell Agroforestry effort includes several sites for research and education.

Browse the map or click the links below to learn more.

 

Arnot Forest - Maple and Forestry Research Site in Newfield, NY

Uihlein Research Forest - Maple Research Site in Lake Placid, NY

Agroforestry Resource Center - Educational site and forest in Acra, NY

MacDaniels Nut Grove - old planting by former Cornell professor, site of classes and hands on events in Ithaca NY

 

Our Agroforestry Team

The Cornell Agroforestry PWT works to elevate the status of agroforestry and legitimize its application in New York by identifying current practices and creating resources to expand them.

CCE staff across the state are already engaged in this work but it is often extra-curricular. This PWT will identify funding and support to enable more dedicated staff time to agroforestry either through campus of by working collectively to identify and apply for grants.

 

Chair Gabriel, Steve  * sfg53@cornell.edu
Chair Testo, Tracey  * tet35@cornell.edu
Member Bliven, Lynn  * lao3@cornell.edu
Member Bosco, Samantha  * sfb42@cornell.edu
Member Campbell-Nelson, Katie  * kc2233@cornell.edu
Member Chedzoy, Brett bjc226@cornell.edu
Member Clyne, Ailis  * abc237@cornell.edu
Member Coville, Robert  * rcc277@cornell.edu
Member Cully, Chad  * ccc289@cornell.edu
Member Fournier, Michael  * michael.fournier@usda.gov
Member Gasiewicz, Donald  * drg35@cornell.edu
Member Guillord, Jared  * jag497@cornell.edu
Member Helmholdt, Ashley  * alm443@cornell.edu
Member Herbstritt, Stephanie  * sh2234@cornell.edu
Member Koch, Cody  * timbertrailsforestfarm@gmail.com
Member Kurtz, Erin  * erin.kurtz@usda.gov
Member MacFarland, Kate  * katherine.macfarland@usda.gov
Member Michele Havas, Dana  * dmh353@cornell.edu
Member Savio, Graham  * gs695@cornell.edu
Member Schleppenbach, James  * James.Schleppenbach@usda.gov
Member Shi, Xinyuan  * xc77@cornell.edu

Project Partners

News and Updates

Agroforestry Webinar Series to Discuss Stewardship, Support Resources, and More

By Steve Gabriel | April 6, 2022

Our Agroforestry project and the Cornell Cooperative Extension Agroforestry Program Work Team is again hosting a series of webinars this year, beginning in April. These webinars will feature expert speakers,…

Read More

Clearing a Woodland Understory

By Peter Smallidge | April 5, 2021

Question:  I was visiting a friend’s woodlot last fall. They had logged much of the ash due to Emerald Ash borer and expanded those openings into patches to allow for…

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Features of Trees Useful for Identification

By Peter Smallidge | January 11, 2021

Learning to identify the trees on your property will help you enjoy and better manage your land.  Woodland owners who learn how to identify the trees and other vegetation on…

Read More

Steve is an Extension Specialist focused on specialty mushroom production and agroforestry. Throughout his career, Steve has taught thousands of people about the ways farming and forestry can be combined to both benefit the ecology and economies of small farms.  He is also a farmer, author, hiker, and musician.

Read Articles by Steve Gabriel

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