Form Submission: Participation Entry

Forest farming is an agroforestry practice which cultivates medicinal, edible, and handicraft crops under a forest canopy that is modified or maintained to provide shade levels and habitat which favor growth and enhance production. The majority of forest farmers are growing American ginseng using wild-simulated planting techniques, aiming to mimic the natural habitat of native ginseng. Wild-simulated ginseng producers use conventional wisdom—based on wild-harvesting of native ginseng populations—when selecting sites for production stands; sites are selected based on slope, aspect, and presence of indicator species. However, these are all proxy variables and do not reveal how plants are interacting with the direct environmental variables that influence plant growth (e.g., light, moisture, nutrients). My research focuses on quantifying the influence of direct environmental factors on the success of wild-simulated ginseng plantings. This talk will introduce the forest farming of American ginseng, and then consider the results of my research.