In practice, especially in permaculture design, the lines between forest gardening and forest farming blur together. Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel define the two practices as follows:
The process of collecting and boiling sap has hardly changed since Native Americans began harvesting hundreds of years ago; innovations have mainly come in how sap is moved from tree to fire and how quickly the boil is conducted. But the main process is both simple and timeless.
Chapter 4 At the Cornell campus in Ithaca, NY, there is a woodlot called the MacDaniels Nut Grove where students and the public come to learn about forest farming. In the fall of 2006, a memorable culinary occasion was held there called the forest feast in conjunction with a course called Practicum in Forest Farming. […]
Maple Sugaring is the first agricultural act of spring in the Northeast. It signals the awakening of the plant kingdom, with copious amounts of sap flowing up from the roots of the Sugar Maple, awakening dormant buds and pushing forth flowers and eventually leaves that will be the solar array of the trees and forests […]
Case studies offer a glimpse into the future potential of forest farming. While the concept may be new to many of us, there are silent farmers and gardeners working all over the US (and beyond), growing non-traditional crops like mushrooms, ginseng, and hickory nuts. We want our book to encourage dialogue and a greater expansion of forest farming.