The Farmers

Farming the Woods is unique in that in addition to offering context and technical information on the practical aspects of forest farming, several prominent forest farmers are featured as case studies of real, on the ground work that is being done to advance the practice. We owe our deep thanks to these dedicated farmers and foresters for their inspirational example of what is possible.


Phillip, Brandon, and the Rutters of the Badgersett Research Corporation, Canton MN

The commitment of these folks to long term, nature-based breeding of hazelnut, chestnut, and hickories is a true inspiration. Phil welcomed Steve to a full day tour and offered a crash course in the basics of nut breeding. Amazing!

Check out Phil explaining how to make Chestnut Polenta:


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Mary Ellen and Joe Krawczyk of Field and Forest Products, Pestigo WI – amazing mushroom spawn producers, and people, too boot! They were into mushrooms before mushrooms were even cool. As they say, “Proud to be part of this rotting world!”


Steve and Julie Rockcastle of Green heron Growers (& the Great Blue Heron Music Festival), Sherman, NY

These folks really keep busy, between running and awesome music festival, running a full time farm, and having a good time to boot!


Wayne and Kim Lovelack of Forest Keeling Nursery, Elsberry, MO

Like true midwestern folks, Wayne and Kim are open, welcoming, and kind. The methods pioneered by Wayne are incredible – Oak trees that boast a 3/4″ growth per year! Our concept of what can be done in the nursery was shattered upon our visit to their place.


Mark-ShepardMark Shepard of New Forest Farm, Viola WI

Mark and family are plowing new ground. (minus the plow) Their farm is a cornucopia of production, where nut, fruit, and ecosystem trees and woven in a savannah mimic where cows, pigs and chickens roam. Incredible example of whats possible in the cornbelt of America.


swampbasketJamin Uticone and Swamp Road Baskets, Cayutaville, NY

The dedication to traditional craft and love of place is evident in this fella’s work. He harvests Black Ash from his swampy property and lovingly creates one-of-a-kind crafts. Incredible, beautiful, and they’ll last a lifetime.


Bonnie Gale of English Basketry Willow, Norwich NY

An artist, teacher, and designer, Bonnie creates functional and beautiful pieces from simple materials and natural forms.


Rodney Webb of Salamander Springs Gardens, Marshall NC

Rodney and Heather have homesteaded their 75 acre farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina for twenty years.


logoChris Chimel of Integration Acres and the Ohio Paw Paw Festival, Athens OH

A Paw Paw festival. AND, grazing goats underneath a paw paw orchard. Enough said?


Nicola and Dan of Ozark Mushrooms, Salem MO

Quite possibly the largest shiitake grower in the US (about 18,000 logs!), Nicky and Dan are good folk who make sure the citizens of St Louis have plenty of mushrooms.


Sean Dembrosky of Edible Acres, Trumansburg NY

Always willing to push the limits and try new things, Sean is a true world changer. His forest farm and nursery is a food paradise.


Dave Cornman of Spring Haven Nurseries, Newburg PA

Forest nursery with an eye to simple beauty.