A forest garden is a designed agronomic system based on trees, shrubs and perennial plants. These are mixed in such a way as to mimic the structure of a natural forest the most stable and sustainable type of ecosystem in many temperate climates. The primary aims for the system are: (1) to be biologically sustainable, able to cope with disturbances such as climate change; (2) to be productive, yielding a number (often large) of different products; and (3) to require low maintenance.
he first 20 projects in the Trees Forever Iowa Buffer Initiative have been selected and work is scheduled to begin this year. The 20 projects to be done in 1998 represent the first of five years of putting buffers on the ground in the state of Iowa and are the result of a unique, public-private partnership that will show landowners buffers at work, solving problems in varying soil types and terrain.
Farming is tough business for small farmers when livestock prices drop, forcing them to make some important choices. Do they keep their livestock and continue feeding the animals until the price per pound goes up? Or do they sell at the lower price and take the loss?
Now, Agricultural Research Service scientists at the Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center in Booneville, Arkansas, are developing other options for small livestock producers caught in this economic bind.
Agroforestry research scientists work hard at generating, controlled, replicated "scientific" observations. The day-to-day operation of agroforestry systems used in research also produces practitioner experiences which, although lacking the control of planned experiments, nevertheless provide useful information. I would like to share some of the "scientific" and "practitioner" experiences which I have acquired during 16 years of grazing sheep in conifer/pasture silvopastures.