What is agroforestry? Well...

Jamie Simpson jamessim at uoguelph.ca
Sun Aug 10 22:15:59 EST 1997

Both Don and Larry have asked about agroforestry.  Well let me tell
you.  Agroforestry is growing trees and crops on the same unit of land,
generally at the same time.  The definition could be broadened to
include growing trees in woodlots or orchards, planting up riparian
strips, raising livestock under trees, managing for mushrooms, ginseng,
etc. in forested areas, and more.  Why do this?  To diversify farm
income, increase potential for profit, long term sustainability of soil
resources, it looks nice, etc.  

I know one farmer who started this intercropped plantation about 20
years ago, although he always had trees oon his farm.  He grows black
walnut with crown vetch.  There is a market for vetch seed and the
walnut will be mostly veneer quality.  

I have worked on a stream rehabilitation project on a short reach of a
degraded agricultural stream.  It should have been good trout habitat
but there was no shade, lots of erosion and relatively high levels of
nitrate.  We planted trees, hybrid poplars, maple, ash, walnut and some
shrubs.  It looks really nice now and it appears that there are some
improvements to the health of the stream.  Maybe the farmer doesn't make
a lot of money from this, at least until the trees mature.  But the
overall environmental costs can be reduced with such practices.

I am trying to get some hard drive space on the university server for an
agroforestry and forest ecology web page.  You will be the first to know
when it's up and running.

Jamie Simpson
Once I had a life, now I'm a grad student.

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