WV Forest Farming Field Day at the Yew Mountain Center is May 22nd

Saturday, May 22nd is going to be a very busy day at the Yew Mountain Center.  Around 60 participants will take part in the WV Forest Farming Field Day at the sprawling mountain site near Hillsboro.  Yew Mountain Center Forest Farming Coordinator Will Lewis tells us what’s in store for the participants during the all-day event.

“There will be six stations,” said Lewis. “Each station will have a different workshop related to forest farming. We’ll be separated out into groups of ten that will stay together the whole time to reduce possible COVID transference, just to keep it as safe as possible.”

“The one I’ll be doing will kind of be just in general showing people what we’re doing at the Yew Mountain Center; the Goldenseal plantings and what the bigger goals are for the YMC and our forest farming efforts.  There’ll be another one on mushroom cultivation and production and farming scenarios.  There’ll be another one on maple syrup production; one on propagation, how to propagate the forest herbs.  There will be another one on site visit, how to properly assess the site, another one on planting and then one on using forest herbs for medicine.”

Lewis says participants will be required to wear a mask, and are welcome to bring pen and paper to take notes during the demonstrations.  It will be a mixture of lectures and hands-on activities and all the workshops will be held outdoors.  In addition to Lewis, other field day presenters are experts in the field of forest farming.

Ed Daniels of Shady Grove Botanicals will talk about propagation.  Ed owns a farm near Pickens where he grows award winning hemp, ginseng, and goldenseal plants along with other medicinal herbs.

Park and Lacy Ferguson, who own Elmcrest Farm near Charleston, will lead the mushroom workshop.

“This workshop is going to focus mostly on the production of them, not necessarily identification,” he said. “Shiitake’s and I’d say he’ll get into some other ones like Lion’s Mane.  I’m not sure which all species he’s going to cover, but he’s grown a lot of different types.”

Tanner Filyaw from Rural Action will talk about planting, Katie Fotos from Future Generations University will talk about maple syrup and tapping and Ruby Daniels from Creasy Janes will talk about how to use the forest herbs.

“Her talk is going to be more about using them for medicinal aspects,” he said. “I think there might be a little bit of identification involved in her workshop as well.”

As of May 16th, all of the available slots have been filled for the field day on May 22nd.  But even if you can’t participate in the upcoming field day, Lewis says you can still find plenty of information about forest farming at the Yew Mountain Center.

“That’s the big reason we’re doing it, is to educate people about forest farming so they can do forest farming on their land and tap into some supplemental income,” he said. “So yeah, if people are interested, even if they can’t make it to the event, reach out to us and we can get them some more information.”

You can request to be added to a waiting list by sending an email to info@wvforestfarming.org.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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