At Solid Ground Farm, we agree with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations' assessment that agroforestry is the future of sustainable land use, and a pathway to revitalize impoverished communities, a tried and true method to reverse soil and biodiversity loss, and if adopted worldwide, a means to halt climate change.
Agroforestry is broadly defined as agriculture that deliberately incorporates woody perennials into productive farm systems. Types of agroforestry include but are not limited to those listed below. More information can be found at worldagroforestry.org or by scheduling a tour at Solid Ground Farm to see temperate agroforestry in action.
- Boundary Systems: including living fences such as hegerows, riparian buffers, and windbreaks.
- Alley and strip cropping: where rows or blocks of trees are widely spaced to allow for the cultivation of row crops or pasture in the alleys between the trees.
- Forest Farming: where an existing forest is managed for production of human products, such as when shade tolerant crops are grown in the understory of forests, as with shade-grown coffee in the tropics or wild simulated ginseng in Appalachia.
- Forest Gardening: where a farmer designs and directs the regrowth of a forest or savanna system to meet his/her production needs, creating a production system that mimics the structures and functions of the native ecosystem.
- Silvopasture: where trees and shrubs are deliberately incorporated into livestock systems for the benefit of the animals and farmer.