How, When, and Why of Forest Farming

Unit 2 : Site Assessment and Non-Timber Forest Crop Selection
Section: 2.3

Map-based Strategery for Site Assessment and Crop Selection

Example Baseline Map

Because land is not homogenous and it is likely you will not want to manage your site uniformly, it is useful to delineate zones. Differences in topography; microclimate (temperature, precipitation, light and wind exposure), landscape features (ponds, gullies, clearings, older or younger forest stands) and vegetation type are useful considerations in zone delineation.

Past and present land use affect site characteristics and probably how you will develop your site. There are some parts that you may not want to manage at all, because of poor conditions, or obstacles, such as distance, flooding etc. Others may be worth investing in more heavily. As you “zone” your land, based on the information and activities described here, indicate the zones on your base map.

Investigating Past Land Use

A little information about past land use, particularly past agricultural use can help you or an experienced agriculturalist make inferences about soil health, nutrients and possible contamination. Experienced foresters, naturalists and agriculturalists are 3 resources for determining how long ago your forested or un-forested land was used for agriculture. Past tax maps and neighbors are others.

As you learn or make inferences about past use of your site, enter the uses in Workbook page [12].

[The MNG Case Study Workbook illustrates some possibilities on page . nut icon]

Delineating Current Land Use Zones

Current uses also inform a crop plan. Enter current land uses or obstructions in Workbook page [13].

[The MNG Case Study Workbook illustrates some of these. nut icon]

Workbook and Map Resources