The Vancouver Island Maple Project has just wrapped up its first major production season. The purpose of the Project is to explore, promote and develop a cottage industry on the Island producing various products derived from the sap collected from the native west coast Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum). This may include traditional items such as syrup and new innovations like maple sap wine, sap beverages (maple "pop") and wholly or partly concentrated culinary sap products. Not many of us have tasted maple mint tea, maple flavoured rice, or maple based soups.
The Project hosted four extension workshops over the winter in Ladysmith, Port Alberni and Oyster River to demonstrate techniques and equipment. More than eighty-five private landowners, forest managers, and provincial representatives attended. Taps, tubing and other material was purchased in bulk from eastern suppliers and sold to the landowners with a small profit collected for future purchases.
Rhett Johnson, Director of the Solon Dixon Research Center, Auburn University near Andalusia, Alabama says the research team is ready to begin grazing their silvopasture demonstration and study area this spring. Sid Brantly, grazing specialist, NRCS, Dr. Mary Goodman, Auburn University, Dr. Rhett Johnson, Solon Dixon Center and Jim Robinson, National Agroforestry Center are supervising grazing management, site monitoring and research opportunities.
Students from Auburn and many forestry and wildlife schools from across the nation use the Solon-Dixon Research Center and are exposed to silvopasture at this demonstration area as a management alternative.
A special bus tour will visit Midwestern agroforestry research and demonstration sites from 23 - 25 June, 2004. The tour will leave from and return to Columbia, Missouri, and follow an itinerary that showcases both research demonstrations and on-farm applications of temperate agroforestry practices including windbreaks, riparian forest buffers, forest farming, alley cropping, and silvopasture in Missouri and Iowa.
Sponsored by the University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry, the USDA National Agroforestry Center, and the Iowa State University Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, the tour is offered as part of the First World Congress of Agroforestry. However, participants in this tour are NOT required to also register for the First World Congress.
Silvopasture is one of the agroforestry practices participants will see during the Midwestern Agroforestry Tour, June 23-25. (Photo courtesy UMCA)
Tour highlights include stops at the Iowa State University Bear Creek Riparian Buffer Demonstration site located near Ames, IA; the University of Missouri Greenley and Ross Jones Farms, and two Missouri Department of Conservation demonstrations located in Novelty, MO; and the University of Missouri Horticulture and Agroforestry Research Center located in New Franklin, MO.
The tour motor coach is scheduled to depart from Columbia at 7:00 am on Wednesday, 23 June and return to Columbia the evening of Friday, 25 June. The registration fee is $300 or $350 and includes motor coach transportation, en-route hotel accommodations in double ($300 per person) or private rooms ($350 per person) for two nights, refreshments and all meals, a set of Center for Agroforestry videos on the five practices and an agroforestry training manual.
Columbia is located in central Missouri and is approximately 100 miles (160 km) from the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. It is recommended that participants fly into that airport on 22 June 2004 and fly out of the airport on 26 or 27 June to Orlando.
Detailed tour information, online tour registration, and secure online tour fee payment option with a Visa, Master Card or Discover Card, is available under "Upcoming Events" on the University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry website located at www.centerforagroforestry.org. For visitors from outside the USA wishing to register with an international Visa, Master Card, or Discover card, or to arrange for a wire money transfer, please contact the tour coordinator.
By Julie Rhoads University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry
Interest in forestry and agroforestry is expanding among private landowners in the "Forest Fringe" region of Saskatchewan, Canada, a transition area between the Boreal and Grasslands Eco-regions. Through the Saskatchewan Forest Centre (SFC), the provincial government promotes agroforestry and rural afforestation for economic, social and environmental benefits.
This second installment in the series "The Business of Agroforestry" (see January, 2004 Temperate Agroforester) will explore the potential opportunities for third-party certification of nontimber products in forests and agroforests.
Nontimber forest products (NTFP) can be a significant source of income in all agroforestry practices, not just forest farming, and can supplement or even replace income from wood products depending on landowner objectives, available markets and choice of species. NTFP include edible, medicinal, floral, decorative and craft products, and are considered specialty or niche crops (Teel and Buck, 2002).