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April No. 2

A Book Review: Growing and Marketing Ginseng, Goldenseal and Other Woodland Medicinals

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Growing and Marketing Ginseng, Goldenseal and Other Woodland Medicinals might be considered the third incarnation of the popular title American Ginseng: Green Gold which was first published in 1986 and re-published in revised form in 1994. For the production of this updated, expanded and re-titled edition, original author W. Scott Persons has enlisted o­ne of the leading researchers in the field of medicinal plant cultivation (and fellow North Carolinian), Jeanine Davis, as co-author. The result is an authoritative treatise brimming with both practical and scholarly content.

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THE RINGING CEDARS: Trees for Self-Reliance and The Ringing Cedars Ecovillage Movement

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Far from being nonexistent, microscale farming in the temperate zone is a widespread "albeit understudied" practice. Russia serves as a telling example: even though the microscale "dacha gardens" are responsible for 40% of the country's agricultural output (Seeth et al. 1998), they have received surprisingly little attention from the academic community (Varshavskaya 1998).

One of the leading advocates of microscale farming is Russian entrepreneur Vladimir Megre who over the last decade has published eight books in a series entitled The Ringing Cedars (Megre 2005). The books advocate a return to the land and rural living as consistent with Russia's traditional millennia-old lifestyle and the economic, social, cultural, and spiritual needs of human nature. They also promote greater environmental awareness and a realization of the significance of trees and nontimber tree products to achieving the goals of those returning to the land.

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It's All in the Mix: Agroforestry, a Prospective Land Use System for The Netherlands

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The decreasing incomes of farmers, the overproduction of agricultural commodities and the increasing pressure o­n agricultural land requires o­ne to take a wider view and to search for alternative crops and sustainable multiple land use system in The Netherlands. Agroforestry, the production of trees and crops and/or livestock o­n the same plot, may be an answer. Research indicates that agroforestry systems are very efficient in terms of resource use and could introduce an innovative (agricultural) production system that will be both environmentally friendly and economically profitable.

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The French Agroforestry Situation

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Agroforestry has been permitted since 2002 as a standard practice for French landowners and farmers. Grants are available for planting the trees, and the crop payments are available for intercrops, o­n a "cropped area basis". The tree-planting grant is the same as for a forest plantation (a percentage of the total cost of planting and tending the trees during the first 3 years; the usual rate is 40%). Crops planted between the trees are eligible for CAP payments, but it is not possible to get these o­n a silvoarable plot obtained from clearing a forest, or planted o­n a parcel that was not eligible for CAP payments prior to tree planting.

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It's All in the Mix: Agroforestry, a Prospective Land Use System for The Netherlands

User Rating: 1 / 5

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The decreasing incomes of farmers, the overproduction of agricultural commodities and the increasing pressure o­n agricultural land requires o­ne to take a wider view and to search for alternative crops and sustainable multiple land use system in The Netherlands. Agroforestry, the production of trees and crops and/or livestock o­n the same plot, may be an answer. Research indicates that agroforestry systems are very efficient in terms of resource use and could introduce an innovative (agricultural) production system that will be both environmentally friendly and economically profitable.

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