By Edan P. Collins
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Extra resources for Agroforestry : a practical guide to profitable farms and woodlands
20 Gwendolyn D. L. Boyd, Colmore S. Christian, Rory E. Fraser et al. gross $300 per year for all bee products, and remember their value in pollinating crops. In an 800-log shiitake business, a grower can earn about $6,000 per year (see Success Stories). Returns from timber can take 50 to 80 years. In the past, forests in the South have been managed badly or not at all. Their quality can be improved by “weeding,” which foresters call timber stand improvement (TSI). Economic returns on weeding can take many years.
The Basics Buy your bees, equipment and materials and put your hives in a place protected from wind and near either crops or orchards. Get advice from neighbors or your extension office on how many hives to start with and what kinds of bees have been most successful in your area. Check your hives at least once a week for disease or loss of bees. Make sure they have water and if the weather gets dry, make sure they have sugar water. Always leave enough honey in the hive for the bees to feed on over the winter.
Black walnuts are a gourmet item, and Hammons Products in Missouri collects them (in the hull) from different locations in seven surrounding states, so there is an annual market for them. The other nuts can be gathered in the fall and marketed through farmer’s markets and local grocery stores. The Basics It is important to know your woods well. Walk through them and learn to identify the trees and shrubs that are there. If you have native fruit and nut trees, and berries, clear some of the trees that are right next to them so that the fruit and nut trees can spread out with more branches where the fruits and nuts are produced.