Landowners rediscover practice of farming the woods

By Rebecca Phillips, Washington State Magazine

farm-the-woodsOLYMPIA, Wash. – Jim Freed came to Washington State University to work with Christmas trees, but he started getting questions about what else people could do with their land besides watch the trees grow.

As a WSU extension agent in Olympia, he helps landowners manage forest plants like huckleberry, bear grass and salal as part of Washington’s $60 million floral greenery industry. Other products that can be “farmed” in forests include mushrooms, coffee, chocolate and ginseng root – which sells for up to $600 per pound.

Read more about Freed’s work and a new book, “Farming the Woods,” co-authored by WSU alumnus Ken Mudge, at