The forest's trove of food and nourishment
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Director's Message

Foraging for Stinging Nettle
This time of year is perfect for harvesting my favorite local superfood: stinging nettle. I look for them in the wetter understory areas of alder groves and harvest the young leaves with my family every year. Click on the video and join the tradition!

Kirk Hanson

Forestry Director
Northwest Natural Resource Group
(360) 316-9317
Checking on tree seedlings
The first few days after they emerge Indian plum leaves taste like cucumber! Photo: Matt Freeman-Gleason

Upcoming Events

Managing for Wildlife & Diversity
March 7, 2018
Corvallis, OR

Thinning Overstocked Stands for Health and Productivity
March 10, 2018
Orcas Island, WA

Deadline for 2018 EQIP Funding!
March 16, 2018

Biochar: Creating a Valuable Soil Amendment from Woody Waste Material
March 16, 2018
Central Point, OR

Growing Healthy & Diverse Forests: A Walking Tour
March 17, 2018
Lane County, OR

Forest Stewardship Coached Planning
Mondays starting March 19th, 2018
Cle Elum, WA

Washington Botanical Symposium
March 21, 2018
Seattle, WA

Tree School
March 23-24, 2018
Clackamas County, OR

Working Forests for Landowners
March 24, 2018
Dayton, WA

Forest Stewardship Coached Planning
Mondays starting March 26th
Vashon Island, WA

Basic Woodland Management
Register by March 27, 2018
Tangent or Dallas, OR

Ties to the Land Succession Planning
March 31, 2018
Carnation, WA

2018 Cascadia Prairie-Oak Partnership Conference
April 9-12, 2018
Eugene, OR

Tree & Shrub I.D.
April 11, 2018
Redmond, OR

Forestry Current Use Taxation Seminar for King County Property Owners
April 12, 2018
Covington, WA

Precision Tree Felling - SAWW Chainsaw Training Levels 1 & 2
April 12-13, 2018
Leavenworth, WA

Advanced Tree Felling - SAWW Chainsaw Training Level 3
April 14, 2018
Leavenworth, WA

What's Killing Your Trees?
April 14, 2018
Coos Bay, OR

Managing a Family Forest: Now and in the Future
April 21, 2018
McCleary, WA

Measuring Timber and Woody Biomass in San Juan Forests
NNRG Event!
Saturday, April 28, 2018
Lopez Island, WA

Invasive Weed Control Field Practicum
May 5, 2018
Bellingham, WA

Silviculture Basics
May 9, 2018
Myrtle Point, OR

Restoration of a Small Private Woodland
May 12, 2018
Shady Cove, OR

Climate Change: How should we manage our forests in the face of uncertainty?
May 23, 2018
Corvallis, OR

Featured Member

Jackrabbit Farm

“For nearly two decades, my dream has been to create an experiential education space, a mentorship for pottery with a focus on permaculture,” says Careen Stoll. “As a potter, the farm-to-table supper club movement is a natural fit. I’ve built innovative carbon-neutral kilns at various places around the country, and I care about ethics in food production.”
The Stolls’ 23-acre Jackrabbit Farm undulates up a southwest-facing hillside in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains approximately seven miles due east of Kalama. Bounded by the east and west branches of Dee Creek, half of the 22 wooded acres are ten-year-old Douglas-fir and alder forest that is regenerating following clearcut harvesting by the previous owner. The other half is comprised of a maturing mixed hardwood conifer forest that serves as an extensive riparian buffer along either side of Dee Creek.
Part of the long-term vision for Jackrabbit Farm is to create and manage a sustainable woodland environment that embraces agroforestry and permaculture practices, and serves as an educational demonstration forest that connects elements of nature and culture. As Careen explains, “I want to make sure that the learning is not just school buses of (delightful) elementary school kids in the woods, but us listening humbly to indigenous elders and other keepers of wisdom, as we find a path into a future that may deeply need reference points for regenerative agriculture.”
Careen and her partner Joel are considering many different ways to integrate a “food forest” system into their forest. One approach to doing this is to observe the native edible plants within the riparian forest to determine which species naturally thrive there, then plant and cultivate similar species that have more desirable characteristics (e.g. larger berries) or are more productive. Extending this strategy, desirable native species that naturally occur within riparian areas, such as huckleberry, devils club, or willow, can be integrated into a management plan for the cultivation and production of non-timber forest products, as can growing edible and medicinal mushrooms on alder stumps.
Along the edge of the site of the Stolls’ future home, the prevailing winds and misty breezes sweeping across this open space demonstrated the need for a hedgerow – another agroforestry system that employs multi-use plant species in several layers to produce a thick effective windbreak.

An effective hedgerow for this site could include, as its highest layer, a row of semi-dwarf apple trees that are inter-planted with filberts and sea buckthorn. Gooseberries and roses can comprise the shrub layer beneath the apples, and perennial medicinal and culinary herbs may lie amid a ground cover of nitrogen-fixing clover. 

By integrating wildlife forage and pollinator habitat into the design, the Environmental Quality 
Incentives Program (EQIP) could be a source of financial support for this productive and economically diverse windbreak and hedgerow.
Learn more about Jackrabbit Farm, including the owners' plans for silvopasture and building a net-zero energy dream house, in the full blog article by Kelly Smith, NNRG Volunteer.

Food from the Forest

Check out a few of our favorite edible and medicinal plants ripe for foraging from Northwest forests. Learn more about their species and discover delicious recipes.

Primers on Agroforestry

These brochures from the USDA are a good way to start learning different agroforestry techniques you can implement for agriculture, wildlife, livestock, and more!

Not Your Father's Lumberjacks

Watch our Executive Director Seth Zuckerman give a short talk to a sold-out crowd on how advances in logging technology can be used in the practice of ecological forestry.

RESCHEDULED: Thinning Tour

Our tour of forest thinning projects on Orcas Island has been rescheduled for this Saturday, March 10th. The forecast is for rain, but no ice! Register here - we hope you can join us!

Managing for Present & Future

Our member Wildcat Tree Farm shares how the forest has been a family legacy for more than 60 years, and how stewarding this legacy means growing a diverse mix of trees, wildlife habitat, and climate change.

What Makes a Forest a Forest?

Defining a forest is harder than you’d think. “It’s not as simple as measuring a tree and measuring a tree canopy,” says Neal Maine. “It’s a dynamic system. A forest is an evolutionary phenomenon, not just a place to visit.”

Learn more about foraging food from your forest with these resources! 


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Northwest Natural Resource Group
2701 1st Avenue, Suite 240
Seattle, WA 98121

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