Agroforestry: easy as 1, 2, 3

Don’t be intimidated by a complicated name! Agroforestry is easier than you might think.

Mike Breckel, a Vernon County landowner, has implemented it on his land by growing elderberries amongst his 70 acre woods.  He offers two easy tips:

  • Choose a crop that interests you. There are so many non-timber forest products to choose from, pick what interests you most!
  • Utilize what you have. Are there areas within your woods or along forest edges that could serve another purpose?
Ripe Elderberries

Mike has always seen his 85 acres in Vernon County as a place to strive for self-sufficiency, and a place to relax and learn. Incorporating elderberry production into his woods has added to all of the above, and is a great example of an agroforestry system.

Initially intrigued by their healing properties, Mike and his wife enjoyed making wine with the berries. As he learned more about the berries, he planted more and noticed other benefits of the enhanced diversity on his land: decreased soil disruption, beautiful blooms every year, and the joy of growing a plant that helps keep others healthy.

Have a question for Mike? Send it to us, we’ll pass it along!