Rick, a farmer and agroforestry professor with Sterling College, spent an afternoon showing me the ropes of agroforestry.
Agroforestry is the process of planning a beautiful forest before it grows... helping the land by removing the weeds and the scrub so that majestic hardwoods can provide shade and a strong ecosystem for years to come. It's the opposite of strip clearing, which divests the forest of the "good stuff" and leaves the "bad stuff."
Here, Rick demonstrates the specialized cutting technique used to remove a tree so that it will not topple other trees in its area... and how to remove it without damaging the ecosystem. This particular plot of land is filled with a few younger "good" trees and the "weed trees" and Rick is restoring it so that it will be beautiful for many generations.
Photographed in partnership with AARP.