Farming on steep slopes can lead to big problems in soil erosion. One solution is to establish perennial crops that do not require tilling the soil. When trees and shrubs are used in this practice, it is called agro-forestry. With agro-forestry, working lands can still "work" and produce economic benefits, but without the negative consequences to the environment.
Established in 2006 with funding from an NRCS National Agro-forestry Center grant, this two-acre agro-forestry site, located on Steinhaugen Farm, showcases over 50 species of perennial fruit, nut, and fiber-producing shrubs and trees. All species are planted on the contour to prevent erosion and protected from deer with a solar-charged electric fence. Water is conserved by irrigating through a gravity-flow drip irrigation system that is fed by rain water collected from the barn roof. This site is used by university classes, researchers, woodland property owners, and others as an educational tool as well as a demonstration and fellowship site. The Steinhaugen Farm is also the host site for the Portage County's Demonstration Forest site, so there are many sustainable practices to see at this family farm.
maintenance of this demonstration site. You can help by donating or volunteering to help with site maintenance.