Mark Shepard founded Forest Agriculture Enterprises on New Forest Farm in the early 90s as a research nursery devoted to breeding productive, hardy cold-climate hybrids of chestnuts and hazelnuts with the intent of demonstrating ways in which these crops can serve as the restoration agriculture alternatives to corn and soybeans.

At the time, exploration of hybrid chestnuts and hazelnuts adapted to cold climates was in it’s infancy. After decades of varietal trials using many thousands of trees, Forest Agriculture Enterprises renamed to Forest Agriculture Nursery, which offered to the public bare root seedlings of these hybrids from the thriving parent stock. The parent plants of these seedlings have been producing reliably through all extremes of weather (-52 to 112 degrees F) for over 14 years.

Forest Agriculture Nursery (also known as Forest Agriculture Enterprises) is regarded for their specialty hybrid chestnuts and hybrid hazelnuts. They have expanded to include more edible perennials that have been successfully cropped on New Forest Farm.

The plants offered at the Nursery are suited for a number of applications including agroforestry, food plots, conservation buffers, riparian zones, silvopasture, alleycropping or other mix-species agriculture.


Karen Vanek, Nursery Manager