Woodland people were mainly hunters and gatherers. They continued a very successful adaptation to the rich environment and resources of Wisconsin. During this time, rivers and lakes became a particularly important source for plant and animal resources. Deer were an important food source as were small animals such as beaver, raccoon, muskrats, squirrels, fish, turtles, fresh water mussels, waterfowl and birds. Fruits, nuts, berries, wild rice and starchy seeds were gathered along with other plants for food and medicinal purposes. For thousands of years people had been collecting and probably encouraging plants to grow. Gourds were useful as containers, especially before pottery.

Throughout the Woodland period, archaeologists find that people were beginning to grow a few plants in gardens. This was not full scale farming, rather, people planted a few seeds in small gardens. First squash and then sunflowers were grown in small gardens. By the end of this period some corn was being grown.

Some plant materials were used for more that just food. Squash and gourds were used for vessels and food. Textiles and hides were dyed with natural dyes. Tobacco and pipes began to be used during Woodland times.