In the Gers, the plantation of trees and hedges is completed!

Emergence of ancient wheat beside the state-of-the-art of a grafted fruit tree line during a particularly mild early December 2018 © French Agroforestry Association

Lasseube-Propre, November 2018

300 trees (walnut tree, hazel tree, oak, pear tree, etc.) adapted to the soils and climate context of the area are now planted in agricultural parcels with “ancient” wheat.

Tree species distribution

The plants were provided by a local nursery and technical monitoring is specifically provided by a technical organization specialized in agroforestry: Arbre et Paysage 32.

In early autumn, planting lines were drawn in the fields. The soil was prepared on the tree line only. Finally, each tree was planted surrounded by a thick mulch, and by an individual protection against deers.

The hedges and the trees shaping the landscape will protect the area from bad weather and be a refuge for animals and biodiversity. The plantation also aims to preserve the biological life of the soil.

Work in progress - multi-species hedge on the edge of Andy Coecup's “ancient meadow-wheat” plot © French Agroforestry Association

The planting involved ten planters and technicians for two days; most of them already participated in a planting season. The planting ended in a magnificent orange sunset over Lasseube-Propre.

Sunset in the hills near Lasseube-Propre at the end of the planting days © French Agroforestry Association
The snow-covered Pyrenees at the background of the landscape of one of Andy Coecup's “ancient wheat” plots © French Agroforestry Association

Once the planting was completed, the plots were sown with “ancient wheat” in November 2018. The wheat selected by Andy during his previous harvests in Lasseube-Propre is adapted and can be sowed directly in a meadow-type cover.

The wheat will be harvested in 8 months and will be used to produce Andy’s bread. The bread will be sold locally in and around Auch.

A strip of seedlings (fenced in the middle of an ancient wheat plot) was also planted to improve the welfare of the farm animals (horses involved in agricultural work on the farm in particular). Trees will provide shade for animals and protect them from wind and bad weather.

General view of the plot planted as part of the A Tree For You project and sown with ancient wheat © French Agroforestry Association

From now on, careful monitoring of the plantation will be carried out over the next 3 years in order to replace the plants that would die and to better support the development of the trees by pruning. Later, the first products (fruit, fodder, etc.) will be harvested as soon as the trees are mature and in production. It will take several decades for forest trees to be used for timber, continuing to store the carbon captured. These trees will be replanted one by one for sustainable management.

In the meantime and now, forest trees will preserve soil quality, protect crops from climatic hazards, store carbon, support and feed wildlife (including bees from a neighbouring farmer), develop mycorrhizae in the soil… These services guarantee the resilience of this agricultural system. Thank you to the donors who have made it possible to develop a sustainable agricultural system!

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