France – Isère: educational project agroforestry, winegrowing, orchard, market gardening

© Ecole du Paysage Grenoble St-Ismier

Background and challenges

The purpose of this market gardening project, certified Organic Agriculture, is to develop this 1.8 hectare area as much as possible to produce vegetables, fruit and wood as part of a local distribution network, to serve as an educational support for various training courses at the neighbouring horticultural school, as well as a testing ground for comparing different agro-ecological practices.

The project is focusing on two areas:

  • Within the plot, 192 local fruit trees will be planted including apple, pear, peach, cherry and plum. These five species will be grown in combination with berries, vegetables, and vines. All local, these species have been sourced and identified by the French Applied Botany Resources Centre (Centre de Ressources de Botanique Appliquée, CRBA).

The trees will protect the crops by attracting auxiliary insects and pollinators. At the same time, they will provide agronomic and ecological support to help reduce erosion, improve water quality, store carbon and nitrogen in the ground, and provide shade.

  • The borders to the west of the plot are in direct contact with a secondary road that is a source of significant noise pollution. This border already has a single curtain hedge consisting essentially of a layer of high shrubs. Installing a second curtain with a dense shrub layer can serve as a ‘noise barrier’ and ‘windbreak’, and above all, to host a biodiversity essential for biological control. So, for this hedge, seven species will be planted for a total of 336 trees and coupled with low shrubs and bushes: hawthorn, currant bushes, blood dogwood.

Coupling trees and shrubs with market gardening will create biodiversity corridors that will play a part in integrated biological control, as well as microclimates that support vegetables.

Thus, planting these 528 trees with 12 different species will make it possible to create a value chain with a sustainable impact on territorial development, employment, and training young people in responsible agriculture in harmony with nature.

Project Type

type de projet

Agroforestry and forestry

Beneficiaries

bénéficiaires

Horticultural farm owned by the landscape school. Numerous beneficiaries: students, farmers, inhabitants.

Number of trees

nb arbres

528 trees, of which 192 fruit and 336 forest trees.

Species planted

essences

Five fruit tree species: apple, pear, peach, cherry, plum; seven forest species: country elm, common ash, country maple, hazel, white willow, glutinous alder, hornbeam.

Operator

partenaire de plantation

French Agroforestry Association

© Ecole du Paysage Grenoble St-Ismier

Work schedule

March-April 2019: planting the first fruit trees (about 50) on the plot after preparing the individual tree planting areas.

November 2019: preparation of planting lines for other trees.

Beginning of Dec. 2019: planting, installating protection, and mulching.

2019-2022: plantation maintenance, replenishment when necessary, and first round of pruning.

2021 and beyond: formative pruning, pruning, harvesting (fruit) gradually starts.

Operator

The French Agroforestery Association (AFAF), created in 2007 under the 1901 law, works to develop agroforestry in France both on the agricultural and political scene and with the general public. It is a platform for exchanges and partnerships between farmers, agroforestry operators, research, political decision-makers, local authorities, and administrative bodies. AFAF puts forward proposals at both national and international levels and works to ensure that trees find their place again within agricultural systems.

The role of the Association in this project is to ensure technical follow-up with the market gardener over time and provide the necessary information for communications purposes.

Budget

The total budget to be collected is €13,200, or €25 per tree, including €4.69 (18,76%) for the A Tree for You collection fee.

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