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 three 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.
- On the eastern side of the plot, approximately 500m of hedges will be planted to protect the orchard-market gardening plot with 13 additional species. Male dogwoods will be associated with bushy shrubs (hawthorn, viorne, forsythia…) for a 3-4m high ‘sight-breaker’ curtain. A second curtain of thorny bushes is planned (rosehips, gorse…). These species all produce flowers and also play a landscaping role.
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 948 trees with 25 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.
Agroforestry and forestry
Horticultural farm owned by the landscape school. Numerous beneficiaries: students, farmers, inhabitants.
Number of trees
948 trees, of which 192 fruit and 336 forest trees.
25 species in total, including five fruit tree species: apple, pear, peach, cherry, plum; eight forest species: country elm, common ash, country maple, hazel, white willow, glutinous alder, hornbeam, male dogwood; six bushy shrub species: hawthorn, sapwood, lying viorne, forsythia, black elder, European charcoal; six thorny bush species: rosehips, Berberis thunbergii, Carissa macrocarpa, Spanish gorse, Mahonia aquafolium, Prunus spinosa.
French Agroforestry Association
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.
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.
The total budget to be collected is €23,700 or €25 per tree, broken down as follows:
– Plants and replenishment: €5.51
– Mulching: €0.90
– Protection and stakes: €2.7
– Technical advice and monitoring of planting: €5.40
– Coordination, project management, and communication: €5.8
– A Tree For You collection, monitoring and communication costs (18.76%): €4.69
They donated to support this project in 2019: