France – Vaucluse: project for a viticulture nursery and creation of a forest garden

Plot where the Edible Garden Forest will be planted © Singe

This project is already funded!

Background & challenges

Alexandre is a farmer and winegrower in the Vaucluse. He currently has eight plots in production, five of which are planted with vines. The estate is part of the Vignerons Indépendants (Independent Winegrowers) trade association and is committed (but not certified) to organic farming, biodynamics, and permaculture.

This estate has been making wine since 2017 – small quantity production of light and fruity wines on 2.76 hectares. Yet the main activity still remains producing old varieties of grapevine plants that are local and drought resistant. Alexandre also has small areas planted with olive trees, truffle oaks, lavender, and for market gardening.

Alexandre wants to reintroduce trees to his farming system.

The first part of the project consists of planting 700 metres of hedgerows in and around the vineyard plots, with 789 trees of 32 different species.

There are various objectives, but one that really stands out is Alexandre tackling the impacts of the mistral wind and drying out of the vines! Indeed, the farm lies in a wind corridor. In the face of climate change, this tree planting project also seeks to create a microclimate that will keep the wines fresh and light. In addition, by planting a variety of species, the estate will enhance the appearance of its landscape and improve biodiversity on its land. Last but not least, Alexandre wishes to restore soil fertility by planting trees.

The second part of the project will involve creating a forest garden (or ‘edible forest’) by combining market gardening with high-growing trees on another plot. Thirty-six high-growing trees of four different species will be planted and accommodate a market gardening area.

These plantings will be done over the winter of 2022/2023.

In addition to this agroforestry project, the estate wishes to develop ecotourism and training. Eco-lodges and infrastructure will be built for public open days, conferences, seminars and training; he aims being to raise awareness of agroforestry, organic farming, and biodynamics.

Introducing 825 trees on the Alexandre plots will deliver many benefits, namely:

  • Improve soil fertility by boosting the level of organic matter and limiting erosion (wind and water) on the plots;
  • Diversify biodiversity through a wide range of different species that will provide shelter and food for native wildlife;
  • Raise public awareness of sustainable agriculture and viticulture practices (agroforestry, organic, biodynamic);
  • Create a microclimate on the plots, thus protecting the vines from the effects of climate change.

Project type

Agroforestry

Beneficiaries

Alexandre, farmer, and winegrower in the Vaucluse department

Number of trees

825 long lasting trees

Species planted

32 different species

Partner

French Agroforestry Association (AFAF)

Small-leaved lime tree – Tilllia cordata

Micocoulier de Provence – Celtis australis

Montpellier maple – Acer monspessulanum

Pubescent oak – Quercus pubescent

Melia – Melia azedarach

Cypress of Provence – Cupressus sempervirens

Pedunculate oak – Quercus robur

Apricot tree – Prunus armeriaca

Cherry – Prunus cerassus

Almond tree – Prunus dulcis

Plum tree – Prunus domestica

Pear tree – Pyrus communis

Judas tree – Cercis sillicastrum

Holm oak – Quercus ilex

Sauce laurel – Laurus nobilis

Hawthorn – Craetagus monogyra

White mulberry – Morus alba

White ash – Sorbier aria

Japanese medlar – Eryobotria japonica

Quince tree – Cydonia oblonga

Pistachio tree – Pistacia vera

Tin laurel – Viburnum Tinus

Shrub tree – Arbustus unédo

Blackcurrant – Ribes nigrum

Red currant – Ribes rubrum RGE

Ribes – Rubrum blanc

White gooseberry – Ribes uva-crispa white

Red gooseberry – Ribes uva-crispa red

Brazilian guava – Feijoa Sellowianna

Spanish Gentian – Spartium junceum

Common Juniper – Junipérus communis

Tamarisk – Tamarix

Planting of hedges around and on vineyard plots © Singe

Works timeline

  • October 2022: soil preparation, plant delivery and staking;
  • November 2022 to January 2023: planting trees on the plots and site launch (farmer, AFAF);
  • November 2023 to March 2024: replanting and first stage of maintenance with tree pruning training;
  • 2024 to 2029: maintenance stages (pruning training and pruning)

Planting partner

The French Agroforestry Association (AFAF), set up in 2007 under 1901 French law, develops agroforestry in France for farming, in the political sphere, and with the general public. It is a platform for exchange and partnerships between farmers, agroforestry operators, researchers, political decision-makers, local authorities, and administrative bodies. The AFAF puts forward recommendations at both national and international levels and works to restore trees to farming systems.Within this project, AFAF is in charge of technical follow-up with beneficiaries over time and providing information needed for communications.

Budget

The total budget to be collected is €18,397.5 or €22.3 per tree, broken down as follows:

  • 95% of which is allocated to the planting project, broken down as follows:
    • Plants and replanting: €1.86
    • Mulching: €1.97
    • Protection and stakes: €3.42
    • Technical advice: €2.80
    • Monitoring over three years: €2
    • AFAF coordination, project management and communication costs: €5.80
    • A Tree For You (ATFY) collection, monitoring and communication costs: (15%): €3.34
  • and 5% (€1.11) to cover ATFY’s overheads.

This total excludes self-financing by Alexandre for the planting and soil preparation stages, planned as follows:

Soil preparation 1.55

Mulching / planting / protection 1.55

Staking 0.38

Maintenance, pruning and replanting 1.16

Total per tree: €4.64

So ATFY funding aims to cover 83% of the total project costs.

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