Grésivaudan valley, in the Isère department, France, april 2020
In the heart of the Grésivaudan valley, planting began as planned in February.
This project is special because it has an educational objective: trainees from Grenoble Saint-Ismier agricultural training center are doing the planting, supervised by their teachers. These same trainees were also in charge of planning the agroforestry plot, choosing the types of plants, species, protective measures, etc. They took special care to select plant materials adapted to local conditions and beneficial for biodiversity.
In mid-February, a class of 12 trainees studying Horticultural Production planted 300 metres of triple-layer hedging, i.e. a wide hedge made up of three layers of trees and shrubs. A second class of 16, on the Landscape Design course, planted a 150m-long double-layer hedge in beautiful sunny weather. Most of these trainees were planting trees for the very first time. They are now delighted with the outcomes of this project, which they led all the way – from selecting the plant materials to the planting itself. Some of them are looking forward to returning to the plot to see how the trees they planted have grown.
Due to lockdown measures since mid-March, the trainees themselves couldn’t finish planting. Instead, the remaining seedlings were heeled in by their teachers, who completed the work at the end of March. Protective fencing against large wild animals, which could damage these seedlings, are now in place. None of these young plants have been damaged so far.
At this time of year, the trainees usually take care of the market gardening on this plot. During the lockdown period, their teachers instead have taken over sowing (tomatoes, courgettes, radishes, spinach…). The Landscape Design apprentices will regularly prune the planted hedges, with the waste removed to be used as shredded material, green compost, and so forth.