News from Andy in the Gers!

Planting of the plot in 2018 ©AFAF
The plot after 1 year (09/11/19) ©AFAF

The Real Food Fight Farm, 2 October 2019

The trees planted as part of Andy’s A Tree for You planting programme are healthy and he is delighted with their growth.

Andy is continuing to grow an old variety of wheat between the trees: produced using organic farming principles, this grain is used to make bread directly on the farm.

Overall, Andy replaced just a few trees due to very low mortality rate. He believes these excellent results are due to the good soil conditions of the plot and care taken during planting. Protection fencing around the trees needs to be replaced, here and there, where work tools have damaged them.

View of a part of the agroforestry plot with tree spacer lines spaced 60 metres apart ©AFAF

The trees are proving extremely healthy. Since planting, Andy has been once round the trees with a brush cutter because the brambles were beginning to take up too much space and overgrow the grass strips. He will make another round during the year (two rounds to properly maintain the grass strips).

Individually, each tree grows well, with few “holes” due to mortality on the lines ©AFAF

Since the first harvest of the old wheat variety, summer tree covering trials have taken place on the plot, which is ideal for these experiments because it is now divided up thanks to the lines of trees. The farmer can easily graze the land with his Red Sussex cows (rare in France) during intercropping operations. The cattle will naturally fertilise the soil and consume a free source of food that doesn’t emit greenhouse gases (GHGs).  Through this system, animals will accelerate the process of carbon capture by the soil and make a significant contribution to the fertility of the agricultural ecosystem!

The next planting session of old wheat will take place soon. Of course, we will keep you up to date with the latest developments. Watch this space!

Andy and his Red Sussex grazing in the plot ©AFAF
Electric fences protect tree lines ©AFAF

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