Wednesday, 20 April 2016

5 ha (12.3 acre) Agroforestry project coming to life...

Last summer I completed a 5 hectare (12.3 acres) polyculture orchard design for Catherine Zanev and Adjmal Dulloo from Troyan Cherry LTD. I recently returned to the site to see how it's taking shape and it was wonderful to see the design coming to life with the good work of project manager Petar Mateev and the team. 

Here's some photo's from my visit in spring 2016

Some details and illustrations from the design

A standard pear tree settling in well. Each row consists of at least one standard tree for structural diversity. The majority of the fruit trees are semi standards with crowns of approx 4-5 m width and height of 5 - 6 m

A garden in the nearby village of Todorovo was used for a comfrey nursery. We supplied the team with 100's of 4 - 5 cm root cuttings Comfrey 'Bocking 14' cuttings last spring and you can see how well the plants are doing just one year later . These plants are ready for division and with further division eventually 1000's will be planted on the site over coming autumn and next spring

Mixed fruit trees planted 5 m apart are the first plants in. Soft fruits and herbs and nitrogen fixing shrubs will be added over the coming years. Click here for the nitrogen fixing shrubs species selection for this site.

Polyculture orchard on the right, Conventional agriculture on the left

40 Bird boxes and 10 bat boxes were put up on the site in 2015. Habitats are created or preserved, wildlife ponds, rock piles and support species polycultures will be established on the site over the next few months. 

The spacing between rows is 12 m at the moment. The alleys were sown last year with a drought tolerant deep rooted cover crop and will be cut or grazed this year and inter sown with a variety of grasses, including a wild flower strip, next spring.

If you would like to create a forest garden and gain some practical hands on experience join us this Spring. We'll be covering site surveying, landscape design software, installing access, beds, irrigation channels, planting tree, shrub, herb and ground layers and making a small wildlife pond. All in 3 days! And plenty of follow up material to take away with you to digest slowly.

Would you like to be involved in the project? We are currently offering 1 - 6 month positions on our polyculture study.

Permaculture and Regenerative Design Internships 

We offer a diversity of plants and seeds for permaculture and forest gardens  including a range of fruit and nut cultivars. We Deliver all over Europe from Nov - March. Give a happy plant a happy home :)

 If you appreciate the work we are doing you can show your support in several ways.

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