Agroforestry är inget nytt

För en tid sedan kom jag över en text om agroforestryns ursprung i Europa och blev helt betagen: ”The Lost forestgardens of Europe”. Att dessa tusenåriga idéer nu börjar bryta ny mark och åter slå rot runt om Europa känns väldigt spännande.

”Agroforestry is the deliberate integration of trees with other crops on the same land area to gain benefit from the mutual interactions within the whole growing system. It is one of the oldest land management systems in the history of agriculture and is still practised widely in many areas of the tropics. In Europe it is largely forgotten, though remnants of some systems still hang on, for example in the Dehesa system in Portugal and Spain, where pigs graze under cork oaks, in Crete and other parts of suthern Europe where barley is grown under olive trees, and in Finland where reindeer herds are managed in the forests. In Britain, hedgerows came to be an integral part of the agricultural system, providing shelter for humans and animals, food, fuel, fibre and other products.”

Orden är Martin Wolfes/Wakelyns Agroforestry Farm, nedpräntade med skrivmaskin förmodligen för många år sedan (och sparade på gårdens nya hemsida)  innan Agroforestryn vaknade till nytt liv i Europa.  Och så här skriver en gård i Södra Spanien med ett ekbetessystem (Silvopastoral System):

Agroforestry is a land use management system in which trees or shrubs are grown around or among crops or pastureland. This intentional combination of agriculture and forestry has varied benefits, including increased biodiversity and reduced erosion. This land use mangement is attested since the Antiquity in viticulture as we can read it in Pliny’s Natural History (Book. XIV): “In Campania they attach the vine to the poplar: embracing the tree to which it is thus wedded, the vine grasps the branches with its amorous arms, and as it climbs, holds on with its knotted trunk, till it has reached the very summit; the height being sometimes so stupendous that the vintager when hired is wont to stipulate for his funeral pile and a grave at the owner’s expense.” Agroforestry in viticulture is witnessing a return of interest in France because it is today considered as a useful solution in the face of climate change and erosion. Agroforestry development in viticulture may only be possible if intakes are superior to disadvantages as waterborne competition. In order to prevent this, recommendation should be respected as a minimum distance between rows of trees and rows of vine.

Företaget ReNature, som hjälper gårdar världen över att ställa om till Agroforestry skriver så här:

Despite being relatively unknown these days, agroforestry has been practiced all around the world for millennia. In Europe, it was common practice, at least, until the middle-ages to restore harvested forest areas with integrated crops and trees. Farmers in tropical America have purposely created forest conditions around their farming plants the benefits of agroforestry. Moreover, there are numerous examples of African and Asian countries where crops were grown under the canopy of trees for shading. Trees, for a long time, were naturally understood as an integral part of farming systems. The focus, however, shifted to forestry and agriculture as two separate forms of land-use. Foresters increasingly lost sight of the idea of combining their tree plantations with crops and/or livestock.


Rubrikbilden/Picture of
landscape (1): Oil on copperplate by anonymous Flemish painter, half of the XVIII century. Collection of Carisbo, bank foundation in Bologna. The painting represents the Ghisileri’s estate, outside Porta Lame, Bologna. It depicts an ancient agrarian landscape which could be found in reclaimed and cultivated lands, comprised between the town walls (eastern side) and the Reno river. It is a rural landscape based on the ”seminativo arborato”, arable land with parallel trees rows, which was the most common agricultural system (agoroforestry system we would say now) in the Emilia-Romagna region since the Roman times until the ’50 of the XX cen. Bilden & info om bilden är lånad här.  Picture of wine production(2): Illumination extracted from the Tacuinum Sanitatis (Austrian national Library).  Sista bilden är lånad från ReNatures hemsida. (3)


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