Agroforestry in Eco Caminhos

Agroforestry has become one of the main projects at Eco Caminhos. We see it as a way to recover big parts of the grassland around us, turning it into well balanced forest ecosystems that both benefit the natural cycles we depend upon while at the same time producing big amounts of eatable plants, vegetables and fruits. To make sure we develop this correctly we are starting 500 m² pilot, this is in order to understand how to better work with the existing ecosystem, plants, animals and weather. We already have plans for future expansions though and eventually we would like to apply it is most of the land of our Eco Farm.

The idea of the project is that besides growing a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, we help with the preservation of the biodiversity of the endemic native ecosystem of the region. This initiative looks to find a balance between agriculture and the environment.

Our forestal engineer Bruno Nirello, who was the project leader at the moment, and the agronomist Anastasia Almeida, current leader, started and developed this project. The two of them did a complex well defined plan of this initial local Agroforestry field, which will be planted with a great variety of plants and trees. It was planned that the different plants are gonna be located combining their heights so that all work well together, the field will also have spaces for fruit trees, sustainable wood production, plants to create the necessary fertilizer and biomass for the whole system, also medicinal plants and vegetables.

Located on the outer mountains of Nova Friburgo the Eco Caminhos Agroforestry will benefit from the steep terrain using gravity for the irrigation system, removing the need for water pumps and instead using a micro dropping polypropylene tapes for irrigation.

The project started actually materializing at the beginning of June 2018. It started with getting the land and soil ready for the first plant, Mexican Sunflower, Black Oats and Tremoço. Afterwards we installed the underground irrigation tubing. The whole process has been planned, initiated and guided by Bruno and Anastasia, but once a week we have organize when all the volunteers got together and worked together to support and move the project further, we all want to turn this Agroforestry into a reality, and  the whole team is working together.

Watch a video of how we prepared the terrain:

If you are interested in learning or helping us develop an Agroforestry project get in contact with us: