Agroforestry in Eco Caminhos

Agroforestry has become one of the main projects at Eco Caminhos. We see it as a way to recover large parts of the grassland around us, turning them into well balanced forest ecosystems that both benefit the natural cycles we depend upon and at the same time produce large amounts of edible plants, vegetables and fruits. To be sure we develop this correctly we began a 500 m² pilot plot, this is in order to have better understanding of how to work with the existing ecosystem, plants, animals and weather conditions. We have already made plans for future expansion the biggest part of which we would apply here at Eco Caminhos.

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

Our forestry engineer Bruno Nirello, who was the project leader at the time, and agronomist Anastasia Almeida, started and developed this project. The two of them completed 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 decided that the different plants are going to 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: