Agroforestry the future of agriculture for our planet

Agroforestry is one of our main projects at Eco CaminhosOur goal with this project is to grow a wide variety of edible plants, fruits, vegetables and trees for wood. Agroforestry will also increase biodiversity of the endemic ecosystem of the region. Also agroforestry will increase volume of water sources and protect the land against extreme weahter events. Through agroforestry Eco Caminhos wants to achieve self-sustainability in food and construction wood. 

 

Pass on the knowledge

Eco Caminhos wants to become a knowledge centre for agroforestry in the region. Once we start to generate reasonable income through selling abundance we want to convince our neighbours who practise conventional farming to change to Agroforestry to generate more income through selling healthier, better quality products while preserving and improving the natural environment. Currently we already work with volunteers and apprentices who learn all the techniques and spread the word.

 

Our young agroforestry history

We started our first agroforestry experiment in 2018. Today in 2020 we have planted 1 hectare of agroforestry. We still have 23 hectares available :). We expand only when we feel the area we implemented is well taken care off and low maintenance. Israel  Serrano is our agroforestry specialist with over 12 years with experience implementing agroforestry systems. Since his arrival in the beginning of 2020 our agroforestry has been expanding at rapid pace. We currently work with between 6 – 12 people at the farm on daily basis.

 

 

How we implement agroforestry

When we expand we take a 20 x 20 meters plot of land and build a fence arround the area so the cows can not invade. Than we inciate the process of plowing the top layer, making beds, cover the beds with biomass and plant pioneer plants such as banana trees, casave, iame, sweet potatos and in between the beds we plant all kinds of natural biofertilizers such as black oats, crotalaria, mumbaça grass, mexicam sunflower.

We also install an irrigation system required for the initial phase of the agroforestry system. Our field is located on the outer mountains of Nova Friburgo and will benefit from the steep terrain using gravity for the irrigation system. This removes the need for water pumps and instead uses a drip system. This inicial phase is very workable but also essential for the further process. About a year later we start to introduce our concorciums of trees with different combination.

Our first results

Our first agroforestry experiment now has trees of already 5 – 6 meters high. We have already pruned the trees several times. The soil biodiversity went from a dry hard soil with almost zero to a very loose rich biodivers alive soil. We have planted over 500 different fruit trees, 50 trees for wood production, 50 coffee trees and 30 palm trees. We have also planted special trees for watersource protection. We recently finished our chicken coop. The chicken have a seperated area in the agroforestry system where they can graze freely in a rotation system. While chicken eat, plow and manure in one area we plant biofertilizer and natural food in the next area.

In the near future we want to start our ecolibrium project with a restaurant where we want to serve our own grown vegetables, fruits, eggs, milk and cheese.

 

Videos about our agroforestry activities:

 

If you are interested in learning or helping us develop an Agroforestry project get in touch with us!

Contact us