Den Food Bosch agroforestry pilot
On a former cornfield, a diverse and inspiring forest edge farming system was created in 2017. The aim of the Den Food Bosch food forest is to showcase the possibilities of temperate climate agroforestry, make research and spread the principles. Together with the Den Food Bosch foundation, The Forest Farmers have developed and implemented the 1 hectare research site in 2017.
Currently we are managing the system and leading the research projects, in cooperation with the HAS University of Applied Sciences, Den Bosch and Waterschap De Dommel. The food forest is mimicking the shape of a forest edge, one of the most diverse and productive zones in nature. On this 1 hectare there are several hundred edible species planted in half circles facing south west. The system is divided into the main area which consists of mostly native species such as apple, plum, cherry, hazelnut, pear, currant et cetera.
The experimental area as opposed, is an assembly of diverse specialities, or future main crops, yet to become. From apricot, fig, persimmon to pawpaw, shallon and red toon, many interesting crops can be found here and are thoroughly tested against the Dutch climate and growing conditions. What all crops at the Den Food Bosch field have in common is that they are planted in very diverse combinations and assembles, combined with biomass trees to enhance soil life, stimulate growth and get the forest dynamics into food production. The great advantage of such a mixed planting setup is that it enables endless observations and new insights into perennial plant combinations and ecosystem dynamics.