The International Forest Garden Symposium

(For my email subscribers: Remember to read this on the website – better design, more information, updates included, altogether a better experience!)

The First International Forest Garden Symposium (see Blog, June 1st, 2021), which ended on June 4th, was a huge success and raised many important issues, and it brought into sharp focus the significance of agroforestry/forest garden systems in the current difficult environmental situation.

The Symposium also marks the coming of age of the temperate forest garden as a discipline (and of online conferences, come to that, a fine job!). Agroforestry and forest gardens in general have been shown to be a realistic alternative for sustainable food production, ecosystem management and biodiversity (in the tropics this has been known for many thousands of years), and those who still consider it be ‘hobby farming’ would do well to think again! The coverage and scope of the event was huge, with speakers and attendees from all around the globe, and the organisers (Martin Crawford of the Agroforestry Research Trust in Devon, UK, and his team) are already talking about the next one, probably in early 2023.

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René, the cèpes, and a busy month!

(For my email subscribers: Remember to read this on the website – better design, more information, updates included, altogether a better experience!)

Forest cèpes (Boletus spp.)

There’s been so much going on this month, it’s difficult to know where to begin, but I think my neighbour René and his cèpes deserve pride of place. (You’ll have to imagine what he looks like as he doesn’t want his picture to appear on ‘The Internet’, and I respect his wishes).

For me he epitomises the spirit of still being able to gather what Nature has to offer us, and he does it in a sustainable way, on his own, using his local knowledge of where and when a pigeon will be flying over, or the forest mushrooms will appear in the undergrowth. A modern-day hunter/gatherer, he takes just what he needs for himself and I get to share some of his bounty!

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Summer!

Summer is here at last, although for the first three weeks of June, I was beginning to wonder! Then the cool, wet weather we had been having turned warm and sunny just in time for the official start of summer, and the season has definitely changed. Despite the dull weather, we didn’t have as much rain as in May, around 60mm.

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