Hot Topic – What’s New – Agroforestry

The implementation of the agroforestry project announced in 2013 is continuing on land located in Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot. The purpose of this innovative project is to create a large-scale intercropping testing, experimentation and demonstration site. This agroforestry initiative, likely one of the largest in Quebec, will make it possible to evaluate issues associated with the presence of trees in the farm environment and foster research into balancing objectives for farm productivity and environmental quality.

projet cultures intercalaires_planIn July 2014 GPS land levelling was completed in the field along Don-Quichotte Boulevard. Lime was then applied to correct the soil acidity, and a green fertilizer (wheat) was applied. Once it is in the soil, the green fertilizer decomposes and enriches the soil with organic matter.

Tree planting in the fields continued in August, under the supervision of the Institut de recherche en biologie végétale (IRBV), and fast-growing poplars will be planted in spring 2015. Once complete, the fields will be bordered by rows of different varieties of slow-growing, fast-growing and nitrogen-fixing trees.

The grower has put in permanent raised beds on the south lot (closer to Perrot Boulevard) of the five acres to produce vegetables and fruits in 2015. Nearly 40 varieties of vegetables will be harvested there (garlic, beans, peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchinis, Swiss chard, beets, carrots, etc.). As well, 1,000 asparagus plants and 500 raspberry plants will be planted for harvesting in 2016. On the parcels facing Don‑Quichotte Boulevard, the grower plans to grow squash and pumpkins in 2015 if the spring is dry and, if not, to apply other green fertilizers to encourage quicker drainage in 2016.