Bringing biodiversity back to a traditional olive farm
OLIVE PILOT FARM
Aigies, Gythion, Greece
DATE OF CONVERSION
30 Nov -1st of December 2021
Land size: 6,7 ha
Annual Rainfall: 900mm
Soil: sandy, well draining, good top soil
Existing cultivation: Kalamon and Koroneiiki olives
THE FARM - THE PEOPLE - THE AREA
Gerasimos bought land in this area, where olive cultivation is predominant, 25 years ago, together with other people from the early organic movement, that still live and farm there. Most of his products he sells to a local exporting business that emphasizes the story of the farmer and encourages farm visits. His olive oil will be one of the first regenerative olive oils from Greece, and consumer awareness will further support the spread of this practices in Greece. But also his close connections with the early organic movement will help spread the practices amongst organic farmers all over Greece.
In this slopy land with a difference in height of 100m between the highest and lowest point of the farm, consisting of many terraces this transition is particularly interesting. We will focus on transitioning the olive monocultures into a complex agroforestry system, adding other fruit trees, support species and shrubs to the tree lines. Further the borders of the land will be planted with fire retardant plant species like prickly pears or others.
OVERVIEW OF THE WHOLE FARM
The chosen plot before the conversion. Tree lines in monoculture with some wild shrubs like capers and trees like oaks and wild prunus.
Depending on the distance between the existing olive trees, we designed 3 different models.
TREE LINES IN DETAIL
Hover over the hotspots to learn more about each tree.
In cases where the existing olive trees have a gap of 8m we add two emergent layer support trees like Eucalyptus, Pawlonia or Poplar, to support the system with the production of organic matter and many more. A productive medium layer and may low and ground cover layers are also being added. Always respecting the tree lines.
In cases where the existing olive trees have a bigger gap (10m) between each other, we can add an productive emergent layer like Pecan or Waltnut in the middle between both olive trees, respecting the tree line.
The almond tree lines
The existing almond tree lines in this plot will be interplanted with: