At Le Grand Potager, rows of trees have been created between the cultivated plots.
For a long time, trees were cut to enlarge the growing area, and then because it was said that it was difficult to grow near the trees, especially because of the roots which could hinder the growth.
But today, we know that they are precious allies. We recognize the advantages of trees near crops or livestock.
This is called agroforestry.
The presence of trees in the garden offers many advantages:
Trees improve soil quality:
. Their foliage, by decomposing brings organic matter. The activity of earthworms then transforms the soil into a humic, fertile and stable clay complex.
. Their deep sinking roots release the minerals contained in the parent rock.
. Some trees also have fertility properties (e.g. trees of the fabaceae family), by fixing nitrogen, which favors crops.
Trees are at the heart of the water cycle
The presence of crops pushes them to develop a deep root system which improves the water resource:
. The soil structure promotes better water retention in the plot
. The roots allow rainwater to infiltrate and be stored in the underground water tables while filtering pollution.
. They also have the capacity to pump water from the deeper layers of the soil to bring them up to the surface for crops. They also route it to the leaves and return it to the atmosphere.
Trees produce the oxygen we need, through photosynthesis.
. By absorbing carbon, they offset part of the CO2 emissions caused by humans, the main cause of climate change
Trees provide a diversification of production: fruit and vegetable.
They offer wood: for heating, crafts, tools.
They provide fodder for animals.
Trees provide climatic and biological protection for crops.
. They protect crops from wind, cold and in some places from the sun.
. The presence of trees brings back a plant biodiversity which is accompanied by associated fauna. Thus, many auxiliaries are present to effectively fight against pests without external inputs.