Agroforestry project at the PeterSilie gardening project
The Glashüpfer e.V. is the sponsoring association for the gardening project PeterSilie and owns a gardening site in Oberweimar near Marburg. The property includes fields and greenhouse areas, which are cultivated ecologically and regeneratively. The association operates on a grassroots democratic and solidarity basis and promotes the ecological, regional, and seasonal supply of food. In addition, educational programs and cultural events are organized on-site.
The past summers with record heatwaves and enormous drought periods, as well as the ongoing loss of biodiversity on agriculturally used land, finally motivated the creation of different land use systems to counteract climate change and species loss, or at least adapt to climatic changes to some extent. Therefore, since the winter of 2023, an agroforestry system with diverse planting material has been established in two planting phases, including:
- Pear, table grape, apple, persimmon, hazelnut, poplar, field maple, mountain maple, Norway maple, chestnut, littleleaf linden, largeleaf linden, green alder
The structure of the agroforestry system was developed to suit the location, and the various plants and varieties were chosen with care. For example particular importance was given to fungus-resistant and drought-tolerant cultures. Pollard trees were integrated because they are becoming increasingly rare in the cultural landscape here, even though they offer special habitats for various animal species. Moreover, a mix of native and non-native drought-resistant species was used. Planting and maintenance of the agroforestry system is largely carried out by members of the community-supported agriculture (Solawi).
Positive effects of the agroforestry system:
- Improvement of the microclimate
- Wind protection, shading, and promotion of dew formation
- Creation of habitats and reproductive areas for birds, vertebrates, and insects
- Strengthening of biodiversity
- Complementing the regional food supply
With the support of this project, the Daniel Schlegel Umweltstiftung promotes the transformation of areas in favour of ecological and regenerative agriculture, which strengthens soil fertility, biodiversity, and cooling.