Agroforestry Open Weekend

We are looking forward to taking part in the national Agroforestry Open Weekend, celebrating the growing global community of Agroforestry farms and farming.

Friday May 17th


Head Grower Andy Dibben will be giving an in depth tour of the Agroforestry System at the farm, covering all aspects of system design and establishment, this will be suitable for all comers whatever their background, experience and interests.

BOOKING ESSENTIAL FOR THE ORGANISED TOUR (only). Please email name and number of people to

Saturday 18th May and Sunday 19th May

10am - 4pm

Visitors are welcome to look around the Agroforestry system, Information cards will be available in the shop to provide full information on the Agroforestry for visitors to inform there visit, we would also encourage people to look around our Market Garden, Glasshouse and Polytunnels whilst here to see a wide variety of Organic growing techniques in action.

Our Agroforestry

Although the most common forms of agroforestry in the UK often revolve around livestock and arable systems, it was in the vegetable production that Agroforestry was introduced on the farm in 2018.

The farm is a windy site and this is what first attracted us to integrating trees into our vegetable production areas. Reducing wind speeds has many advantages, it reduces physical damage of crops in storms, reduces transpiration from leaves and evaporation from soil in summer minimising irrigation requirements, reduces wind chill increasing localised temperatures in winter and early spring. Trees are perhaps the most effective windbreak available.

As Organic farmers, where we cannot and do not want to use artificial pesticides to manage problematic insects on our crops, we instead focus on nurturing natural predator populations to keep pest species at acceptable levels.

Food in the form of pollen and 12 month undisturbed habitat so all stages of insect life are supported, are a powerful tool for proactively managing insect predator populations.Trees are perhaps the most potent way of providing pollen and permanent undisturbed habitat to a whole variety of life. Agroforestry brings these benefits right in amongst your crops. It is not just insects that provide a protective role for our vegetable crops, birds play a crucial part, birds of prey ward off rabbits and small songbirds feast on caterpillars that would otherwise decimate our cabbages and cauliflowers. Trees provide the perfect nesting and perching spots to support this behavior. We complement this biodiversity approach by having wildflower understoreys for our tree rows.

With so many benefits being offered to our vegetable crops from just having trees, it was strangely a secondary subject looking at what crops we could get from our trees as well. Another core philosophy of Organic Farming is to minimise how many inputs are brought on to farm to produce crops. On the vegetable production side we were still buying in a lot of propagation compost, an opportunity presented by integrating trees into our vegetable cropping was to provide the raw ingredients for propagation compost. Although peat free for a number of years now, Woodchip compost provides us with a realistic opportunity to produce all our compost on site and peat free.. So we planted 660 alder, willow and Hazel trees in our system with this objective.

On the retail side of the business we were buying in 100 kg of apples a week on average to sell to our customers, again having decided to plant trees, this was an obvious potential new crop line that we knew we could sell. We planted 100 apple trees, 13 different varieties targeted at removing the need to buy in apples between August and the end of February.

With all of these objectives in mind we established an agroforestry system into a 5 acre field of vegetable production. We have an alley cropping system with mixed tree rows of various fruit, coppice and biodiversity species, vegetable cropping alleys are on various widths from 50m to 18m, vegetable crops include Cabbages, Kales, Onions, Leeks, Squash, Potatoes and Beetroot.

It has been a fascinating experience to establish an Agroforestry system, through which we have learned many lessons

We would love to share what we have learned with visitors over the Agroforestry open weekend 2024, you can look around the agroforestry and enjoy a meal or coffee and cake in our cafe which looks across the agroforestry system. We Look forward to welcoming you.


Added to basket

CheckoutContinue shopping