Integrated Mosaic Landscape Dommelhoeve
The Forest Farmers have developed the plan for a 40 hectare mosaic landscape in the township of Boxtel (NL), which is based on the principles of regenerative agroforestry. The Dommelhoeve, embraced by the river De Dommel, used to be farmed with dairy cows and field crops. Since several years the land has been used for making hay. The goal is a productive, healthy and abundant landscape where a diversity of nutritious food can be grown, harvested and marketed through a mixed agricultural enterprise.
The plan includes alleys of diverse nut trees such as sweet chestnut, heartnut, walnut, butternut and more, alleys for fruit production in polycultures with apple, plum, pear, pawpaw et. Ceterea. The alleys will be equipped with berries, biomass trees and herbaceous plants. In between the alleys is space for holistic planned grazing of cows, sheep, pigs, chicken and turkey. Next to that, the fields between the alleys can be used for the production of perennial crops such as green asparagus, rhubarb, daylilies but also for annuals such as grain or potatoes. Other alleys are planned with rows of hazelnuts which have a multitude of possible uses, from food to feed, biofuel, biomass and more.
The landscape thereby will be able to produce great quantities of high quality human food while at the same time regenerating natural resources, storing carbon, purifying water and air as well as offering habitat, food and shelter for numerous wildlife forms.
One aspect of this project is on the course of the river, as most of the land is a floodplain landscape. Consideration has been given to renaturating part of the river De Dommel as part of the redesign of this landscape.
Biomass trees and pruning also play a role in this plan. Through intensive biomass production the soil organic matter and thereby water holding capacity will increase, which leads to less water issues in both very dry and very wet circumstances. In addition, the locally produced biomass will promote fertility and soil life, which in turn will increase the productivity of the overall system. Through holistic planned grazing the grass alleys will improve in quality and production since the natural herding effect is mimicked. Some grass alleys are planned with tree lines for livestock feed production such as mulberry, lime tree, alder and willow.