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Food forests

Trees for All is joining with partners to plant food forests in the Netherlands.


Planting food forests in the Netherlands

Trees for All will be planting food forests at several locations in the Netherlands. This relatively new and sustainable form of land usage has many benefits, such as improving soil health and sequestering carbon.

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Trees for All supports various sustainable initiatives that plant food forests. One of them is a food forest at the farm Jannemiekeshoeve, in Brabant, where an organic agricultural company is permanently transforming part of its operations into 2 hectares of food forest and 18 hectares of agroforestry. This makes the farm a pioneer in its region and an example to others.

Trees for All is also collaborating with the foundation Food Forestry Netherlands (VBNL). This foundation has set up the programme ‘Duurzame doorbraak voedselbosbouw’ (Sustainable breakthrough in food forestry), with the goal of realising at least 150 hectares of food forest by the end of 2023.

  • Current

Positive effects

Although food forests are relatively new, they have already proved to have many positive effects. Food forests:

A national monitoring programme has been set up in the Netherlands, which conducts scientific research into the aforementioned benefits of food forests.

What is a food forest?

In food forests, food production is combined with nature rehabilitation. It is an agricultural method that is based as far as possible on the ecological principles of a natural forest. The harvest is therefore different to the harvest from monocultures of annual crops. In monoculture, each year starts with an empty field, to which is added a lot of work, fossil fuels, fertilisers and pesticides, ending up with an empty field again at the end of the season.

In the long term, crops can be harvested all year round in a food forest. Depending on the season, the harvest ranges from various sorts of fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetables to mushrooms, edible flowers and honey. A thriving food forest also provides a rich ‘harvest’ of high-quality nature, an attractive landscape and other useful products, such as wood, medicinal herbs, and seeds and seedlings. In other words, a food forest is a heart-warming reconciliation between nature and agriculture.

In other words, a food forest is a heart-warming reconciliation between nature and agriculture.

Thanks to the high levels of biodiversity and the layered structure, many types of wild insects, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals are able to thrive in a food forest. Over time, the wealth of species creates a system that maintains itself, with animals that ensure natural pest control, thus eliminating the need for chemicals. And a food forest contributes to water regulation and improved soil health.

How to contribute

By donating trees or making a general donation, you can contribute to the creation of new food forests in the Netherlands. This will improve soil health and sequester extra carbon.

Noord-Brabant, Nederland

The projects of Trees for All contribute to several Sustainable Development Goals

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