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Weekend set to shine light on crop pioneers





Farmers will be opening their gates to the public this weekend to show the benefits of a pioneering technique.

Jeannie Buckingham and her partner were inspired more than 15 years ago to take up agroforestry, an integrated approach to farming that incorporates strips of trees and crops on the same piece of land.

To mark Agroforestry Open Weekend, Ms Buckingham’s 2 Fields, a nine-hectare community-supported farm on the edge of Debenham, will show others what it is about.

Jeannie Buckingham of 2 Fields, Debenham. Picture submitted
Jeannie Buckingham of 2 Fields, Debenham. Picture submitted

“We use permaculture principles of earth care, people care and fair share,” she said.

“We grow with nature, which means that we use no artificial inputs or chemicals. We also help people make connections through growing food.”

The farm has native broad-leaved woodland, a forest garden, meadows and a community tree nursery. It also grafts traditional varieties of fruit trees to add diversity to hedgerows and orchards.

Wakelyns, a farm in Metfield, which has 23 hectares of land for argoforestry, will also be open.

Owner David Wolfe said: “About half the visitors to our open weekend last year were farmers coming to have a look and see for themselves what it is all about, and we expect lots more this year.”

The Government wants to see agroforestry adopted on 10 per cent of arable land by 2050, with farmers set to be offered incentives in order to make the switch.

The Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs has promised payments of up to £849 per hectare to maintain existing sites.

For more event details, go online to agroforestryopenweekend.org.



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