Field trips

Last update: 11 September 2018

All field-trips are proposed on a first-come, first-served basis, with a minimum (variable) number of participants by field-trip. The organizers reserve the right of cancelling a field-trip in the case of insufficient attendance or for any other reason (refund guaranteed). Some options still to be confirmed (tbc). Please note that the prices indicated for options 4 to 9 are for early-bird rates before 1 December 2018. Early-bird date for options 1 to 3 is 15 February 2019. The organizers reserve the right of increasing prices after these dates.

 1-day field trips, Thursday 23 May - € 60

1. Mediterranean agroforestry at Restinclières farm (11 km North of Montpellier). Visit the oldest European agroforestry experimental site, featuring 25 years of research in collaboration with farmers.  Cereals in silvo-arable agroforestry with walnuts and other trees (sorb, ash, hackberry, wild cherry) in the lowlands. Agroforestry vineyards in the uplands. Lunch at the Restinclières Castle. Wine degustation.
2. Organic agroforestry gardening farm at Vézenobres (70 km North-East  of Montpellier). See the production of potatoes, carrots, peas, green beans, tomatoes, under the microclimatic effect of upperstorey trees. Lunch at the farm. Visit an agroforestry farm for pig production in Lussan, near Vézenobres during the afternoon.
3. Agroforestry for pig production with box trees (Buxus sempervirens)  at  Le  Coulet,  60  km  North-West  of  Montpellier on  the Larzac plateau, a Unesco World  heritage site. See how xylophagous insects can feed pigs and the use of the resulting compost for legume growing. Discover the Cirque de Navacelles, a breathtaking geological site displaying meandering erosion. After lunch, visit alley cropping agroforestry farms in the lowlands West of Montpellier, with cereals and vegetables (tbc).

2-day field trips, Thursday 23 May and Friday 24 May - € 290

4. Agroforestry farms in the Gers Department (250 km West of Montpellier), one of the most advanced areas for agroforestry in France, just North of the Pyrénées mountains. Sites include many tree species with cereals, mixed crop-livestock, poultry, etc. Meet farmers at work and exchange experience during on-site lunches. Enjoy traditional agroforestry cuisine in Auch where you will spend the night.
5. Agroforestry in Provence. Visit agroforestry farms featuring silvoarable and silvopastoral plantations with many broadleaved tree species (Chateau Beaulieu) and organic vegetables growing in agroforestry (Ferme de la Durette) near Avignon (100 km East of Montpellier). Discover the historical “Palais des Papes” in Avignon and visit the famous old city. Travel back to Montpellier the next day through the Camargue area (Rhône river delta), a wetland of international importance with lagoons, marshes, fighting bulls and amazing bird life. Visit of the INRA agroforestry experiments in Mauguio, near Montpellier.
6. Agroforestry in the Pyrenean piedmont, 150 km South-West of Montpellier. Visit agroforestry farms featuring mature wild cherry, silvopastoral (sheep) plantations, forest grazing, fodder trees plantations (Morus alba), and many innovative uses of trees by farmers (AGROSYL project) near Limoux and Foix, in the historical Cathar castles area. On your way back, stop at the unique medieval fortified city of Carcassonne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

3-day field trip, Thursday 23 May to Saturday 25 May - € 790

7. Agroforestry in Northern France. Meet agroforestry farmers at “Bergerie de Villarceaux” (silvopastoral) and Lassalle-Beauvais (silvoarable), in typical European farming conditions. Exchange with farmers about agroforestry systems adapted to large mechanized farms of Europe, and the impact of the Common Agricultural Policy regulations. Visit the nearby beautiful “Parc Naturel Régional des Caps et Marais d'Opale”. First night in Beauvais, second night in Boulogne (tbc). Travel by train or plane from Montpellier to Paris airport (CDG). End the tour in CDG airport, buy a return from Paris.

4-day field trips, Thursday 23 May to Sunday 26 May - € 990

8. Dehesa in the Extremadura (Spain). Be among the few privileged people in the world to know Europe’s most famous agroforestry system: Dehesas are characterized by a diversity of oak trees scattered in fields and used to raise Iberian pigs, sheep, goats, cattle and to grow cereals. Dehesas produce “pata negra”, one of the most famous ham in the world. They are also a model of agroforestry at landscape level. Travel in train from Montpellier to Madrid and spend two days in the wonderful Spanish countryside. You will be guided by Gerardo Moreno, Spanish specialist of dehesas. Multi-entry Schengen visa for European Union required. Posibility to end the tour in Madrid.
9. Agroforestry in Morocco. Fly from Montpellier to Marrakech (tbc) and travel to Essaouira by bus to visit the Smimou argan fields the next day. Argan trees (Argania spinosa) are intercropped with cereals and used for fodder by goats that climb on the trees! Argan oil has now become a renowned food and cosmetic produce processed by women. Experience beautiful Marrakech “medina” (old town) on your way back and, while enjoying the fabulous landscapes of the Atlas Mountains, visit the mountain agroforestry "terroirs" with ash trees regularly pruned around barley fields and olive groves (tbc). You will be guided by Mohamed Alifriqui, from the University of Marrakech and by Geneviève Michon, IRD agroforestry specialist. Moroccan visa compulsory if required in your country. Multi-entry Schengen visa for European Union required. For good hikers only (about an hour or two walking in rugged terrain).

Last update: 11 September 2018

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