25 October 2014

Red Polls grazing at Epping

Celebrating Acorns: Anastasia Pantera, an AGFORWARD researcher, attended the valonia oak and acorn festival in the village of Korissia on the Greek island of Kea (Tzia) on 25 October 2014. She was invited by Marcie Mayer from the “Hamada Acorn Initiative”.

The disperse valonia oak stands on the island are used in a range of traditional agroforestry systems. One of the key products from the valonia oak (Quercus ithaburensis) trees is Χαμάδα (pronounced Hamada), which is the Kean (Tziotiko) word for the giant acorn caps. These are collected annually and sold to leather tanneries across Europe. In 2014, 35 tonnes of acorn caps were collected.

During the valonia oak and acorn festival, Anastasia had the opportunity to talk about agroforestry. In fact two participants are working with the AGFORWARD group focused on valonia oak systems. There is strong local knowledge about management practices for valonia oaks such as the collection of “Hamada”. The festival includes traditional music, the drinking of tsipouro and the consumption of acorn cookies. There were races to separate the acorns from the cups, and opportunities to create colourful acorn cup ornaments. There was even a treasure hunt where everyone searched for a “golden” acorn. Young and old had the opportunity to enjoy, sing and dance many traditional songs throughout the event.

Maybe the biggest event of the day was the “Largest acorn contest”. Unfortunately Anastasia’s entry did not win, but she was happy that valonia oak was being used for much more than just firewood!

The search for the heaviest acorn

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2 October 2014

Red Polls grazing at Epping

Participatory plant breeding for cultivars adapted to shade.

Modern wheat varieties have been selected under monoculture conditions, and hence they may not be varieties most appropriate for use in silvoarable agroforestry where the wheat grows under the shade of trees. Using shade tolerant varieties might increase the benefits that can be gained from agroforestry, increasing the efficiency of this system. Hence research is being undertaken, as part of a French stakeholder group in AGFORWARD, on the breeding and selection of wheat varieties adapted to agroforestry conditions in a Mediterranean climate.

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23 September 2014

Red Polls grazing at Epping

The first stakeholder meeting for the UK Wood Pasture and Parkland Stakeholder Group took place at Epping Forest on the edge of Greater London. The meeting was organized by Dr Matt Upson (Cranfield University) and hosted by Dr Jeremy Dagley (Head of Conservation, Epping Forest).

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25 August 2014

The University of Santiago de Compostela held its first stakeholder meeting at the Estación Científica do Courel (http://www.usc.es/es/servizos/eccourel/) in the ‘O Courel’ area of Galicia in Spain.

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24 July 2014

Participative “Shareshop” in Portugal

As part of the AGFORWARD project, the Instituto Superior de Agronomia (University of Lisbon) held an initial participative “Shareshop” in Portugal with a group of farmers, foresters, landowners, producers associations and public institutions...

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25 June 2014

European Wood-pastures in Transition

AGFORWARD researchers Tobias Plieninger and Tibor Hartel have edited a new book called “European Wood-pastures in Transition: a socio-ecological approach”.

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4-6 June 2014

2nd European Agroforestry Conference

Members of AGFORWARD played a key role in the 2nd European Agroforestry Conference held at Cottbus in Germany on 4-6 June 2014.

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June 2014

meeting in Cottbus

2-3 June 2014.  The first General Assembly Meeting of the AGFORWARD project, held at Cottbus in Germany, was attended by 50 delegates. 

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May 2014

stakeholder meeting in the UK
stakeholder meeting in the UK

The Organic Research Centre held an initial participative workshop in the UK with a group of farmers and other stakeholders interested in woodland poultry production. 

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