Agroforestry Field Day!

I drove 3 hours this morning to attend Mizzou’s Horticulture and Agroforestry Research Center 2014 Field Day. It included a great, informational tour of many¬†of their projects. Here are some pictures from the tour:

This is an area where they are testing different walnut varieties. I couldn’t help but think of how much it looks like a park. Imagine parks that gave you food! It would just take someone willing to harvest.

Walnut Test Varieties

They were also testing out Pecan varieties:

Test Pecan Varieties
Pecan Test Varieties

And Chestnut varieties (video of harvester):

Chestnut Test Varieties

One of the main ideas that I’m interested in from today is Silvopasture, which combines trees, forage, and livestock. The livestock get tree cover to shade them during the hot summer and protect them from wind during the cold winter. The forage (grasses, legumes, etc.) have a more even production throughout the year. The trees hold heat closer to the ground, extending the forage growing season, and keep them from overheating during the hottest summer days. During all of this, the trees get fertilized by the livestock!

It was a little chilly, but all in all, a great day of learning. I’ll leave you with a picture of one of the beautiful farms I passed on the way home.