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Chickens, trees, fun and "Agroforce" - a colourful mix at the Agroforest field day in Rettmer

Innovative mixed land use systems are often complex and sometimes break with existing conventions, making communication all the more important. The MIXED project is no exception, with the field day "Agroforst - Ein Betrieb stellt sich vor" (Agroforestry - a farm introduces itself) that took place end of August at Hof Hartmann in Rettmer near Lüneburg.

The event consisted of two parts. First, from Friday to Saturday, the Agroforestry Monitoring Team of the University of Münster, which represents the German agroforestry network in the MIXED project, invited participants to look back on the past field campaign. Citizen scientists and the team jointly discussed methodological approaches, development potentials and challenges. The collective harvesting of mirabelles and other work in the agroforestry system topped off Saturday evening, crowned by the musical accompaniment by singer-songwriter and agroforestry consultant Konstantin Kasper, including the original song "Agroforce".

The highlight, however, was certainly Sunday, with the focus on Hof Hartmann. Besides a brief history of the farm, Jochen Hartmann offered many insights into the different approaches implemented. From the chicken forest with poplars, willows and chicken mobiles, to the protection against hawks and foxes by alpacas or the grazing by Dexter cattle, to vegetable agroforestry and ridge cultivation on arable land. Moreover, Hof Hartmann is part of the F.R.A.N.Z. project, which led to numerous questions and lively exchanges between all participants over lunch, mainly from the farm's own production.

The field day was a full success, well attended by about 50 people, with consistently positive feedback so far. At the same time, it became clear how important open exchange between actors really is - an aspect that we at the IfLS will gladly continue to pursue.

Contact at the IfLS: Holger Pabst (pabst[at], Simone Sterly (sterly[at]