Diepklowe Regenerative Farm

The Diepklowe Regenerative Farm is an ongoing experimental, regeneration inspired, agricultural project in the Western Cape

The project is an experimental agricultural project that seeks to produce a diversity of healthy foods using regenerative farming practises. The farm is situated in the Overberg in the Western Cape. 295 hectares of the farm is dedicated to nature reserve while 7 hectares are committed to farming practises. The first phase of the project is a 0.6 hectare integrated fruit orchard and alley cropping system composed of over 40 varieties of fruit trees and mixed grain, cover and fodder cropping practises. The orchard design draws from a variety of inspirations including permaculture design, food forest systems, agro-ecology, agroforestry and keyline design.

The project began with a think tank of seasoned and passionate farmers, environmentalists and designers hosted by Six Kingdoms in May 2016. Subsequent design and planning sessions developed on the ideas generated during the think tank and preparations for the first phase of tree planting are currently underway.

Key design principles and strategies incorporated into the orchard system are:

– Diverse cropping systems

– Cover cropping and soil management practise

– Low-till to no-till farming

– Regenerative farming and ‘carbon farming’ practises

A rough timeline of the farm design and implementation process can be found below:

May 2016- Think tank and design development, initial soil, water and site analysis

June 2016- Cover cropping of site

October 2016- Flattening of cover crop

June-December 2016- Iterative design sessions

February-March 2017- 2nd soil analysis and over-story (fruit tree) species selection

May 2017- Soil preparations – power harrowing, chisel ploughing, biochar and compost application, cover cropping

August 2017- Tree Planting

September-February 2018- Tree maintenance and observation

February 2018- Annual planning meeting for 2018

For past project updates and more information click here

 

 

 

Brainstorm plan for the project design, May, 2016
Adam laying out trees, May 2017
Experimenting with biochar on site, May 2017
A mixed cover crop of beans, rye, wheat and mustard, July 2017
Preparation for citrus planting, August 2017

 

Trees growing amoung a dry cover crop, January, 2018