This past 10th and 11th of May, we held the event “Orchards for Peace” (Vergeles por la Paz) in Balaguer, Spain, with help from Julio Cantos, an IAFN partner. The workshop, held in the surroundings of Horticoles Pamies and Dulce Revolución, dealt with an empowerment project for food sovereignty and health.
In Spanish, the word for ‘orchard’ is ‘vergel’, from the Latin viridiarium, references a space rich in biodiversity, abundance and beauty. This term is hardly used in modern Spanish, but it is vitally important in order to define a food garden. The workshop objectives were, firstly, to motivate the participants and give “information on how to get information”. The practical part consisted of taking part in the continuous planting of the orchard, which began two years ago and is “to go on forever”, so that the area works as a learning space. The importance of the planting of orchards was explained, as well as their role as agroforestry systems analogous to a natural forest, and how analog forestry could offer a simple and efficient methodology for the design of orchards. We also worked with solar cookers at Chez Solar Manolo Vilchez. Orchards for Peace aims to create a network of orchards that shares information and exchanges plants and seeds in the Mediterranean area.