The sheep farmer who’s reconciled trees and farming
As an environmentally aware farmer who’s passionate about livestock breeding, Rémy is developing agroforestry on his farm.
On Wednesday 14 November 2018, the Yves Rocher Foundation’s Plant for the Planet programme in partnership with Afac-Agroforesteries stopped off at RémyEstavil’s farm for the day. Many of us were on hand and happy to spend the day planting with him!
PLANTING ACROSS THE GENERATIONS
Our green team headed out under blue skies and dazzling sunshine, equipped to the hilt and accompanied by lots of children, to get to work in the field in an experience that felt a little bit like forest school! The children were delighted to get their hands dirty for a good cause, marvelling at the earthworms and stopping to stroke the lambs.
I’ve planted 1,300 trees in the last three years and they are essential to my farm.
ALL FOR ONE!
Yet our highly motivated volunteers hadn’t forgotten what they were there for: to plant a 300-tree hedgerow to protect the ewes and lambs from rain and to allow them to graze in peace sheltered from the wind and sun.
COMMON COUNTRY SENSE
As the son and grandson of farmers, Rémy introduced some major changes to the way he works. During the milk crisis of 2013, he switched to a new strategy and decided to give up his dairy-goat-rearing activities to focus solely on ewes and lambs, using an approach that was far-removed from intensive models. His goal? To farm in a way that safeguards both animal welfare and the environment. Agroforestry was thus the obvious choice.
RESPECTING THE LAND AND THE ANIMALS
In the 1960s, Rémy’s father felled trees as part of the land-consolidation movement and because he believed it would improve productivity. Now, Rémy is replanting these trees to boost his income. In three years, he has planted 1,300 trees, which soon enabled him to enhance yields without depleting the soil. They also protect crops from bad weather, provide organic matter, burrow deep into the earth to extract water,nourish the soil and the animals, contribute to the balanced diet of his flock, improve soil quality, ward off soil erosion, stock CO2, filter water and provide shelter for increasingly rich and varied biodiversity.