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THE PROJECT

Our Story

Alnarp’s Agroecology Farm was started in 2021 by a group of passionate Agroecology master’s students at SLU. They shared a vision of creating a space for developing practical skills in farming, where theory could be tested by applying it to the reality of running a small-scale farming business. The farm would also become a vital educational tool and research facility over time, as well as a warm and welcoming environment that brought together all members of the local community.

A project such as this was felt to be missing in Alnarp and so, encouraged by Faculty members and fellow students, the agroecology students drew up their vision, goals and business plan for Alnarp’s Farm. They were successful in obtaining initial grants and our first plot of land of 400m2 in front of Grohuset.

Due to lack of available space on the Alnarp campus, the project was offered land to expand on at Mellangård in 2022. By the end of 2022, Alnarp’s Farm will achieve financial self-sufficiency and continue to be handed down the generations of students, researchers and committed individuals who wish to learn, participate in and work towards a more sustainable food system.

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Our growing method(s)

Our market garden is built on a ‘no dig’ method that is popular amongst small-scale vegetable producers. We have chosen this method because it minimises disturbance to the soil and allows the soil microorganisms to flourish. It also naturally reduces pressure from weeds, which means that chemical intervention is not necessary.

 

Part of our garden is organically certified, although our methods are far beyond the requirements for organic certification

In 2022, we will start to develop a ‘food forest’. This is an area containing trees, bushes and herbaceous perennials that are all edible for humans. A food forest optimises harmonies between different species and their abilities to defend each other from pests and disease, as well as to provide each other with nutrients and shelter from bad weather. It is also a recreational space, where we can meet one another and be surrounded by nature.

Learn more from Charles Dowding the ultimate expert of the no dig method!

 

what is agroecology?

A short definition.

Agroecology is a holistic study of the agricultural system, where the effects of growing food is analysed from environmental, economic and social standpoints.

Environmentally, the challenge is:

-how can we minimise the negative effects of agriculture, such as pollution, biodiversity decline and soil depletion while still being able to provide enough food? And then,

-how can we make it economically viable?

-Finally, does the food system reflect the needs of our diverse society or does it serve the interests of just a few?

 

Agroecology tackles the food system as a whole by trying to find the best answers to these kinds of questions. Our little farm won’t change the whole food system, but we attempt to answer these questions through the Daily decisions we make.

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Overview of the thirteen principles of agroecology and three operational principles of sustainable food systems

(Agroecology Info Pool)

 

The Team

the board

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Caroline Thorne

Chairperson

Agroecology Master Student, SLU

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Xinyu Ma

Secretary

Agroecology Master Student, SLU

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Max Andersson

Research Coordinator

Agroecology Master Student, SLU

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Leon Biundo

Production Manager

Horticulture Master Student, SLU

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Joar Löfberg

Treasurer

Agroecology Master Student, SLU

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Lily Begg

Project Manager

Agroecology Master Student, SLU

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Marie-Claire Feller

Communications Coordinator

Agroecology Master

Student, SLU

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Laurens Post

Field Manager

Horticulture Master Student, SLU

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Philipp Hansen

Production Advisor

Agroecology Master Student, SLU

THE TEAM MEMBERS

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Ingrid Svedhem

O.G. Field Manager

Agroecology Master

Student, SLU

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Christoph Löffler

Education Coordinator

Agroecology Master

Student, SLU

the custodians

At Alnarp's Farm, anyone who regularly helps out on the farm is considered a Farm Custodian. We like the idea that the farm belongs to anyone who participates to the project in any way. We are so grateful for every single person who helped us on the field or elsewhere.
Long live the bees!

 

The grounds

Mellangård

Off campus

Main plot (since 2022)

Market Garden (800 m2)

Food Forest

CSA pick-up

The original Grounds

On campus

Very first farm site (since 2021)

Market Garden (400m2)

Weekly farm markets