Huerto de Agrofogones: The orchard of the University of Agronomists

Very good to all Agrohuerters. Today I want to present you a very special garden, the agrofogones garden, a garden in which I feel like in my own, not only because friends and colleagues from the school of agronomists run it, but also because I have thrown myself there for a few how many afternoons of work, learning and of course recording with them

What is Agrofogons?

The agrofogones garden emerged in 2010 at the initiative of a student association called Agrofogones.

This association is mainly dedicated to gastronomy, among its activities I would highlight the organization of different wine, chocolate or beer tastings with experts in the field, the creation of bread, sausage or cheese making workshops to be able to make them yourself and the skill of its members to prepare a great catering in different events such as capeas or graduations.

If you want to keep an eye on their upcoming events or sign up for one of their tastings, don’t hesitate to visit their Facebook page.

Here you have a perspective of the kitchen garden where you can clearly appreciate the layout of its terraces.

The garden of Agrofogones

After a short year of activity, this association decided to start the cultivation of an orchard in February 2013, so that its members could better discover where what we eat comes from and give a healthier and more natural face to their dishes.

Thus, after the approval of the management of the school of agronomists, they obtained a plot of about 300 m2 in the practice fields and have managed the space so well that the agrofogones garden is now included in the network of urban gardens of the Community of Madrid or RedHMad.

The plot is very wisely divided into 16 terraces of about 15 m long x 1.20 m wide to better distribute the work of all its members, the terraces are padded with straw to retain the moisture of the substrate and although for my taste are a little narrow the truth is that you work well in them.

In terms of crop management, ecological varieties are always used in the agrofogones garden, just as pest and disease control methods are ecological.

If it is true that it is not always possible to achieve this objective, certain very invasive pests such as the cabbage butterfly or the red spider require a mild chemical treatment, with perithrins and acaricides respectively, when they get out of hand and can affect to other crops. Especially on terraces so close to each other…

Here you can see a bit of the plague of caterpillars of the cabbage that they suffered

The members of the agrofogones orchard have had to use these drastic methods on time, but I do not blame them for that aspect, they are a young association with great enthusiasm that will improve over time in the management of their orchard, it is not easy to manage an orchard ecologically either urban that is in the middle of the countryside although it is integrated into the city, there are many more insects and animals as it is surrounded by other orchards and farmland, not surrounded by asphalt…

Even so, to try to defend itself against these invaders, the agrofogones orchard practices different cultural measures such as crop rotation or the manual elimination of larvae and eggs so as not to have to take these measures and maintain the ecological character of the orchard.

My experience and impressions about the orchard

As I have told you, in the agrofogones garden I feel like in mine, I have gone to work with them a few times and I love it, it is a pleasure with them, new crops are always being tested, such as yellow courgettes or penca chard red, different tests or experiments are carried out with different models of tutoring or devices to improve planting, there is an excellent environment with many young people who want to learn and by being able to count on several hands the orchard is always well cared for and beautiful, something that is not usually happen in my garden precisely ^^

Here you see me setting up a hurdle in the orchard of agrofogones. Something that, for example, I never did in my garden.

Being part of a horticultural community is something very interesting since you not only enjoy the accompanied work but there is a continuous transmission of the most varied horticultural knowledge.

During my afternoons at work I have learned a lot about many crops and you can always ask about many others… Since most of them are students at the agronomist school, there is always a great atmosphere, no one is a great expert, but almost everyone is interested in the subject orchards and provide new information from their classes or library books, which is greatly appreciated…

Little more, during these days of work in the agrofogones garden I have always taken my camera to document all these tasks… I think there have been very cool documents that I will upload little by little to our YouTube channel but before that I wanted to introduce you to the garden and its members so that you can familiarize yourself because of course I will continue to go down to record more videos and help as much as I can. All the best !

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