Its with great satisfaction that we deliver the TERRAMAY project to its promoters, the De Brito family and Thomas Sterchi. It was a pleasure to develop this mainframe design, which focuses on both restoring the landscape and agriculture production.
Location: Alandroal, Évora
Key activities: Cattle, fruits and vegetables, cereals, wild mushrooms, tourism, water activities;
Terramay focus on creating circumstances for the development of several economic key activities such as organic fruit and vegetable productions, regenerative meat, organic cereals and different touristic activities, conciliating all this different aspects within the regenerative agriculture objectives, to restore ecosystems while producing abundance.
It was a very rewarding 12 month experience, with project development in 4 main fronts:
Terramay project is based on a structural sequence of Design, that brings in different methodologies and "schools", focused on creating a mainframe design which aims to install:
A structural vegetation grid that recreate the glade phenomenon, to protect the human structures and activities, while creating shelter for biodiversity, on the top of the hills, on the bottom of the valleys, on the perimeter , on accesses hedges, and on green corridors. This network of vegetation will also become a network of fauna and spontaneous flora. This vegetation mainframe will also potentiate the rain and fog capture, and restore the water cycle in this small mounts, recharging aquifers and restoring the water sources.
A water network of dams, ponds, swales and forests that allow rain water to infiltrate on the landscape, following main principles such as slow, spread and sink. Plantation patterns that host productive or forestry species, on a water efficient mainframe, potentiate the success of the plantations and hold the rainwater runoffs.
A smart network of access, both roads and pedestrian tracks, that serve as well as a water catchment tool, driving the surface rainwater runoff towards dams and ponds, avoiding the negative effects of erosion and soil losses, and thus accumulating water for different purposes.
A structured grazing system plan, developed to allow extensive landscape grazing, creating the structural conditions for the fast recovery of the pastures.This system is based on the fast but controlled passage of the herds in small parcels, so their impact is better on the grasses and soils, fixing more carbon and producing more quality pasture. The property was conceptually divided in dozens of small paddocks/parcels, and the cattle herds are to be moved daily, in a succession of cows, sheep and eventually free range chickens.
Permanent "on contour" lines were defined as the main paddocking lines, where perpendicular flexible fences are to be installed according the needs for longer or smaller parcels. This allows flexibility on the paddocks size/area, as the size will vary according to several factors: Pasture quality and quantity, cattle needs around the seasons, cattle species, and cattle numbers.
A "light" intervention plan for broadscale structuring the open landscape, where a grid of contour lines embrace the earth shape, and give it cohesion, and glade characteristics. These lines serve several functions such as: paddocking facilities, infrastructures passage, water retention, green corridors for vegetation, as well as access for maintenance.
Diversity on productive areas, polyculture and multilayered plantations. All productive zones are diverse in species and layers, but focused in simple patterns that allow full mechanization for installation, management and cropping seasons.
Implementations are happening since last October 2019, although the main structural works are going to happen between now and 2022.
You can visit Terramay's website here.