Desert in Brandenburg.

It’s easy to forget that we are still in Germany, still in a non-brittle environment. The air is hot, it hasn’t rained for a while. It’s April and rain would be well needed – especially because the last years have shown that there might be no rain in summer at all.

A few years ago, Maria and her team at Wilmars Gaerten set out to regenerate as much of the surrounding land as possible – with lots of trees, keyline design, animal impact, and as few soil disturbance as possible especially on the arable land.

To heal the relationship that has hurt the land over the last decades.

When we set up a monitoring site in one of the agroforestry alleys, it’s easy to look at the dry sand of the arable fields around and take it as „that’s how it is here“.

Luckily, in the morning we’ve also set up an ecological monitoring site on the grassland just 500 meters away which showed us 40 centimeters of top soil, still holding moisture.

Our management and the tools we choose within our context, decide on the outcome. Decide between degrading or regenerating our soil functions.

I am really curious to see over the next years how the trees will influence the recovery.

And how the different management of Maria and her team will bring back soil life.

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