Putting pigs in the shade: the radical farming system banking on trees
A farm in Portugal is showing how the ancient art of silvopasture – combining livestock with productive trees – may offer some real answers to the climate crisis.
The land to the north of the village of Foros de Vale Figueira in southern Portugal has been owned and farmed through the centuries by Romans, Moors, Christians, capitalists, far rightists, even the military. It has been part of a private fiefdom, worked by slaves as well as communists.
Now this 100-hectare (247-acre) patch of land just looks exhausted – a great empty grassland without trees, people or animals, wilting under a baking Iberian sun.
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There is a story in Serbian people from the time of the Turkish occupation: “We survived the long 500 years occupation by raising pigs, feeding them by letting them roam free true the enormous oak wood forests that were everywhere in the area.”
Maybe we should learn something from the very old survival stories!