The End of Cultivation

A secluded valley in Southern Catalunya, an area well known for production of fruit and nuts, with mineral rich soil, and good rainfall. This valley was previously cultivated for fruit and nuts, and contains extensive terracing. The native pine forests which border the site are quickly re-establishing themselves and thick gorse, and creepers cover the trees.

 

The terraces are not accessible for modern farming equipment. In neighbouring valleys the terraces have been levelled, irrigation installed and mono-crop intensive production of cherries has been established, with the vital quick-to-market access that is required.  

 

The End of Cultivation posits an alternative approach. A trail has been cut through the undergrowth, from which to observe the re-establishment of native woodland, and the demise of the cultivated trees - allowing access to harvest the final remnants of fruit crops. With the accompanying map and log book it becomes possible to monitor the trees, making records of the increasing amounts of dead wood, and sample the fruits of the tree's last attempts to reproduce. In places new fruit trees are self seeding. As the forest grows up, the trail becomes a forest trail. Decomposition is slow in this climate. The carcasses of veteran trees are left as monuments to a previous era of small scale cultivation.

forest trail, map and logbook, 2017

Tivissa, Spain

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© 2017 Richard Galpin