The Lézarde educational orchard: a project for the preservation and valorization of the fruit heritage of the Antilles An orchard … – Discovery: a path adapted to all ages, workshops and games to explore the world of fruit trees in the Antilles – From collection: more than 100 varieties of conserved rare fruit trees and rare species: a showcase of local fruit diversity and a conservatory of genetic resources – Learning: for the realization of training, workshops and spaces for exchanges with gardeners and producers.
Presentation of the project
This project is developed in the municipality of Saint Joseph located in the territory of the Center of Martinique (CACEM) and which has the largest forest area covered by many rivers and a green landscape favorable to green tourism. This project takes place on a site with a 2-ha free space, along La lézarde (the longest river on the island). Its establishment derives from several contextual factors: – Local cultivated biodiversity of great richness but undervalued – Growing demand for local, diversified, high-quality products – Loss of agricultural diversity in rural areas as a result of societal change – Chlordecone-contaminated soils that can be exploited The main objectives are: – To publicize the fruits of local fruit diversity on the same site – To make people discover the consumption patterns, uses and benefits of fruits for the body – To generate feelings of admiration and respect for nature – To transmit knowledge about useful fauna and flora (pollinators, auxiliaries, companion plants) – Promoting local development in rural areas – Supporting farmers and amateur gardeners in the practice of diversified arboriculture and agroecology Expected accomplishments: creation of an interactive discovery route in a collection orchard, creation of jobs, increase in the number of visitors to the municipality and the LEADER territory fostered the emergence of this project through its funding and support and monitoring throughout its implementation. The grant application is for work on the public reception building, the renovation of a reception greenhouse, the development of educational tools, kiosks on the discovery circuit, the layout of the circuit and the installation of fruit collections.
The emblematic character of the project
In Martinique, there are many gardens for tourist purposes but there are few sites grouping this diversity of fruit trees with educational and discovery activities. A few collectors own rare copies, but in this case they are not accessible to the general public. Every year, more than 10000 tons of fruit are imported and 2/5th of these imports consist of apples and oranges… At the moment, it is almost easier to buy grapes than a locally produced pineapple! However, Martinique’s consumers are increasingly looking for diversified and healthy products. Whether you are in Martinique or in another part of the world, a virtual tour of this garden will allow everyone to immerse themselves in the rich biodiversity and live an unforgettable experience. It will also be an opportunity to raise awareness of our territory through all its components. Through the development of educational pathways, the creation of educational tools and original workshops, this site will offer a rich and unusual experience in the world of orchard biodiversity throughout the fruit seasonality. This work follows on from FREDON Martinique’s work on fruit, beekeeping, other pollinators and plant health. The educational orchard of Saint Joseph is intended to be a collector’s orchard, a school orchard and a conservatory orchard. Its creation will make it possible to bring together various fruit species, to make them known and to preserve them. It will also be a tool to promote rural areas and promote local development in rural areas, with a particular focus on local tourism.
GAL CACEM (Communauté d’Agglomération du Centre de la Martinique)