Hedgerows, windbreaks, filter strips, grassed waterways, riparian areas and beetle banks are increasingly being planted on farms and can have multiple functions: they can serve as habitat for beneficial insects, pollinators and other wildlife; provide erosion protection and weed control; stabilize waterways; serve as windbreaks; reduce non-point source water pollution and groundwater pollution; increase surface water infiltration; buffer from pesticide drift, noise, odors, and dust; act as living fences and boundary lines; increase biodiversity; and provide an aesthetic resource. Many plants attract native bees and other pollinators, and some hedgerow and windbreak plants, such as citrus or other fruit trees and herbal plants, can have economic returns. As with any planting, problems and issues can be dealt with through management practices. Most growers use plants that they individually like and report that they are pleased with the benefits that farmscaping brings to their farms.
(Row one: perennial grassed filter strip and native plant hedgerow on a field edge in Watsonville, a hedgerow in San Juan Bautista, preparing for a planting day with middle school students. Row two: a grassed waterway with native plants and flowering sweet alyssum on the edge of a strawberry ranch in Salinas, a grassed waterway to carry run-off from neighboring farm fields in Salinas, hedgerow plants attract beneficial insects and provide a barrier between farm fields and a lake in Watsonville)
Hedgerows and Farmscaping for California Agriculture – 2nd Edition (2018) This manual will help you choose and care for regionally appropriate plants that attract beneficial insects and prevent erosion. This publication is an updated revision of the original, 2004, Hedgerows for California Agriculture: A Resource Guide for Farmers.
To purchase a copy ($20, shipping included):
• By check, payable to CAFF (preferred payment method):
PO BOX 363
Davis, CA 95617
• By credit card, click here.
Biodiversity: What it is, and How to Increase it on your Farm. This brochure was developed by the Wild Farm Alliance and CAFF defines Biodiversity as it relates to agriculture, and describes specific practices that farmers can implement to conserve biodiversity on their farms. On most farms, opportunities exist to accommodate habitat, native species and the larger landscape with few changes. Resources and cost-share opportunities listed.
Biodiversidad: ¿Qué es? Y Como Incrementarla En Su Rancho. The Spanish version of the Biodiversity brochure.
Hedgerow Brochure: A short guide to hedgerow design, installation, and maintenance. Prepared by the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County and CAFF.
Hedgerows: Enhancing Agroecological Services. A short brochure discussing the benefits of hedgerows.
Extending Hedgerow Systems in California Agriculture. CAFF’s results from Western SARE funding for building hedgerows.