Tree Intercropping

Today is 1 October, my first day of Riffing on a Theme that I introduced yesterday. According to my randomly selected list of Drawdown solutions, today’s are is about Tree Intercropping. I headed over to the Drawdown List and read their solution summary. Tree Intercropping is about interspersing trees with other crops. The trees may be fruit trees, timber trees, or windbreaks. The crops underneath get benefits of shade, windbreak, and mutual nutrient supply. Final image below. For a two-hour project, I’m content with the product.

I composed the image from 5 different pictures, using Image Trace in Illustrator on each one. The final image took about 2 hours to produce, from reading today’s theme to sending a draft to my editor. All images come from the public domain. The trees from the photo are apple trees, although my intention was for almonds. Since both are in the rose family, I figured they’d work fine. The crop in the middle are onions.

1000Tree Intercropping collage for inspiration

My biggest challenge was getting the beekeeper to pair well with the beehives. Look at the photo setup and you’ll see the perspective on the bee box needed some work. I got to play with the Free Transform Tool (E) for my first time in Illustrator. I allowed myself the patience to play, even making a simple object in a new file to learn with.

Inspiration chain

  • Walnuts and corn from the Tree Intercropping summary page
  • Thought about the On Beeing episode of 99% Invisible about pollinating nut trees in California
  • Built image in my head of a beekeeper working in an intercropped orchard



  • Research time: 20 minutes
  • Build composite image: 10 minutes
  • (Coffee break in front of the fireplace with Marie)
  • First image trace composite: 30 minutes
  • Filling in the gaps, playing with boxes, layering: 50 minutes

Published by Soldrevet

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