Syntropic Agroforestry

Syntropic Agroforestry

Syntropic agroforestry is a process-based, sustainable method with a holistic approach, created by Swiss farmer and researcher Ernst Götsch. We are currently implementing this method as a pilot project on 0.4 hectares of land at our Finca El Porvenir in Costa Rica.

Syntropic agroforestry is based on mimicking nature and specifically exploits synergies that occur in mixed communities of different organisms ,leading to higher productivity and resilience. We cultivate crops and fruit trees together with crop trees and other shade trees, resulting in a combination of forest culture and food production. Syntropic agroforestry is characterised by high diversity, which allows a complex interaction of different plants and microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, protozoa) that support each other as well as provide each other with important nutrients. Productivity is increased, the soil improved and susceptibility to diseases reduced. Vertical stratification allows planting at a high density, optimising the use of space and sunlight.

Our pilot project of syntropic agroforestry at the beginning

Our pilot project of syntropic agroforestry after 6 months

First yucca roots being harvested

Ecological Succession

Schematic representation of ecological succession

An important basic principle of syntropic agroforestry is “ecological succession”. A natural system evolves from “simple” to “complex”.

In this process, each of the different plants fulfils certain functions for a certain period of time Succession increases species diversity, improves interactions and soil quality.

The biotic community evolves towards an increasingly complex system with growing productivity, storage capacity and resilience. Permanent ground cover supports growth.

Ecological Succession

An important basic principle of syntropic agroforestry is “ecological succession”. A natural system evolves from “simple” to “complex”.

In this process, each of the different plants fulfils certain functions for a certain period of time Succession increases species diversity, improves interactions and soil quality.

The biotic community evolves towards an increasingly complex system with growing productivity, storage capacity and resilience. Permanent ground cover supports growth.

Schematic representation of ecological succession

Permanent soil coverage supports further growth

Our pilot project for syntropic agroforestry is located at Finca El Porvenir
Our pilot project

Size: Approx. 0,4 ha
Finca: El Porvenir

A syntropic agroforestry system is also characterised by a permanent soil cover of organic material. This allows for water storage, nutrient supply, support of soil life and prevention of soil erosion.

The permanent cutting of plants makes organic material available for this purpose and also accelerates the photosynthesis and growth processes of the cut and neighbouring plants, which are in continuous exchange with each other.

Permanent soil cover with organic material allows water retention, nutrient supply, support of soil life and prevention of soil erosion.

Permanent soil coverage supports further growth

A syntropic agroforestry system is also characterised by a permanent soil cover of organic material. This allows for water storage, nutrient supply, support of soil life and prevention of soil erosion.

The permanent cutting of plants makes organic material available for this purpose and also accelerates the photosynthesis and growth processes of the cut and neighbouring plants, which are in continuous exchange with each other.

Our pilot project for syntropic agroforestry is located at Finca El Porvenir
Our pilot project

Size: Approx. 0.4ha
Finca: El Porvenir

Permanent soil cover with organic material allows water retention, nutrient supply, support of soil life and prevention of soil erosion.

Gallery – Syntropic Agroforestry

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