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.

Syntropic agroforestry is based on mimicking nature and follows the laws of syntropy; unlike entropic systems, this means more energy is generated than invested resulting in higher productivity. We cultivate crops and fruit trees together with timber trees and other shade trees, resulting in a combination of forest culture and food production. Syntropic agroforestry is characterized by high diversity, which allows for a complex interaction between different plants and microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, protozoa) that support each other; as well as provide each other with important nutrients. Vertical stratification allows for high-density planting, optimizing the use of space and sunlight.

In syntropic agroforestry, crops and fruit trees are cultivated together with crop trees and other shade trees, resulting in a combination of forest culture and food production.
The goal of this kind of agroforestry system is to build productive forests that provide yields at all stages of growth, whether in the form of food, wood production, or organic material. Product diversity and yields are increased while land requirements stay the same – and all of this happens in harmony with nature.

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.

Syntropic agroforestry is based on mimicking nature and follows the laws of syntropy; unlike entropic systems, this means more energy is generated than invested resulting in higher productivity. We cultivate crops and fruit trees together with timber trees and other shade trees, resulting in a combination of forest culture and food production. Syntropic agroforestry is characterized by high diversity, which allows for a complex interaction between different plants and microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, protozoa) that support each other; as well as provide each other with important nutrients. Vertical stratification allows for high-density planting, optimizing the use of space and sunlight.

In syntropic agroforestry, crops and fruit trees are cultivated together with crop trees and other shade trees, resulting in a combination of forest culture and food production.
The goal of this kind of agroforestry system is to build productive forests that provide yields at all stages of growth, whether in the form of food, wood production, or organic material. Product diversity and yields are increased while land requirements stay the same – and all of this happens in harmony with nature.

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”. Through the process of succession, plant life evolves toward species capable of storing and processing more and more energy.

Succession improves soil quality and species diversity, leading the system to produce longer-lived vegetation.

Each of the different plants performs specific functions for a specific time.

Ecological Succession

An important basic principle of syntropic agroforestry is “Ecological Succession”. A natural system evolves from “simple” to “complex”. Through the process of succession, plant life evolves toward species capable of storing and processing more and more energy.

Succession improves soil quality and species diversity, leading the system to produce longer-lived vegetation.

Each of the different plants performs specific functions for a specific time.

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

Syntropic agroforestry systems are further characterized by a permanent soil cover of organic material. This allows water storage, nutrient supply, and support of soil life while preventing soil erosions.
The continuous cutting of plants makes this organic material available and also accelerates the photosynthesis and growth processes of the cut and neighboring plants, which are in a constant symbiosis 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

Syntropic agroforestry systems are further characterized by a permanent soil cover of organic material. This allows water storage, nutrient supply, and support of soil life while preventing soil erosions.

The continuous cutting of plants makes this organic material available and also accelerates the photosynthesis and growth processes of the cut and neighboring plants, which are in a constant symbiosis 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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