I came across the concept of Syntropic Agroforestry when I was first doing my Permaculture Design Course. A team came from Brazil and introduced us to the concept and I was hooked! It replicated nature and not only grew food but regenerated the soil. It could also provide profitability as well – so a win win win! This could be a huge solution and a new way of growing food in agriculture.
What is Syntropic Agroforestry?
Syntropic Agroforestry can also sometimes be called Syntropic Agriculture, Successional Agroforestry or Successional Agriculture. Essentially it’s the growing of fruit, nut, vegetables and timbre in one area utilising the stratification and time things grow to replicate how nature’s abundant forests grow. It follows the Natural Succession of nature – which is how normally over 100s of years a grass plane could eventually turn into a thriving thick forest. What Syntropic Agroforestry does is takes the principles and replicates what nature does and essentially accelerates the process to regenerate soil, grow the crops you want and more. Through the biodiversity of the plants, the soil becomes rich, sequesters carbon, there is no chemicals required as the balance is natural and the fruit and vegetables grown are packed with high levels of nutrition due to the life inside the soil.
The specific concept of Syntropic Agroforestry that I was taught was systemised by Ernst Götsch who lives in Brazil. He took a dry grass land area and turned it into one of the most lush, thriving forests that is known for it’s award winning Cacao. It grows a plethora of different fruits, nuts and timbre all in the one plot.
What is the difference between Permaculture and Syntropic Agroforestry?
Syntropic Agroforestry fits under the umbrella of Permaculture. Permaculture is focused on the entire design from inside & outside home to the waste, etc. Syntropic Agroforestry is the design of the growing of the “food forest” area, although it’s a bit more design and planning than a food forest.
Recently I went to a wonderful Syntropic Agroforestry farm in Northern New South Wales in Australia – Gabalah Syntropic Farm – and had the opportunity to share what Syntropic Agroforestry is and why I love it so much… check it out below!
Let me explain a bit more and why I love Syntropic Agroforestry so much:
Life in Syntropy (an introduction to Syntropic Agroforestry