In 1 month it will be our first anniversary since we got the keys of the 15 hectares large farm. What a year it has been! What started with a camper van, a crowdfunding and a video.. To living full time at the farm with a very clear purpose and mission:
Redefining the production of food;
Reconnecting with nature;
Recognizing a global community of Rebels
How could we better celebrate our anniversary than by planting 1,000+ trees and bushes and experimenting with something disruptive in the food production industry that brings agriculture closer to nature and ecology; Syntropic Agroforestry.
Syntropic Agroforestry is a technique that applies principles based on how a forest functions, and applying that in a way that produces high quality food, improves biodiversity, stores carbon in the ground and becomes increasingly resistant against extreme weather conditions. Most food that we consume actually contributes to the issues of all these solutions. Simply explained (in our own unexperienced words), Syntropic Farming aims to complexify the interactions between trees, bushes and other species that support and strengthen each other while constantly trying to help succession. This is done by planting different types of trees, crops, grasses and vegetables together at the same time, planning years and years ahead so that at any time you are (1) optimally making use of the sun (photosyntesis) in different levels/heights, (2) are always protecting the soil and (3) by pruning you send in certain growth hormones into the network of fungi and bacteria that stimulates growth of all the species around that pruned tree, bush or grass.
This practice originates from a Swiss man who started this in Brazil in the 80's, Ernst Götsch, and since produces the best quality of cacao beans and has reforested over 500 hectares of land with a food forest. A very inspiring video ('Life in Syntropy') of this practice was the trigger for Carlo to start The Green Rebel, it makes so much sense to grow food in this way. Carlo volunteered on a Syntropic Farming project in Yucatan, Mexico to gain some experience and see how this works in real life (see picture). Even though Spain has a very different climate than Brazil and Mexico, it is about the principles that can be applied in every climate with different species of trees & crops.
Before applying this to our entire farm, we first would like to experiment and see how it develops with species of trees that farmers from the region are already familiar with; Almond & Carob. We are planning to do a planting on World Environment Education Day, 14th of October, planting 1,000+ trees and bushes, with hundreds of lavender and rosemary plants. As this is our first experiment, we want to do this right. Therefore, we are working together with an expert who has worked several years with Syntropic Farming in southern Spain, Jacob Evans. Jacob helps us with the design process and teaches us how to manage this system the first couple of years for it to thrive. Our goal is to spread this technique between all our Almond, Olive and Apricot trees.
How can you help?
Adopt your own tree, you can choose between multiple species that don't only store carbon, improve biodiversity and store water in the soil, they also produce high quality food and medicine and helps bringing agriculture closer to nature! You are educating yourself on the importance of trees in our fight against climate change, our biodiversity crisis and the importance of high quality food.
Participate as a volunteer during and helping us planting the trees!
We are organizing this event in collaboration with some incredible people and organizations that are rebelling for the well-being of our planet. LifeTerra aims to plant 500 million trees before 2025 in Europe, 1 for every citizen, and aims to include local communities in the planting of the trees. Jacob Evans helps us with his expertise by developing the design, which tree where and surrounded by which other species have an optimal effect on each others success? Oliver Goshey acts as our mentor from Climate Farmers, ensuring that what we plant is thought through financially and ecologically.
We are extremely excited to plant the first trees on our farm, a tangible first step towards our mission to plant seeds in the soil and the mind & hearts of people. It is an ambitious next step, planting 1,000+ trees and bushes, but we are very positive that together we will be able to do this!
Why are we asking you to participate to this anniversary?
What we hope to do is something bold, something against mainstream. We believe that making this project successful is only possible by involving the community of rebels, locally and internationally so that you can take part of the green (rebel) revolution no matter where you are.
By adopting trees you are not only contributing to The Green Rebel project and its mission, but you will help us to care for those trees on the long run and make this experiment the most successful possible.
The trees will be planted with a lot of love and we will apply techniques and resources to help them survive and thrive. Think of lots of woodchips to protect the soil against the hot sun and degradation and that work as a sponge to provide moisture. We will inoculate the roots of the trees with fungi, to boost up the root growth with 700 times in the first weeks. An expert in Syntropic Farming is helping us with the design to ensure that species are working together instead of against each other. We will protect the trees with small tubes from rodents, wild boar and hard winds. Plenty of tender, love and care to to everything we can to give these trees a happy and long life!
It is also giving you the opportunity to become an ambassador, learning more about the different techniques to regenerate soil while producing nutritious food and spreading the word about its importance.
The more people know and understand the cause and how to tackle it, the more people will become better consumers. And maybe even better growers themselves;)
Find out more about the trees that you can adopt:
Carlo & Coralie