"Syntropic Farming does require more intensive management, however crop production in terms of area can be much higher and with less water used."
This week is super exciting for us, we will be planting more than 1,000 trees and bushes, to celebrate our 1-year anniversary! The first time that we will be planting seriously at the farm. Instead of what is common, planting a lot of 1 and the same species in a big field, we will be planting in diversity and with Syntropic Farming principles. In this article we are introducing you Rebel Jacob Evans, who has learned from Ernst Götsch himself, who is sharing why he is so passionated about Syntropic Farming. Jacob has helped us design and choose which species we are planting where, and is going to be present during our planting this Thursday to guide us and teach us more about Syntropic Farming!
Jacob Evans worked for 4 years at the Suryalila yoga retreat center as their permaculture farm manager, where he established some impressive syntropic agroforestry and food production systems with limited resources in Andalucia, a region known best for rapid desertification and extremes of hot dry summers and frigid winters.
Jacob, how did you find out about Syntropic Farming?
I first came across Syntropic Farming when I was travelling in Brazil back in 2014. I was WWOOFING at an organic coffee and banana farm in Sao Paulo state. The owners and neighbours of the Farm knew about Ernst's work and it just so happened there was a Syntropic Farming workshop at a Farm a couple of hours away from where I was staying and I could get a ride with one of the neighbours. Back then most of the information around Syntropic Farming was only in Portuguese.
When did you start implementing Syntropic Farming, and which impacts did you see the on your land?
I started really practicing Syntropic Farming in late 2018 after attending a workshop with Ernst Götsch (picture) the legend himself near Granada, Southern Spain. In the 2018 and 2019 planting seasons I really went heavy on the Syntropic Farming and learned from my many successes and errors. From observations I have seen on the land, are that these systems have faster growth and more drought resistance than my previous plantings. They do require more intensive management, however crop production in terms of area can be much higher and with less water used.
(This video started the dream of The Green Rebel, introducing Syntropic Farming to Carlo for the first time)
How do you see the potential of Syntropic Agriculture?
Exponential. Syntropic Agriculture is a powerful tool for food production and land regeneration. Small areas can produce large amounts of food and are regenerated at the same time. Modern Farming relies on inputs from outside that are highly unsustainable, whereas with Syntropic we create our own inputs through a 'process based agrictulture'. In these systems there is much more resilience when faced with pests, drought, floods. Soil is regenerated rather than degraded. Yes it requires more human input on the land than industrial methods, but this means that more humans on the land can be doing meaningful work to produce nutritious food while restoring the earths natural balance.
What are the biggest lessons you've learned from Syntropic Farming / Syntropy?
On a practical level how there are no 'invasive species', the are just doing a job and need to be managed in a way that facilitates regeneration, they are definitely not to be feared as many environmentalists/conservationists do.
Then there is really observing nature and understanding how she works, once you understand the patterns its very easy to observe and understand what is happening and why allowing us to intervene with wisdom rather than doing something because we are attached to an idea or like a certain species more than another. Believe it or not, the patterns we see in nature can be applied to all aspects of our life and the world around us.
Syntropy has helped me see the world through a different lens.
Help us experimenting with this regenerative technique, aiming to show farmers from around that the production of food can be done different. That can contribute to our ecology and fighting climate change, while producing amazing food. Adopt your own tree or mini-forest, and we will give all our love and care. You will receive your own certificate of adoption and are able to come to the farm to meet your tree(s)!
Listen here to Jacobs interview with our friend Oliver Goshey on the Regenerative Skills Podcast