Syntropic Agroforestry Course 19th – 22nd March – 2020

Course led by Felipe Amato and Steven Werner former students of Ernst Götsch
4 full days of morning theory and afternoon practice course at Hazel and Davi’s Wicklow Farm. Cost: €450. Book your place here by sending us a message. Deposit €200

The Course will be divided into theoretical morning classes and a practical afternoon of work.
4 days to cover the basics of Syntropic Agroforestry and to plant the placenta (embryo or beginning) of two different systems: A Fruit and Nut and a Market Garden:

What Will Participants Learn On the Course?

  • The history and principles of syntropic agroforestry;
  • How to implement and manage syntropic agroforestry systems;
  • How to harmonize these systems with nature’s patterns (sun, wind, topography, local flora, etc.);
  • How to choose appropriate plant consortium to each stage and soil condition of the system, based on the natural succession and stratification;
  • How to choose and plan the production of value added produce.
  • Strata: How plants behave in their environment. Considering the quantity and quality of light that the plants need to be healthy.
  • Natural succession: How the system develops through succeeding plants, and how long it takes them to reach their full life cycle or how long it takes until they reach maturity in their stratum.
  • Mulching: The importance of keeping the soil covered with organic matter and how to plant a system whilst always keeping the soil covered.
  • Planting: practical implementation of planting planning on the field.

Day 1- Introduction to Syntropic farming & Soil production.- Farming as it was done by indigenous people in Brazil before the colonization, contact with the Europeans and transformation of the farming practice.- The farming techniques developed by Ernst Götsch- Entropic processes versus Syntropic processes- The organisation of those processes by the forest.- From rock to soil: how are soil and it’s horizons created, the role of organisms in this process.- The cycle of the nutrients.- The cycle of the organic matter in agriculture.- The importance of disturbance, in the forest and in agriculture.

Day 2 and 3 – Natural Succession and Stratification.- Colonization, accumulation and abundance systems- Quality and quantity of consolidated life.- Succession and Stratification of the species in the forest.- Application of natural succession and stratification in agriculture.

Day 4 – Ecological Interactions and Ecophysiological Functions- Pollination and seed dispersing- Co-evolution of species and ecosystem- Disturbance elements- Optimisation processes.

Felipe Amato Born in São Paulo, Felipe graduated with a higher diploma in Philosophy at PUC-SP. He began his research on autonomy techniques in 2003, studying bio-construction techniques, water treatment and sanitation, food production, among others. Since 2008, it has focused its efforts on the optimization of local resources and agricultural production without the use of agrochemicals. Two years later he became acquainted with the Swiss farmer and researcher Ernst Götsch, and since then he has participated in several courses and internships with him on his farm in the southern state of Bahia, on the Toca farm, in the state of São Paulo, and at the São Sebastião farm in Rio de Janeiro. Thus, using the principles of agroecology and syntopic agriculture, it aims at the creation of production systems that have a minimal dependence on external inputs such as fertilizers and even irrigation. Between 2012 and 2014 he was the instructor of the courses and coordinator of the agroecology sector of Escola da Terra, a free school based in the municipality of Pedro de Toledo – SP, which aims to spread ecological and sustainable techniques. In 2015 it had the first contact with the European climate and ecosystems, and since then it has been dedicated to the application of the principles already used in Brazil, also in temperate and Mediterranean contexts. In recent years it has provided technical assistance services to agroecological producers and other properties with or without commercial purposes, in addition to conducting its own production, previously in leased areas, and from 2017 in its own area, located in the municipality of Mogi das Cruzes – SP.

Steven We Steven Werner was born in the Netherlands in 1983, but grew up in the South of France. He learns furniture making at school and works as a builder making wooden log cabins, wooden frame houses, mass heaters as well as earth rendering, and cob building… In 2008 he travels to Brazil and meets Ernst Götsch for the first time on his farm in Bahia. He participates to several workshops with Ernst, always asking how to transpose the techniques of syntropic farming or Syntropic Agroforestry to temperate climate. In 2014 he buys 1.5 ha of degraded pasture in the place where he grew up in France and starts experimenting growing his own food, applying the principles he learned during the so many hours of conversation with Ersnt. In 2018 he organizes the first workshop on syntropic agroforestry in France with Namastê Messersmidth, who is teaching these principles in Brazil and all over the world. In 2018 Steven is also the assistant and translator of Namastê Messersmidth on a workshop in Spain and on a 20 day workshop in the south of Madagascar.