Jump to content
The Corroboree
Rev

Syntropic or Successional Agroforestry

Recommended Posts

Im curious not seeing any mention here among such avid growers of Syntropic or Successional methods

 

For me its the biggest leap forward in sustainable technology in the Decade, or longer.

 

and its ideal for growing any of the plants one sees around these parts, especially under marginal conditions 

 

 

0FBA1C4D-044B-4C48-A233-1058DAF0E943.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had to look up these newfangled terms. Neither concept seems particularly new to me. If anything, they resemble traditional farming practices -- only industrial agribusiness, post-WWII, thinks primarily in terms of mono-cropping and broad-acre farming. For my part, I'm a big fan of recycling alkaloids, returning these to the soil from which they came, rather than pissing them down the sewer. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well i've been working with traditional tropical farmers for the better part of the last decade and i have seen nothing resembling these concepts being applied.

They have the plants, and the tools, and some of the knowledge. but they don't apply it in any organised practical way like this. 

 

as far as i can tell it is truly novel in terms of its organising principles

 

there is quite a bit of essentially monoculture traditional farming. 

 

Rice fields, Wheat, Potato , Olive groves, Apple orchards, Vinyards.  

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

not at all. 

they are only superficially similar, at a glance, in that they both involve Agroforestry.

 

Successional agroforestry is process based approach to living systems 

 

Permaculture is an ethical design based approach to living systems 

 

both are very compatible, but not at all the same. I've been practicing permaculture based approaches for 26 years. I love it 

but in the Syntropic model i've found a richness i feel was missing from the Permaculture teachings.

Permaculture is great for deciding that an area is a good place for the design element of forest or food forest, but the Syntropic model is a process based model of how to get there 

 

in that sense the Permaculture model can be too static. 2 dimensional or at most 3D. But the Syntropic model is 4 Dimensional and very dynamic allowing the site itself to channel the evolution from low levels of complexity and productivity through to higher states of being

 

I would still use Permaculture to assemble my team, but then in the Syntropic flow i take a step back to become part of the intelligence of the macroorganism, in which i play a role but i am no longer the designer. 

 

    

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Prior to coming onto this is was doing some larger scale work with FMNR methods , which in practice are a lot like SA. 

 

it changed some key perceptions. 

I'm no longer frustrated at any weeds, and im seeing the world through a different Lens.

Now the weeds are all my friends, id no longer attempt to fight with them, rather just look forward to the next order of succession and put in place seed of a common goal.

 

like if you had a Lantana and Camphor thicket, id never spray again nor even try to eradicate it. id put in place seedlings of Climax rainforest species and then work with the lantana and camphor by pruning to take it to that level, much much faster than planting climax species on barren land  

 

every "weed" is now just an ally for me and my blade and the emerging forest 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyway, surprised no mention of it here 

its super compatible with Ethnonotanicals 

 

All the Acacias are easy to integrate. Acacia maidenii is a good very long term canopy species and i'm working with establishing Avocado, Citrus and medicinal gingers underneath

 

I'm going to start using Brugs as Biomass plants in place of weedy Solanum. 

 

Who knows maybe PC will reinvent itself as a biomass crop in semi arid regions :)) cut off a log and chop it up to build soil for your Dryland Bush tucker  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I wonder how you would approach a weed like gorse in temperate areas. Acacias are great fast growers for overshadowing gorse seedlings and shoots, but you need to get rid of the gorse first. Somehow. Some people dispute that gorse is even a weed -- notably NZ apiarists. But it's a menace (harbouring feral foxes and hares, exacerbating bushfire fuel load, etc.) on a friend's property where I would like to grow San Pedro, as well as acacias. As for which acacia species, one should be sensitive to the acacias that occur naturally in the area? (hybridisation, aggressive naturalisation, etc.) There has to be more to consider than the biomass equation. Consider prickly pear, for example. Or gorse. 

 

 

 

Edited by fyzygy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well, for one, its not necessary to cut all the Gorse in order to use Acacia to step it up. just cutting strips to enable the Acacia to to be planted and use the slash as mulch. At the same time put in whatever will succeed the Acacia, for example Bunya nuts or Plum pines or some kind of temperate Forest climax species. If shade is the Gorses nemesis then the strips at the correct interval will cause it to weaken. This way you could do a large area while minimising the effort. 

 

consider the alternative, a barren hill. its much harder to get the life going from a thin soil and little to no organic matter than with gorse alongside helping you 

 

Prickly pear is also an ally. we just need the right tools to handle it. they make a really good boundary plant and nurse plant for species that are sensitive to fire and grazing. 

we could see a field of prickly pear as a lot of work, and it is, but think on the timescale of living here on this land for 100,000 years and its really nothing but a phase. Pricklypear can protect trees from grazing when they are young, then we come through and cut the Cacti. 

 

we are only just beginning to see Tools and mechanised options for this form of management. Pole chainsaws, front end brush mulchers, portable wood chippers   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its good to try to integrate the local. 

 

after which, use what has the characteristics that are best suited to Agroforestry. They should grow fast and produce a lot of biomass'

then they should be able to recover quickly from severe pruning and defoliation, like total canopy removal to a Pollard. 

 

Suckering species are a bit annoying, unless youre running silvopasture with Goats and then is a benefit

 

Acacia maidenii is a crazy suckering beast but it still works for me. if i dont like a sucker where it is i  just hit it with the machete and put the biomass next to a Tree i want to grow 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow there's a blast from the past. Can't wait to properly read through this thread. Nice to see you back Rev. I bought some cuts off you like 15 years ago LOL. Empires rose and fell while you were away. Anyway, carry on :) :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Halcyon Daze said:

Wow there's a blast from the past. Can't wait to properly read through this thread. Nice to see you back Rev. I bought some cuts off you like 15 years ago LOL. Empires rose and fell while you were away. Anyway, carry on :) :)

Its great to be back :) 

ive spent the last decade in Indonesia working in Sustainable development developing :)) and in Forest restoration 

im back, till hopefully i can get to West Papua in October for the mother of all projects.

 

till then im back in my old haunts, but also be teaching near Mullum

 

still love my magic plants, but now im serious about integrating them into the big picture. 
food and medicine forests, building soil, building livelihoods, healing people and planet 

  • Like 3
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×