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Syntropic farming

I have just found out about syntropic agriculture from the book Abundance Agroforrestry. I am very interested to try it, but we are starting with existing plantings. Guavas planted at 3 x 3 m, which we keep to a maximum height of 2.5 - 3m and lakatan bananas at 2x2 m spacing. Any tips on how to convert these please? We don’t grow anything under either, just native grasses. We are in Mindanao, Philippines, lowland but not coastal.

many thanks
Eric

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There are some resources on ECHOcommunity that might be helpful to you and I’m sure some network members will join in with helpful comments.
https://www.echocommunity.org/en/search?q=Syntropic

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Hi Eric,

I’m glad to hear the book inspired you.

Depending on your goals and how complex you are wanting to get, there are many options. Assuming you just want to get some diversity into the property and add value, I would pick some trees from the other stratum levels and integrate them.

Since you have the guavas already established, you’ll have to be creative with your spacing. You’ll also need to do a heavy pruning of the guavas (apical cuts) when you plant the new trees, otherwise the mature trees will suppress their growth.

Guavas are medium stratum, so you can add some coffee or cacao as a low tree, then some high trees (jackfruit, mango, avocado, etc) and some emergent trees. You may also want some trees just for biomass that you would keep real short by pollarding (moringa, gliricidia, inga, albizia, etc). The branches from these trees make super fertile mulch and will help stimulate growth every time you cut them. After your bananas are done, remember to take the pseudostems, cut them lengthwise and place them around the trees that need fertility.

I highly recommend checking out these other English resources on syntropic farming, especially the practical manuals, especially “Agroforestring the world from tractor to machete”. There are some good lists of trees there to help you make choices: http://adam.nz/syntropy?fbclid=IwAR04e321jvSZgGv93I0zDKXCwyayVdwL5sCY5LLaYBoSJLkxo9WPVTvZqz0

Also you may enjoy joining this facebook group. The members are really active and I’ve learned a lot from them. https://www.facebook.com/groups/387002598385226/. I know for sure of at least one other guy from the Philippines who has posted there. Consider connecting with him and sharing ideas.

Lastly, I want to make a disclaimer about myself. Even though I have a good handle on the principles, I have a lot to learn about the practical management. In a few weeks I’ll be making my first visit to Brazil and will be working on some more mature farms. I’ll keep sharing whatever I learn in the guidebook, so check back for updates occasionally. This will probably be a work in progress indefinitely.

Best wishes with your project.

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Hi Roger,
Thank you for all this advice, very helpful. Some of the guava are recent replants, so we’ll start in those areas and do the ones with mature trees later. Thanks for the link, great to find all the English language stuff in one place. I look forward to your furhter updates and wish you a fruitful trip to Brazil

Best wishes
Eric

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Eric,

One more thought. If you want to hire a professional consultant, I know this fella and can recommend him. There may be others as well:

https://syntropicfarms.com.au/

Let’s see if ECHO can post that link that has all the English resources in one place.

Roger

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Hi Steve,

I think this link, which has all the good syntropic resources in English, in one place, would be good to post on the ECHO platform:

http://adam.nz/syntropy?fbclid=IwAR04e321jvSZgGv93I0zDKXCwyayVdwL5sCY5LLaYBoSJLkxo9WPVTvZqz0

Are you able and willing to add it?

Roger

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