Syntropic Agriculture and Permaculture
by Ewa Bekiesch
I’ve been asked few times what is syntropic farming and whether we apply the syntropic farming methods into our permaculture gardening, courses and designs. Short answer: YES! Then comes the next question, what is the difference? Or is there any? Note: apart from the quoted texts in this article, any views or opinions are my own.
First of all, let’s get into the bottom of it and find out what the word syntropy actually means. It actually comes from Greek syn=together, tropos=tendency and according to the Wiktionary, the free dictionary (wiktionary.org): “It was first coined by the mathematician Luigi Fantappiè, in 1941, in order to describe the mathematical properties…. As noted by Viterbo, syntropy is “the tendency towards energy concentration, order, organization and life”…. In contradistinction to “entropy,” syntropy is a result of retrocausality leading to persistent and more complex organization….. Buckminster Fuller developed a definition in relation to “whole systems” as “A tendency towards order and symmetrical combinations, designs of ever more advantageous and orderly patterns. Evolutionary cooperation. Anti-entropy”
The definition in the dictionary.com says: Syntropy: The psychological state of wholesome association with others.
Now lets get into the syntropic farming. Ernst Goetsch is the founder of the Syntropic agriculture movement. Syntropic agriculture is all about ecological and sustainable natural farming and gardening methods to improve the soil quality and increase the yield and so is the Permaculture farming, too! Permaculture is about creating ecologically sustainable human enviroments and Syntropic gardening and farming is a permanent part of every Permaculture Design.
Bill Mollison and David Holmgren are founders of the Permaculture movement. In his book “Introduction to Permaculture”, Bill Mollison says: “Permaculture is a design system for creating sustainable human environments. The word itself is a contraction not only of permanent agriculture but also of permanent culture, as cultures cannot survive for long without a sustainable agricultural base and land use ethic. On one level, permaculture deals with plants, animals, buildings, and infrastructures (water, energy, communications). However, permaculture is not about these elements themselves, but rather about the relationships we can create between them by the way we place them in the landscape. The aim is to create systems that are ecologically-sound and economically viable, which provide for their own needs, do not exploit or pollute, and are therefore sustainable in the long term.”
Both systems, the syntropic agriculture and permaculture, are working with the nature and not against it, both are creating food forests with abundance of food, both are planing and mapping before planting and choose the right plants and both systems are about growing food naturally. It does not matter whether you call it “chopping and dropping”(permaculture term) or you say “pruning and using it as a mulch”(syntropic term)
I also love to mention here, that it is all about the natural farming methods which already Masanobu Fukuoka (1913-2008) re-introduced and used on his farm since he left his scientist job in the city and went back to his home village. Masanobu was a Japanese scientist, farmer and philosopher celebrated for his natural farming and re-vegetation of desertified lands. He was an inspiration for many and his natural food and lifestyle movement went way beyond farming. I highly recommend his book “One Straw Revolution”
In saying that, it doesn’t matter what term you use or prefer. It is important that more and more people are interested and are willing to learn about the sustainable living choices we all can make every day to improve the quality of our food and quality of our life. Everyone who tried a home grown fruit or veggie knows what I am talking about 🙂 Observing the nature and working with the nature is the key to a healthy and happy future of ourselves and of our planet. Its so simple! We can show you how we do it. Visit our website and contact us or register to get informed about our workshops and courses or send us an email if you would like to transform your front or backyard into a food forest with an abundance of food and only minimal work required.
“Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison (1928-2016)
©Ewa Bekiesch – www.permaculturehaven.com