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Earlier this February we established a Syntropic Agroforestry planting on the farm. Syntropic systems are characterized by high density plantings of food, biomass, timber, and support species. Not only are these designed to fill different strata in the canopy layers, but they are also meant to fill different strata at different times. This includes fast growing, “pioneering” plants in the canopy that will be coppiced (cut back), and longer-term, slow growing overstory species. This system even includes annuals in its succession plan. In the photo are emerging corn and cover crops interplanted densely with some of our biomass species of chaya, guazuma, gliricidia, bananas, and pink cedar (Acrocarpus fraxinifolius). These biomass hedges are punctuated by mango, coconut, and avocados. On either side of this tree row, we also have a row of biomass-producing support species that will be cut and mulched on top of the beds. In this case Tithonia and Fakahatchee grass. For more information on this type of system, and how to design a syntropic system see ECHO network member Roger Gietzen's Syntropic Farming Guidebook (free PDF download)!

Read more about Syntropic Agriculture