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Workshop With Ernst Götsch

A Swiss reinvents Regenerative Agriculture! His credo is Syntropy - diversity in harmony with nature

The pioneer Ernst Götsch showed for the first time at a Workshop in Germany his globally applicable principles for fertile soils:

On 12 April 2019 at Schlossgut Alt Madlitz in Brandenburg near Berlin

An Intitiative of

Soil Alliance - Association for Regenerative Agriculture

Association for Regenerative Agriculture

"Paradise is the place where one fulfills one's function and does one's work gladly." Ernst Götsch

Ernst Götsch

It all started with radishes in Raperswilen. Already at the age of three, Ernst Götsch plants radishes in the backyard of his parents' house in north-eastern Switzerland. The little red tuber grew his curiosity. Even after more than 65 years, his approach is the same: planting, observing, testing and developing. In addition to work on the genetic improvement of forage plants at the renowned Zurich-Reckenholz Agricultural Research Institute, Ernst Götsch began to question the conventional path of agriculture. His vision: "What if we were to improve the conditions we give the plants? Instead of trying to find genetic traits in them that will enable them to better endure our abuse?"

Ernst Goetsch | Syntropic Agriculture | Soil Alliance | Workshop in Germany

After the first tests on areas in his home country showed good results, Ernst Götsch also received inquiries from tropical countries. Götsch successfully applied his cultivation methods in an ecosystem unknown to him under different climatic conditions. He stated: "His methods and principles are applicable to different biomes or soil and climate conditions. In 1982 Ernst Götsch moved to his second tropical home in Brazil. Over 30 years have passed since then. Through own hands work and without resource consumption on dry and degraded pastures a blooming food forest with 14 all year round flowing water sources has developed. If you ask the inhabitants of the region for rain, the answer is: "On the Gringo's land it always rains".

One-day Workshop with Ernst Götsch

on 12 April 2019

Ernst Götsch for the first time at a Workshop in Germany

The weather was cool - but the participants didn't let their good mood get in the way. On 12 April 2019 more than 70 interested people - mostly farmers, but also students and lecturers from all over Germany - met at Schlossgut Alt Madlitz in Brandenburg for the first workshop of the Swiss Syntropy Pioneer in Germany. In the morning Ernst Götsch held the theoretical part with a lecture, in the afternoon the practical part on the field where he impressively demonstrated his globally applicable methods.

Ernst Goetsch | Syntropic Agriculture | Workshop

Ernst Götsch at the theoretical part of the Workshop in the morning

Ernst Goetsch | Syntropic Agriculture |  Workshop

Exploring the fields with Ernst Götsch

Ernst Götsch demonstrates his approach

Ernst Götsch together with Host Benedikt Bösel

Group picture - Workshop with Ernst Götsch at Alt Madlitz Estate

Attendees' Feedback

Ernst is a visionary and ingenious practitioner with ideas that go far beyond forestry.

Gero Leson

Rarely experienced so much positive energy with so many people I've never met before. Great applause. I am looking forward to coming back for more workshops!
John Köckert

A really instructive, inspiring day with you and Ernst Götsch - I can hardly wait to apply the principles here in Germany.
Aline von Wedel

Ernst Götsch will then concentrate more on field work. Participants will be able to work practically. If you are interested you can leave a note - there is a contact form on the main page.

Syntropy - Diversity in harmony with nature

"In nature, there is no competitive pressure and no fierce competition. All relationships are based on cooperation and unconditional love and are always geared to the fulfillment of a particular function." Ernst Götsch

Characteristics of Syntropic Agriculture

Syntropy comes from entropy and symbiosis and has no relation to the tropics, even though Ernst Götsch has successfully implemented this holistic method in tropical regions again and again. Syntropic agriculture follows the principle of succession, i.e. the natural sequence of plant communities in an area. On fallow land, first pioneer plants come, then several subsequent plant communities, and at the end there is so-called climax vegetation, i.e. the result of undisturbed growth for centuries or even thousands of years. However, syntropic agriculture reaches this state in a few decades. In the meantime, thousands of farmers in South America use the methods of Ernst Götsch, including very large farms in Brazil, Martinique and Portugal - the methods of syntropy are scalable.

Syntropic landscape - pruning trees and shrubs to cover the ground

Structure of soil and biome according to the concept of syntropy

Distinction between Syntropic and Organic Agriculture

By Ernst Götsch

Fertilization

Biological and syntropic agriculture are two sisters that start from the same idea. But the development of different solution approaches for daily implementation problems has led them on different paths. Organic farming aims to replace chemical fertilization (as is common in conventional farming) with organic fertilization (compost from organic waste, green manure, slurry, etc.). In syntropic agriculture, we work with the concept of arranging the various plant species, from the introduction of the system to continuous cultivation, in such a way that they produce their own fertilizer themselves. For this purpose we plant trees, bushes, grasses and herbs in high density, which have the property to grow back strongly after pruning.

Trim

The periodic pruning, which falls on the soil, leads - in addition to supplying our crops with light - to a large amount of organic matter, which animates and supplies the soil organisms and thus indirectly fertilizes our plants. An additional advantage in addition to light and fertilizer is the effect of rejuvenating the entire system, which occurs after pruning: evidence of new vigorous growth and new vitalization for the entire system, triggered by the regrowth of our allies.

Maintaining the Power of the System

This idea leads us to the next difference between organic and syntropic farming: organic farming involves phytosanitary control, i.e. the fight against diseases and pests. The result is the use of preparations, mineral mixtures to strengthen plants, to kill or ward off pests and diseases, traps to catch unwanted insects, etc. These are tools that are developed and used as a result of the separation, namely the separation between good and evil. In the case of syntropic agriculture, we are working to maintain the strength and prosperity of the whole system. We treat pests or diseases as indicators of weaknesses in our plans caused by our own mistakes. Mistakes made in the design or management of our agro-ecosystems. We regard pests and diseases as indirect allies, members of the immune system of the macro organism life on planet Earth (to which we belong).

No Good and no Evil

From this perspective, there is neither good nor evil. Instead, we recognize a function. These contributors, who are regarded as pests, can indirectly give us clues as to how we can deal with the macro-organism more organically, so that emergency care by the "firefighters of the system" is not necessary. Therefore, they are once again allies, members of the immune system, like the white blood cells in our body, which act and multiply when the life processes in it (macro organism) leave the predetermined path.

"Complementary to entropy, syntropy moves from simple to complex, in the sense of increasing the quantity and quality of consolidated life." Ernst Götsch

The Seven Elements of Sytropic Agriculture

Prune: Radical pruning of the plants stimulates them to lush growth and thus to increased photosynthesis, green and wood cuttings serve as fertilizer. This is how nutrients return to the soil. Sort: Plants that have fulfilled their task in the process of succession are sorted out. Others, mostly higher and more demanding, are added. Cover: Mulch and pruning that cover the ground prevent water from evaporating and keep the soil moist. Neighbourhood: Neighbouring plants are chosen so that they produce nutrients for each other, which they exchange with each other using fungal networks and bacteria. Floors: The system works like a skyscraper in floors. Flat vegetables, half-height fruit-bearing shrubs and fruit trees and tall forest trees thrive better together. The sunlight is optimally used at the right time by means of trimming. Ploughing ban: Ploughing the soil is taboo in order not to destroy the precious humus layer. Abandonment: Syntropic agriculture does not use irrigation or external fertilizers. This means that the only fertilizer used by farmers according to Ernst Götsch is mulch and green cuttings from their own plants. Compost is not used either. (Seven Elements, von Benjamin Fuchs)

The pruning of plants is an essential part of the method used by Ernst Götsch to revive damaged soil

Careful handling of the floor - it must not be damaged and should always be covered. In order not to injure the precious humus layer, no ploughing is done

Philosophical Approach

What Aesop (700 B.C.) said about Kronos

He created beings on this planet, including humans, and said, "Man, I have brought you to this place, make it your paradise! Live well! Live in it and multiply! Be creative! You can do whatever you want. There is only one condition, one limit: the laws of the macro-organism of which you are a part are predetermined and fixed. Not even us, the gods of Olympus, are allowed to enact our own laws!" Mankind lived happily ever after. One day, however, people began to think, "What if we made our own laws? We would be more powerful than the gods of Olympus."

Ernst Götsch's holistic approach is strongly influenced by his humanistic background

By doing so, they came into conflict with the gods and began to wage war against them. When he saw this, Kronos began to scratch his head and thought, "What should I do with my children? I will kill them!" He came down from Olympus and carried his axe on his shoulder. But when he saw the people, he changed his mind: "Man," he exclaimed, "I will divide you in two, as punishment for your disobedience." And that," he said, "means that you will try your whole life to reunite with your second half, but you will not find the second half. And this will be fatal to your species." As mentioned by Aesop, the laws are given. If we accept this and act accordingly, we close the loop.

Other Activities of Soil Alliance

May 2 and 3, 2019

Joel Salatin held a two-day masterclass seminar about Grass Farming and Pasture Management at the Biolandhof Sepp Braun in Freising near Munich

How pasture becomes economical - a farmer with a vision revolutionizes agriculture in the USA with his grass farming. Joel Salatin came to Germany for the first time for a 2-day seminar.

We are looking forward to receiving a message from you. Please use the contact form on the main page and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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