Syntropic Food Forest

Syntropic Food Forest

Preparing the Soil as a Garden Layer Cake

We are planting a syntropic food forest in our garden. 

At the end of November 2023, our amazing specialists, Diogo and Will from Sunshine Syntropics came with a truckload of goodies:

  • forest mulch
  • really good soil
  • biodynamic compost
  • mycelium powder 
  • seeds

They created swales by digging old hardwood branches into the ground and layering the other ingredients on top. The coconut matting made sure that bush turkeys wouldn’t just scratch up the whole beautiful garden layer cake.

Within 3 days, the first shoots started showing. 

Some of the plants were struggling to find their way through the matting, but enough made it to create this amazing biomass, which is going to feed the soil.

garden bed with blanket

14 different plant species came up in the last two months.

Sunflowers were part of it and yesterday the first one openend its face to the sun. Today another one.

There were also beans, which we already had in a dinner. And tonight we’ll have another dinner from it.



Harvesting Biomass

To keep the sunflowers alive, we cut the rest down with kitchen knives. A bit slow, but actually quite satisfying to really get into the plants and be part of their entangled web of connection.

All that biomass went onto the swales and it will start breaking down to feed the microbes and earthworms and fungi.

It is quite amazing to think that all these plants just came from a few handful of seeds, sun, water and whatever they found in the soil.

In another month, the next step in the syntropic food forest is to plant 20 fruit and nut trees, 14 bananas, 24 paw paws, 10 berries, 20 pineapples and a few gum trees for shade and more biomass.

Our Fruit & Nut Tree Selection

Hard to imagine that so many plants will have enough space in our tiny garden, but it is all about them supporting each other. Here is our selection:

  • Cacao
  • Carambola
  • Cinnamon
  • Coconut
  • Custard Apple
  • Fig
  • Finger Lime
  • Grapefruit
  • Jaboticaba
  • Jackfruit
  • Lemonade
  • Lychee
  • Macadamia Nut
  • Mango
  • Miracle Fruit
  • Olive
  • Peacon Nut
  • Persimmon
  • Plum
  • Soursop

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