Agroforestry is a method of growing food and trees together. There are many terms for Agroforestry including silvopasture, food forests, permaculture, agroecology and syntropic. Traditional indigenous practices such as the Mayan Food Forest
provide us insights into ancient methods that are highly relevant today. In particular, syntropic farming is designed with different layers of trees and plants that create shade and moisture to reduce water needs, increase the health of soil, and plants that act as organic fertilizers to avoid harmful chemicals. The trees provide wood for building, firewood, and sequesters carbon from the atmosphere, acting as a means to combat climate change. Vegetables are incorporated for feeding families and selling at farmers markets. Areas that are recovering from forest fires find agroforestry as a great way to heal the ecosystem and provide rapid regeneration
“Syntropic agroforestry is a revolutionary agricultural technology that combines reforestation with the abundant production of food. While modern agriculture leads to entropy (a dissolving of resources) and desertification, syntropic agroforestry is the method that nature uses to replace entropy for diversity and abundance. Abundance in food, diversity in crops and harvest, diversity in species and crops, abundance of microbiology, of harvesting sunlight, water and nutrients. It combines vegetable production in successive harvests with the growing of fruit, biomass and timber trees, guaranteeing the highest yields per square meter while restoring ecosystems,”
~ Roland van Reenen, ACRs lead instructor based in Kenya.