Food Forest Farmers: Syntropic farming to regenerate land

“Using a combination of permaculture and syntrophic agroforestry, Permadynamics in New Zealand are regenerating a 1.5 acre hillside that was left barren and lifeless after years of sheep grazing.

The family team has transformed the space in just over a decade, creating a diverse food forest that is feeding the soil and creating wildlife habitat.

Syntrophic farming replicates the natural cycle of a forest but at greater speed. The Permadynamics team do this by planting the long term trees alongside the short term trees and annuals that will give quick harvests before the high canopy is established. The space gives multiple yields in time and space while the high canopy trees are growing, and ‘helper plants’ are grown to provide biomass that is chopped and dropped to feed the soil. Although this is an intensive system, the focus is on feeding the soil”.

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