Syntropic Farming Formation Course (English)

May 24-28, 2023

This five day course is designed to create a complete formation in syntropic agriculture principles, design and implementation.


The course will be led by Nat Mugent of Sitio Semente with Scott Gallant of Porvenir Design and Jorge Espinosa of Collectivo Waybill as co-instructor. The Tierramor farm crew will be providing significant support to the course and guiding the project installation.

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The workshop is available for those who are staying or living locally, with the option of no accommodation, to join us during the day only!IMG 4928-scaled

What is Syntropic Agriculture?

Syntropic Farming is a process and principle based form of agriculture developed and propagated primarily in Brazil. Syntropic farming is a field within the larger domains of agroecology and agroforestry.


Syntropic systems complement the food forest ideas within permaculture design by providing more specific design details, metrics, and arrangements that focus on precisely imitating the spatial and temporal relationships of the region’s native forest ecology.


It has shown the ability to be scaled beyond many similar fields of agroecology. Syntropic agriculture provides a set of principles and tools for shifting from organic monocultures and input based agriculture towards a holistic focus on ecology. In the end it is a system that seeks to imitate the forest and results in a forest ecosystem.

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The following links are key places to explore the topic:

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Life in Syntropy

Agenda Gotsch

What is Syntropic Farming?

Syntropic Agriculture Facebook Group

Syntropia.com.au

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Who Should Attend This Course?

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This course is designed to provide a complete tool kit for students to explore syntropic farming on their own.


It will be an opportunity to go deep into topics and get practical hands-on experience installing a larger scale systems (5000 square meters). Students will get ample time for questions and answers with our diverse teaching team as well as the on the ground farm crew at Tierramor. This course will allow practitioners in Costa Rica and beyond form community around better land management practices.


All experience levels are invited into this course, as we will make time and space for understanding the basics of syntropic farming to exploring more advanced topics.

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Course Material

Principles of Syntropic Farming

  • Introduction to the concepts of agroforestry and syntropic agriculture
  • Exploration of the design and management patterns common to syntropic agriculture: density, diversity, layering, pruning and thinning
  • Landscape overviews:
    • How to restore the complete water cycle on our site and bioregion.
    • How to regenerate and conserve soil

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Survey of Existing Systems

  • Visit to one year old orchard
  • Agroecosystem assessment
  • Interpretation of errors and successes
  • Evaluation of stratification, natural succession, density, coverage, pruning, etc.

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Site Analysis and Assessment

  • Using the Scale of Permanence for Site Analysis
  • How to interpret soil, water, microbial health and processes.
  • Survey of the history and past site use.

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Design

  • Holistic Context creation as a tool for visioning, setting a project purpose and clear goals.
  • Site layout and orientation
  • Species selection and relationships
    • Placenta 1 and 2 dynamics as creators of the forest of the future
    • Choosing flagships species
    • Intercropping with trees for shading and pruning

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Implementation on the Ground

  • How to start on degraded soils
  • Use of external inputs as a microlife catalyst

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Planting

  • Analysis of the planting area, choice of species, available resources
  • Formation of beds and alleys
  • How to work in different ecosystems: pasture, forest, etc.
  • Calculation of seeds, spacing, depth, construction of windrows, distance between rows, stratification
  • How to prepare the beds and intercrop the vegetables

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Management

  • How to sharpen tools
  • How to use and maintain a chainsaw and weed trimmer
  • Pruning as an engine of transformations
  • When and how to prune
  • Management of already implemented agroforestry
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Dates: May 24 – May 28, 2023 (If you are lodging at Tierramor, please arrive the night before, on May 23)


Prices (5 days x meals, retreat + accommodation included):


  • Day Pass (no accommodation required, includes meals): $340 per person altogether
  • Private Casita 24sqm (for one or two people to share): $940 for the entire room altogether
  • Private Casita 16sqm (for one or two people to share): $820 for the entire room altogether
  • Semi-Private Casita (2 people per room): $540 per person altogether
  • Dorm Casita (4 people per room): $480 per person altogether
  • Bell Tent (for one or two people to share): $500 for the entire room altogether

**Important: If you are sharing a Bell Tent or a Private Casita, only one guest need to purchase a Private casita or Bell Tent ticket. The other please only purchase the Day Pass and indicate in an email the name of a guest you will be sharing a room with. 


Language: This course will be taught in Spanish with English translation provided by Collectivo Waybill. All the instructors can teach in both languages but the course will be taught in Spanish.


Location: Tierramor Retreat Centre. Nosara, Costa Rica.


To ease travel arrangements, all transportation will be arranged by Tierramor (*within the retreat dates, inquire with us about the cost).


*If you are a part of Tierramor friends & family, please email us at contact@tierramor.cr to receive a discount code. 

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BOOK YOUR EXPERIENCE 

by sending us an email at anastasia@tierramor.cr

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Meet our Facilitators

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Nat Mugent (Brazil) is an agroforestry producer, agronomist, ethnobotanical permaculturist, herbalist with over 13 years of experience in syntropic agriculture.


She is a follower of the teachings of Ernst Götsch. Pioneer of Agroforestry Systems aimed at the cultivation of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants. Nat Muguet worked in 2015 for the Eduardo Mondlan University in Mozambique with management community of natural forest resources. In 2016 she worked at ICRAF Malawi with implementation of syntropic agroforestry. In 2017 she coordinated and consolidated the first area of syntropic agriculture in Africa together with Ernest. The farm is in Mozambique in the state of Namacha. Since 2019 she is a farm collaborator and consultant in Kenya.


Since 2014 she has been a professor of syntropic agriculture at the Sitio Semente, where she is the owner and founder. Today the Sitio Semente is the biggest reference for a school of syntropic agriculture in the world. where more than 2,000 students passed each year. With areas of more than 15 years of work, it was possible to regenerate an area of 12 hectares degraded land in fertile forest soil, producing food and regenerative medicine. The heart of the work is a nursery of the highest quality of plants that are spreading the seeds throughout the four directions of the world. Nat provide design and teaching consultancy in several countries such as; Costa Rica, South Africa, Colombia, India, Mozambique, Chile, Mexico.


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Jorge Espinosa Mata (Mexico) is an agroforestry technician and consultant specialized in the implementation and management of SAFS and regenerative projects, as well as in the delivery of introductory and advanced courses in various ecosystem climates in Mexico and Costa Rica. He has trained with experts in syntropic agriculture and agroforestry systems on farms in Brazil and Mexico.


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Scott Gallant (USA) is an agroforestor and food system designer with over a decade of experience working in Central America. He is the co-founder of Porvenir Design, a landscape design firm specializing in productive landscapes. He graduated from Wabash College in 2008 with a degree in Economics. He was the farm manager at Rancho Mastatal for nine years, and has worked with diverse projects such as VersaLand, Open Source Ecology, Project Bonafide and many more as he has developed his skill-set in permaculture design.


Passionate about regenerative agriculture, holistic thinking, ethnobotany, community development, and re-skilling, he still makes time to hike and bike, read exhaustively, and work on his basketball jump shot and frisbee throw.  He has traveled extensively in Latin America, leading to a love of the culture, food, and language, which he attempts to speak.  Scott writes for the Permaculture Research Institute and has been featured on the Permaculture Voices , Abundant Edge, and Making Permaculture Stronger podcasts.

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WHAT’S INCLUDED? 

Farm to Table Exquisite Cuisine

Tierramor’s Kitchen will provide 3 x daily meals for the duration of the workshop. We believe being a part of the solution – by nourishing ourselves we nourish our environment. We do our best to support and source from local farms (including our own) and use as many organic ingredients in our cooking as we can.


Email us if you have any dietary restrictions. All meals are vegetarian. We share meals together, in a communal space.


Lodging and dinner is provided for the night of May 28th for students paying for lodging as part of their course fee. Breakfast will be provided the morning of May 29th.

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Accommodation

Tierramor can comfortably accommodate 30+ overnight guests and even more day visitors.


For the Day Pass no accommodation is required, and shared transport can be arranged to & from Tierramor to Nosara. Altogether, there are 10 gorgeous cabins available for accommodation, as well as Glamping & Camping options, for each visitor who would like to stay at the site for the duration of the workshop.


Cabins

All cabins are newly built, eco-friendly and fully furnished for all of your needs. Each cabin has breathtaking views of the lush hills of Guanacaste and provides an opportunity to catch unforgettable sunsets. All accommodations have access to individual outdoor showers & shared bathroom space. Your options are:

  • 4 Dorms with 4 guests per casita (2 x Bunk Beds per room)
  • 2 Casitas with 2 guests per casita (2 x Single Beds per room)
  • 4 Casitas with a Full Bed (each is available for one or two people to share one bed, with outdoor suspended nets for extra relaxation)
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Glamping

Alternative accommodation options include Glamping & Camping options at Tierramor. There are 3 large Canvas Bell Tents set-up for your comfort, which can be available for one or two people to share one tent. Each Bell Tent is set up with a comfortable Twin bed to share. 

  • 3 Large Canvas Bell Tents. Each is available for one or two people to share

Parking

Parking is available on site. A 4 x 4 vehicles is required to reach the site.


Bathroom Space

We are really proud of the Bathroom Spaces that have been created here, at Tierramor! The spaces include gorgeous sustainable showers and washrooms made entirely out of clay, recycled glass and wood. Close-by to the bathroom space, you can find multiple enclosed sites with compostable toilets.

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  WHAT TO BRING?

Students should come prepared to take notes in both a classroom and field setting. Much of the class will be taught in the field; we recommend bringing the following to the course:

  • Note taking materials: notebook(s), pens, pencils, tablet, as suits your needs
  • Rubber boots or other sturdy footwear suitable for field work
  • Sun protection: hat, long sleeves, sunscreen, sunglasses
  • Rain protection: umbrella, raincoat, rubber boots
  • Water bottle
  • tools you prefer to use in the field such as machete, hand snips, or small pruning saws
  • Working gloves as preferred by participants
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We look forward to welcoming you at Tierramor!

Join our Tierramor WhatsApp to stay up to date on local events + delightful offerings! 👉🏾

https://chat.whatsapp.com/IeusdixqkkUInmo5a6cCH4

Questions? Email us at contact@tierramor.cr if you would like more information. 

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FAQ

  • How far out of town is Tierramor?

    We are located outside of Nosara in the Rio Montana area.

    The easiest way to get into town is by taxi ($30) which takes around 20 minutes in the dry season.

    The roads can be really bad in wet season, which makes this a longer and more challenging trip.

  • How far is the beach from Tierramor?

    We are 20 minutes away from the beach by car. There are sometimes shared rides, but if you take a taxi this will cost $30 each way

    Please not this trip can take longer with the bad roads that come with wet season.

  • Is it possible to visit Tierramor or stay short term?

    No. At the moment, unfortunately we do not have the capacity to accommodate visitors or guests. This will likely change in November 2022, so please sign up to our newsletter to stay up to date with these opportunities.

  • Which are the best months to come?

    The dry season is from November to April and this is also the high season for tourists, these months are the best for camping accommodations, and generally the most pleasant time to spent at Tierramor.

    The wet season AKA "green season" is incredibly beautiful, but more challenging - during this time we experience more things like power and internet and power outages, the rain can be intense, and the roads can be bad.

    Also note that March and April can be pretty hot where we are.

  • How many people live in the community?

    We are in the early stages of the project, and we have between 4 and 10 people during the wet season, and between 12 and 20 people on site during the dry season. This will increase significantly over time.

    At the moment, everyone living on site is dedicating the majority of their energy to working on developing the project.

  • What types of activities are on offer?

    Activities are offered by community members and vary depending on who is on-site. Yoga, dance, and other embodiments practices are often co-created by the community.

  • What is the food like?

    Most of the food is vegetarian, and vegans can be accommodated. We aim to have as much local and organic food as possible.

  • What is the internet like?

    During the dry season (Nov - April) we have excellent internet, working remotely from the project site is a completely viable option.

    During the wet season, its best not to rely on the internet and other utilities too much, as we experience frequent outages.

  • Is it possible to join the community and buy land or a house?

    These opportunities are not currently available, but will become available over the next few years. Please sign up to our newsletter to stay up to date with this.