This Might Be the Coolest Photo of a Farm You’ll Ever See

Written by Sami Grover

When Brazilian farmer Ernst Gotsch bought 1,200 acres of completely deforested land on the edge of the rainforest in 1984, it was known as “Dry Lands.” Gotsch, who was interested in finding new ways to work with, rather than against, nature found himself battling strong winds and drought. So he started out by replanting the land according to a system of natural succession—eventually reforesting the entire area and turning it into an incredibly biodiverse yet productive working farm which, it’s claimed, has actually altered the microclimate around it in the form of increased rainfall and lower temperatures.

It’s an incredible feat. And it’s one that many people around the world are paying attention to.

Alongside the desperate need to cut fossil fuel use and decrease greenhouse gas emissions, there’s a growing interest in the role that better soil management might play in sequestering carbon and promoting biodiversity. One of the most common terms around this topic is the notion of regenerative agriculture —farming which doesn’t just try to be “less bad”, but actually seeks to heal the natural systems that we rely on for survival.

From the savannas of Africa to the hillsides of Europe, exactly what regenerative agriculture will look like must, almost by definition, vary according to the climate, resources and traditions of each location. Still, there’s a central principle that seems to run throughout most regenerative agricultural models—and that’s modeling our farming systems on the regenerative and self-perpetuating systems we see in the natural world. Besides following agroforestry principles and promoting polycultures of perennials and annuals and livestock too, it appears that Gotsch’s other big innovation is an extremely intensive focus on heavy pruning and return of biomass to the soil, much like this system of chop-n-drop mulching in Australia.

Gotsch has called his system “syntropic” agriculture, because he sees it as the opposite of entropy—moving from chaos to energy concentration, order, organization and life. Sounds pretty good to me.

This post originally appeared on TreeHugger

Photo Credit: Agenda Gotsch


Jerome S
Jerome S11 months ago

thanks for sharing.

Jim Ven
Jim Ven1 years ago

thanks for the article.

Mark Donners
Mark Donner2 years ago

That's all well and good for agricultural fields, but they also have to leave most of the pristine rainforest protected as a park and untouched.

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Peter Keen
peter K2 years ago

Thank you for sharing. Ernst is one clever and now much respected man. Lovely, we just need more like him.

Dawn E.
Dawn E2 years ago

So great!

Friedrich Kling-Hauss
Frank K2 years ago

Friends: Please go to and add your signature to the We the People petition "Arrest Ammon Bundy and the armed occupiers of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge."
You can make a difference. Please speak-up for America's wildlife. If we don't, than who will?
Thank you.

Leia P.
Leia P.2 years ago


Monika A.
Monika A2 years ago

Cool, this is a general bobbing in very cool :) direction, expressions of self creativity and I have the similar vision of the future. Ideal balance and harmony. Super video.

Sarita Elman
Sarita Elman2 years ago

Ernst Gotsch is a man of great vision, innovation and dedication. By using nature's own 'leftovers' (prunings, mulched plant matter) he has managed to turn barren, denuded wasteland into lush farmland and tropical rainforest. It may have taken many years to achieve, but his is a worthwhile example to follow and adopt. (Watch the video above!)