Ernst Götsch ideas
And applications to life.
I’m on a journey to create a business that has nature as a foundation and as an ultimate KPI (key performance indicator). It’s hard to turn upside down a system that has always been led by economics. My approach is to set a vision and keep learning. 🙏
During my process, I have met the ideas of Ernst Götsch and his Synthropic Agriculture, which changed abruptly my perspective about nature, business, and about myself. I’ve listed a few so I can remember, and maybe you can also learn something from it.
Darwin theory is actually upside down.
Syntropic Agriculture is a set of tenets ir order to get to abundance, a stage of life where species are in its fullest potential and where we, humans, were created. In order to get there, plants have a succession of stages, going from a more resilient and pioneers (that can grow in hard conditions) to a more demanding species that require specific conditions.
Darwin believed that the process was defined by ‘natural selection’, a competitive approach where the strongest survive. Götsch belives on the opposite, that every plant has a clear role and they let one another to live or die by ‘collaboration & unconditional love’. Where the goal is nature, as a whole, to succeed.
As hippie as it might sound, this way of thinking makes a lot of sense in many perspectives. As someone starting a business, one of the toughest decisions of a leader is when we need to stand up, and when don’t.
Plants speak louder than you think.
Götsch criticises the idea of monoculture. He believes plants live better when they are together for two main reasons. One is the idea of stratum (layers), where the size (and amount of sun) that every plant requires is different. He has mapped more than 33 layers, but we can simplify in 4: emergents (that need a lot of sun), high, medium and low (that likes to live under the shade of taller trees).
The other reason is that the roots communicate with each other. Is already proven that plants grow healthier and faster side-by-side. We can go even further to say that plants have feelings for each other, and also for the person that plant it. The hidden life of trees is a recommended book on the topic.
Pests are doing something good.
The problem with monoculture is that it creates an imbalanced ecosystem. And when there’s a problem, nature try to fix it. Naturally, as it has been doing for over 4 billion years. When a monoculture use chemical fertilizers, its a signal that it has an excess of energy, so insects have the role to take this out of the system, then we use more chemicals, but a new type of insects come in, building a destructive cycle.
Every single animal or plants in the ecosystem has a clear role which they were evolved to do, Götsch says he always start asking for them: What good are you doing? And use it in favor of planting more forests. Finding balance can be really hard, especially when you need to understand the opposition. and nobody likes what they don’t understand.
Disturbs are necessary.
When a tree fall from a natural cause (wind, fire, water…), it opens a glade in the forest. This new space allows the sun to come in, birds to bring seeds and many other species to polinize the area and grow a more diverse, stronger and demanding species. The fall of a tree is a necessary disturb to evolution.
In the Synthropic Agriculture this happens pruning the plants constantly, and using all the raw material to cover the soil to keep it moist. This process is also necessary to respect the stratum of each specie, as mentioned above. Pruning sends an information to plants that their job is not done yet and they need to keep growing. It is like a dose of motivation to keep improving.
Learning about Ernst Götsch’s ideas have been a fine pruning on my beliefs. It has given me balance, awareness, resilience and humility. Really important qualities for someone that wants to build a business on theses days.