Applying Ecoagriculture Principles
At Amazonia Reforestation we have been developing the concept of natural silviculture. In part it reflects our decision to not use agrochemicals and to protect and conserve our environment. However, it includes a variety of other ideas and processes that we believe are the future of sustainable forestry on the planet. Making an extra dollar does not justify contaminating the soil or the waterways, nor does it justify removing wildlife habitat in order to cultivate. This means we are looking to adapt Analog Forestry concepts, which is an approach to ecological restoration which uses natural forests as guides to create ecologically stable and socio-economically productive landscapes. Analog Forestry is a complex and holistic form of silviculture, which minimizes external inputs, such as agrochemicals and fossil fuels, instead fostering ecological function for resilience and productivity. We also believe in ecoagriculture, which is a landscape approach to natural resource management that pursues three goals: conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services, with sustained agricultural production and improved rural livelihoods.
What does this mean in practice?
First, we try to avoid giant monocultures and look to cultivate a variety of species, with an emphasis on creating technical profiles for native trees. Second, we produce our own organic fertilizers, using only local resources that come from no more than 50 KM (30 miles) around the plantation. This includes making compost, Bokashi, compost tea with efficient microorganisms, producing our own cow manure with healthy cattle feed grown in our own silvopasture area, making solid pooballs to spread efficient microorganisms, the production and use of biochar, and the targeted use of mycorrhizal fungi in the cultivations. Our plantations are a work in progress, with our experiences shared with the local agroforestry association (AGAF).