Agenda Gotsch

Complex consortia composition in the south of Spain (La Loma Viva)

Hi everyone. This March 2019 we did a workshop with Ryan Botha and Karen De Vries in the south of Spain. They run a small farm called La Loma Viva. Thanks to their persistence and competence, they’ve been helping to prove it’s possible to turn the degraded-almost-desert region into a luxurious evergreen and productive forest.

I had a wonderful time with the good friends Ryan, Karen and all La Loma’s staff. Not to mention the amazing group of participants. It’s not usual to have a class so focused and working in such a cooperative way. In only five days we managed to cover all theory based on the 15 principles Ernst Götsch recently published, and also managed to implement three different designs.

Ernst Götsch has been working with La Loma team for the past three years, and since then they are experimenting agro-ecosystems designed to cope with dry conditions. Last year they managed to harvest all year long with minimum irrigation. As the system evolves and the forest biomass increases, the soil improves, as well as its capacity to retain water.

During the workshop we put over 1.000 plants on the ground in three different designs.

  • In a corner where the machines couldn’t reach, we made several “nests” in order to build up a vegetation wall to perform both as a productive orchard and as a evergreen stratified wind-break.
  • In a terrace we implemented easy-to-mechanize lines. This Ernst Götsch’s design is focused on avocado and citrus rows between vegetable beds.
  • On the border of the terrace, we also set up a wind-break designed by Ernst.

About one year ago we did a short video about La Loma project and their strategic position.

Felipe Pasini


  • This is amazing! Thank You so much!
    I was also wondering if anyone has tried to implement clumping varieties of bamboo into a syntropic system before? (For biomass and so many other sustainable uses)
    I’m very interested to start a system here in Tasmania in the near future.

    • Hi Manu, thanks for your message.

      We normally use bamboo for windbreak and other purposes. We don’t use it much in our system because it’s difficult to manage. Bamboo fibers take very long to be “digested”. Even if you could fragment more, it requires specific machinery to shred it. Apart from that, we always like to have a nearby bamboo as we can use it for many purposes (tutor for plants, construction, etc). Cheers 🙂