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Syntropic Farming Workshop

Facilitated by Karen de Vries and Alex Kruger • 13th-17th September

Boschendal, Franschhoek

Experience a 5 day retreat in nature and learn from the best

​Join us for the first official Syntropic Agriculture course in South Africa, hosted at Boschendal by the Be The Earth Foundation and La Loma Viva. This transformative experience, facilitated by Karen De Vries (La Loma Viva – Spain) and Alex Kruger (South Africa), offers an exciting opportunity to discover the fundamentals of this innovative farming method.

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During this 5-day "Introduction to Syntropic Farming" workshop, participants will embark on a 5000m² implementation project within Boschendal. Our curriculum includes the philosophy and principles of Syntropic Farming, focusing on the three main pillars: Ecological Succession, Stratification, and Syntropy. Additionally, we will cover Syntropic Farming in a Mediterranean context, selecting appropriate species for production, management strategies to grow your system, design exercises using syntropic principles, and practical implementation of a portion of the Syntropic agroforestry system.

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Photo: © Florian Kopp

Based on the pioneering work of Ernst Gotsch, this course has attracted students from around the globe and is perfect for anyone looking to transform their agricultural practices on any scale, from small to large. Participants will gain a balance of practical and theoretical knowledge about Syntropic Farming and deepen their understanding of working with natural processes to create agricultural ecosystems that yield abundant crops while restoring ecosystem function.

The workshop, open to everyone regardless of experience, is designed for farmers, landowners, communities, academics, and individuals wanting to learn more about the principles of this method and apply this experience to their projects. Don’t miss this opportunity to revolutionize your approach to farming in the beautiful setting of Boschendal, where you will learn from experienced facilitators and be part of implementing one of the first systems in South Africa!


Meet your Facilitators

Karen de Vries

Originally from South Africa, has been living in Spain since 2009, where she co-founded the La Loma Viva Foundation, dedicated to the research and education of regenerative ways of living and working with the land. Introduced to Syntropic Farming by Ernst Gotsch in 2016, Karen began learning about his revolutionary approach to agriculture. Between 2017 and 2019, La Loma Viva collaborated with Ernst to adapt Syntropic Farming to the Mediterranean climate. Karen has also collaborated with and learned from her colleagues at Life in Syntropy and the TERRA Network. As part of the core team at TERRA, an educational and research platform, Karen connects projects and shares knowledge in the field of Syntropic farming. She is actively engaged in Syntropic Farming on a daily basis on their land in Spain, where they are regenerating a degraded landscape and growing food through agroforestry.


Alex Krueger

Alex completed her Permaculture Design Course in Zimbabwe in 1993 and has since engaged in diverse applications of this design framework. Her work has taken her to various contexts in South Africa, Southern, and East Africa. In 2015, she co-facilitated Permaculture Design courses at La Loma Viva with Karen De Vries and Ryan Botha, where she was first introduced to Syntropic Agriculture. Her current projects in South Africa blend Permaculture design and Agroforestry.




Boschendal Estate, Pniel Road, Groot, Franschhoek, 7690

South Africa

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