Trees are the future! According to the principles of Syntropic agriculture, we have created six agroforestry systems on our farm. They increase soil fertility, help protect our fields against wind and water erosion, ensure cleaner groundwater, store carbon, moderate the microclimate and promote biodiversity.
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Trees in the fields

Trees in the field – this is not a new concept. On the contrary, it’s a very old one.

Diverse crops used to be the standard before conventional agriculture as we know it. Apple trees coexisting with berry bushes and grain crops, with chickens running in between. Inspired by this original model of agriculture, ancient knowledge and the work of many pioneers around the world, Benedikt and Renke brought agroforestry to Alt Madlitz in 2019 and introduced trees back into our fields.

Agroforestry – this is the combination of agriculture and forestry in one area. Rows of trees are planted and sown on the fields at intervals. This technique of an agro-ecosystem is oriented towards nature and thus more productive, resilient, diverse and sustainable than monoculture agriculture and forestry.

The positive effects of agroforestry systems are colossal. They bring life back! By mulching plant biomass, we accelerate the buildup of humus in the soil creating a symbioses between roots, microorganisms and soil animals. Agroforestry systems also have an immense impact on above-ground biodiversity – creating habitats and refuges for birds, insects, wildlife and amphibians.

The tree stripes protect against erosion and desiccation – especially in summers of drought and improve the soil’s ability to store (the little rain that there is) within the system.

"Agroforestry systems can regenerate entire ecosystems!"

Julius Ritter

Agroforestry manager
Many people come to Madlitz through fortunate circumstances, often it is fate. In Julius’ case, it was Johannes. The two have known each other for years, from Berlin. Julius’ career is as colorful and varied as his job at Gut&Bösel. He started out as an all-rounder, our man for everything, and stayed on for the agroforestry. Here he supports Mara and Renke in the care and coordination – of plants and people.

"Syntropic systems, once properly established, need no outside input, no artificial fertilizers, no pesticides, not even irrigation. "

Syntropic agriculture

The term Syntropic Agriculture was coined by Ernst Götsch, the Swiss farmer who emigrated to Brazil, over 40 years ago, and resurrected a complete ecosystem on a piece of deforested land. He is an advisor to the Madlitz team and inspiration for us.

Syntropy in Greek means together, with one and other. Syntropic Agriculture is based on the complex interaction of different plants and organisms protecting and coexisting with each other in a way that provides complementary nutrients.

The idea of Syntropic Agriculture is to work with natural processes and fill gaps in the best way possible. This means that berries, herbs and trees are planted and harvested to make space for other crops. All systems that we plant are planned for the long term – the next 100 years. We have seen the first yields of soft fruit which include sea buckthorn, blackberry and raspberry. Later on the growth of apples, plums, pears, hazelnuts, walnuts and sweet chestnuts will also be ready to harvest.


We conduct on-farm research with our Finck Foundation. We use Gut&Bösel's land to test and develop regenerative, multifunctional forms of land use. With the goal of finding solutions for food systems that are now threatened as never before by climate change, degraded soils, loss of biodiversity and species diversity, and the loss of the relationship between humans and nature and between urban and rural areas.

Landscape park

The park in Madlitz, with its large oak trees and mighty chestnuts, is the oldest English landscape park in Brandenburg.


We manage 2000 hectares of forest, much of which are 40–60-year-old pine monocultures, on very poor sandy soils which are far from groundwater. Our goal: to create a multifunctional mixed forest that is climate resilient and diverse.

Tree nursery

Our Syntropic tree nursery is a hybrid between an agroforestry system and a sustainable tree nursery: an ecosystem on its own and at the same time the basis of our future agroforestry systems

Crop production

Alt Madlitz has a very long tradition of arable farming. Today we grow a wide variety of cereals in a six- to eight-part crop rotation, with undersown crops, catch crops and biodiversity strips. Always with soil as the focus!


Compost is life! And soil is the basis of all our work. That's why we have our own compost department, which takes care of all our microorganisms and nutrient cycles.

Holistic grazing

Cows for the climate! Cows for the climate! Our Salers and Angus herd grazes on our farmland, helping us to sustainably regenerate our soil and promote biodiversity.