THE NEW MONTADO XXI
The Montado we benefit from is certainly the most eloquent and significant agroforest system available to us today. It is both our current sustenance and inspiration.
However, motivated by evidence of the distance this system presents from key factors of the natural system, like tree stratification and natural succession, we organized in 2017 at Freixo do Meio an international and collective reflection under the theme «New Montado» from which emerged a clear strategy for the path to follow in the future building of a relationship with the natural system that is more dignifying for all involved.
To that path we called New Montado XXI. It rises fundamentally from the thought of restructuring the relationship with the space around us starting from a fundamental axis – the dynamic succession stratified forest. This concept was introduced in Montado do Freixo do Meio by Ernst Gotsch in 2018. This vision presents a foundational milestone on the «agricultural» approach, by bringing humans closer to the natural reality of the succession of the ecosystems, as well as other basic principles.
The succession agroforest systems are dynamic ecosystems that permanently include men, trees, primary plants, animals, as well as beings from the different kingdoms, which may perform the functions required by the system, in a way that it evolves to allow its ultimate stage of climax (abundance), and the fruition of its surpluses by the whole community without conditioning its natural dynamic.
Today, the succession agroforests occupy 5 ha close to the Monte do Freixo do Meio. Surpluses like vegetables, strawberries, lemons, wild plants, and mushrooms already significantly contribute our food offer.
An agricultural model facing the future