Organic permaculture in the cool foothills of Costa Rica

Country

Costa Rica

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    Last activity

    19/09/2020

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  2020 

 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

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  • Description

    Description

    During this pandemic we’ve hosted some great volunteers – people who prefer not to return to their native countries due to the issues we’re facing. The volunteers we like are those that either know something about organic agricultiure and permaculture – or are interested in learning how to grow their own food. We enjoy hosting 2-3 volunteers at a time – who are interested in remote living and in participating in an organic dreamland in the hills of Costa Rica.

    Six years ago my husband and I (Jeff and Starr) bought a 26 acre overgrown conventional coffee plantation (think agro-chemicals ) in a pleasant climate, with an awesome view and endless possibilities - in the mountains of Costa Rica. Since landing here we've been trying to do all the fun little organic, permaculture projects that we've dreamed of all our lives while developing the infrastructure necessary to support it.

    That's where you come into the picture. We're looking for volunteers that are interested in remote, rustic living and that have a liking for bananas.

    The main focus has been on learning about and creating circular sustainability to the extent we find feasible. Naturally one of the first efforts is in reviving the fertility of the soil and reforesting. We have planted about 65 different species of tropical fruit trees (which are now beginning to produce fruit), 30 different varieties of bananas and plantains and thousands of other trees!! Plus last year we planted 150 additional bamboo plants to help reduce soil erosion and serve as a renewable building resource. But also, about half the property has grown wild naturally, with trails lacing through the vigorous forest regrowth. And thankfully, gradually the wildlife is returning to take its natural place.

    Since this is a certified organic property, we maintain a small herd of sheep to help out with fertilizer production and we're still planning on having chickens someday. Volunteers are comfortable staying in the 80 year old homestead cabin which has 3 private rooms.

    In the overall finca operation we're working on a variety of projects this year as time and energy permit. Of course those projects are in addition to the normal vegetable garden, fruit trees, banana plants, coffee crop, bamboo and property and animal management issues.

    The WHERE and WHAT of what it means to you:
    We are located about 2 km from public bus service with an hourly schedule into San Isidro, the regional supply depot 15 km away. Normally we go to town on Thursdays for the "feria"/farmer's market and are happy to take you along if you don't mind waiting for us to run errands. We provide a 4MB wifi internet connection. Plus our friendly dogs, cats, and sheep will be happy to keep you company.

    To clarify the situation now with the whole pandemic issue at play is this: Volunteers live in a separate cabin and have their own bathroom. We built a separate kitchen and dining room to make you more comfortable preparing your own desired foods largely with ingredients we provide together with what's available in the garden.

    Got questions?

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Gardening
    DIY and building projects
    General Maintenance
    Farmstay help
    Help with Eco Projects
    Help around the house
    Animal Care
    Help with Computers/ Internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Living here is an opportunity to engage in dynamic organic permaculture - tropical style. You can learn how we manage to survive on a rural property in a foreign country: how to grow, harvest and process coffee; how to care for many types of bananas; how to make MM5 (a homemade version of EM) and how we use it and many other biological amendments. You can learn how to reinvigorate land after many generations of chemical use. Plus you can enjoy the fruits of the land: the bananas, the coffee, the tropical fruits, and the garden.

    My husband and I are native English speakers though speak Spanish fluently. We mix with neighbors, locals and other expats to some extent, though really prefer working on our own projects. We are fairly versed in the local culture and traditions and are happy to share what we know.

    Just an FYI, this is a remote property.

  • Help

    Help

    On an ongoing basis we need assistance overseeing and maintaining our fruit orchards, banana and plantain plantations, bamboo and timber trees. We're especially interested in people with an eye for and fascination with tropical plants. Of course the sheep would also enjoy some personal attention.

    We prefer volunteers that would be interested in being here for at least a couple of weeks. If you are attracted to our mission of creating an integrated, organic, sustainable "farm" and have skills and energy to contribute, please get in touch. Let's talk about possibilities. Mainly we're interested in volunteers who are honestly interested in and EXCITED about creating an integrated, productive, clean productive property and about having fun in the process.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Fluent

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    Guests share the rustic original homestead cabin, with one room to each person or couple. Outside the cabin is an outhouse. A minute's walk takes you to a nice bathroom and shower facility. Wifi reaches the living areas though phone reception is more sketchy.

    Basic meal ingredients are available for Workawayers to do their own cooking in the new kitchen/dining room.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We never miss the large regional farmer's market on Thursdays In San Isidro del General, 15 km away - however we tend to stay in town all day on Thursdays in order to get our town business done. Public buses are clean, respectable and generally on time. Our property is located 3 km from the bus that goes into San Isidro del General. Going to the BIG city, San Jose, is more than a 3 hour bus ride.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    Two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

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Host ref number: 318862919114