This is me at coffee shop “bread and chocolate” ( can’t go wrong, name like that) with new friends, Katy and Connery from the Verdenergia farm, who I just ran into on the other side of the country in a beach town called Puerto Viejo, where I’m doing Spanish lessons and they’re doing party party party ( and the occasional coffee and lunch with old friends like me)
Verdenergia ecofarm community visit lasted for 3 weeks. Completed a Permaculture certificate, while enjoying incredibly energising yet peaceful environment, fab food too! Amazing sustainable perspective infiltrates everything they do- farming like this is really complex and detailed, to keep the process sustainable and eco-friendly, most things are done by hand. Like sufar drom cane, flour from potatoes. Its very low key, for example they don’t own a vehicle and use Omar, who lives nearby and has a great little truck, for all the town trips (still need plumbing and electrical materials etc. Although they are working on hydro-electric…) so Omar does the realky heavy lifting in his truck, because the horse is for pleasure riding, and the cow, who’s great at making milk usually, doesn’t lift things as she’s making a calf right now… fertile place – Chopa the dog had 11 (ELEVEN) puppies during my visit (These going free to a good home…? Organically raised…. )
So actually only the chickens are part of the production side…. they get to peck and dig weeds while laying as many eggs as possible.
Loved that I got time to know the individuals, it’s a big community (49 full shareholding tribe members, 12 were visiting at different times while I was there, and about 10-15 volunteers who came and went) and such setups are always complex, the interactions between people from incredibly different backgrounds choosing to live together (that’s why they call it intentional community)… are interesting, boy people’s lives get complicated.
:-):-):-) Beautiful group of individuals tho, like-minded Souls. Feel i made a lot of new friends.
The Permaculture course was great, now have a firm grasp of what permaculture is (as opposed to organic farming, which it incorporates, but covers much much more). Blog posts being formulated on my discoveries and inspirations. More later.
My teacher is a gorgeous Dutch guy, called Douwe, (‘dove’), experienced in agro-forestey and Costa Rican fincas. (Farms). He owns another farm adjoining the national park, and is helping this Verdenergia tribe reforest the land. Deeply knowledgeable,Douwe has lived all over the world mostly working with agro-forestry,but knows permaculture backwards…. one of his heroes is an Austrian called Sebb Holzer…. the Austrian rebel farmer, another character! 😉
We watched inspiring movies, studied and read a very large textbook (the bible of permaculture by an ozzie forestry specialist Bill Mollison), dug swales and made gardens and took soil samples and made potting soil mix from the wormery and spoke to the devas abd the Spirit of Verdenergia, Findhorn style, and cooked with raw chocolate, homegrown pinto beans and picked salads to blow your mind with the incredible flavours.
Also had a fairly serious Permaculture design project, which I’ll tell you about one day as it was a funny story …. the permaculture design client from hell….
Finished course, presented design (sans client???!) and got our certificates alongside a talent show on Tuesday,then a whole bunch of us moved on from the farm Wednesday in a bus with Chico Mora. Another character.
Local police man and driver,knows and is known globally along the San Jose/Puriscal road (in effect if not literally) river-shrimp-catcher deluxe, does pushups after fixing tyres….so….he’s the Man.
Enjoyed a group trip with him, to ‘ the ark’ organic herb farm in the central valley, to get some trees for Verdenergia. Sweet parting from the gang, at my point of origon the Airport. Then I chilled at a city hotel for two days. Just to catch my breath and catch up on emails and Facebook….. which I almost have.
Had an absolutely amazing drive down the escarpment in the capable hands and minibus of Rafael – a local who worked in Boston, USA for 6 years then came home, and now drives tourist shuttles as Walmart closed his small school supply import company down…. nice company, those W people, pretty much universally evil then?
Much of the route from San Jose to Limon on the coast is covered (along the main highway pass, at least) in primary rainforest…. besides the suico (sp??) River which is an incredibly dirty yellow… naturally.
Now am staying at Ana’s place, in Hone Creek, 6kms from Puerto Viejo (and learning a lot about local buses as its far too hot/humid to walk), a gorgeous Caribbean surfer paradise on Caribbean coast of CR.
Will be here for a week or three. Intention is to get some basic Spanish into my multi-linguified brain, on top of my English, Afrikaans, German, Dodgy Portuguese, really dodgy Malayalam (from Kerala) abd snippets of French; we hope to interlay a new Spanish carpet. Ana and Alex, su esposo, are profesore de espanol. Super cool.