Sustainable Agriculture at Finca Osa Verde

sustainable agriculture at finca osa verdeFinca Osa Verde is 10-acre working farm located on our Osa Verde property, a former cattle ranch that we are restoring. We have reforested 10 hectares of this 500 acre property and restored a wetland area.

Finca Osa Verde is a place where sustainable agriculture and animal husbandry are carried out in a wildlife friendly manner that allows us to both produce food and preserve biodiversity at the same time. The farm, which began operations in 2014, is not only a site for food production but is also a place where experimentation and demonstration take place.

The vision for Finca Osa Verde is to create a model for the region, where we can demonstrate sustainable, integrated farming techniques that can be easily adopted by local farmers – improving livelihoods and positively impacting the environment. Finca Osa Verde will also host international visitors who come to learn about and research tropical agro-ecology and sustainable agriculture principles.

We utilize non-synthetic pesticides, emphasize local varieties, and native plants, practice crop rotation and raise pastured livestock and chickens without the use of hormones or antibiotics. The farm already produces a large portion of the food consumed in our kitchen and dining hall – giving our staff and visitors access to delicious, fresh food produced locally and sustainably.

Demonstration and Education

Volunteers, student groups and researchers will be able to work on the farm and gain hands-on experience and Educating future generations on the importance of sustainable agriculturein depth knowledge of best practices in agriculture in the tropics. Visitors to the stations will have the opportunity to participate in planting and harvesting crops, milking cows, making cheese and yogurt and many more fun activities. Local farmers, ranchers and community members will come to learn about rotational grazing, mushroom production, compost, beekeeping and many other best practices suited to the tropics.

Food Production

huge watermelon, sustainable agriculture, organic

A huge watermelon grown at Finca Osa Verde!

We practice sustainable food production to provide food at our stations and educate others on sustainable farming techniques. Crops grown at Finca Osa Verde are local and heirloom varietals. Planting native crops revitalizes the natural biodiversity of the region and supports the local ecosystem.

Farming with the land, instead of against it, helps to create a system of food production that can last for generations. Contrary to other farming practices, sustainable agriculture ensures that the soil is not depleted and surrounding ecological systems are not disrupted. Avoiding hormones, antibiotics, and harmful pesticides also assists conservation efforts by protecting the wildlife and nearby water systems from chemical contamination.

Animal Husbandry

Finca Osa Verde practices humane sustainable animal husbandryand input free animal husbandry. Our cows, pigs and chickens live their lives happily grazing in the pastures that already existed on the property. Our cattle graze and are fed organic corn that we grow. Our chickens are pastured and enjoy a diet full of insects, worms and our organic corn. Our pigs have a comfortable pen and have access to roam about and forage. They also get some of the scraps left after meals at the station. Well-fed pigs they are!

Compost

Students learning about sustainable agricultureOsa conservation has implemented a successful composting program at Finca Osa Verde. What the pigs don’t get goes into compost. Instead of throwing away biodegradable waste, the action of composting transforms that waste into useful and natural fertilizer that enriches the soil and makes the food grown in it even healthier. Composting is a fun and easy way Osa Conservation reduces the environmental impact on the Osa Peninsula and grows food in a sustainable manner.

Biochar

biochar, sustainable agricultureBiochar is a charcoal substance that is added to agricultural soil. The process of using biochar in farming soils is a 2,000 year-old practice that transforms  agricultural waste into a soil that can retain carbon,  increase soil biodiversity, and help prevent deforestation. Biochar plays a role in mitigating climate change because it can contribute to carbon sequestration which helps to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Biochar also helps to create long lasting healthy soils that are productive for generations of food growth.

 

Specialty Crops

a010e8a4100ebb05e26e6aae4696ed96Finca Osa Verde grows a variety of food crops but will also feature specialty crops of the region like vanilla & cacao. Apiculture will give us pollinators that benefit the farm and also the nearby forest. Imagine a drizzle of forest honey on our homemade yogurt for breakfast!