We were just beginning our 2nd week of vacation in our “home away from home”, Costa Rica, when “farming” came beckoning. I was relaxing by the pool with a very good book but could not resist the driving urge to check out “biodynamic farms in Costa Rica” on Google, and not 15 minutes later Phillip, Bede in I were booked at La Finca Luna Nueva Lodge in the
Arenal Volcano area, in San Isidro de Penas Blanca. Luna Nueva is a Demeter certified Biodynamic/organic farm principally growing ginger & turmeric, as well as incredible tropical fruits, vegetables and herbs. They are a sanctuary: preserving their rainforests, rearing animals, growing food, offering accommodations…a place of fellowship and peace. And for us, a place of great conversations and inspiration.
We arrived, met the farmer behind Luna Nueva, Steven Farrell, and were whisked away for the next 24 hours into tours, stimulating discussions about BD farming, sharing food & wine, and exchanging ideas and thoughts for the future.
We were taken on 2 tours: a short hike through the gardens where nearly every plant, vine and tree was identified, explained as to their presence/why in the jungle and the medicinal uses for many of them. It was awesome to eat the leaves of the plants, to taste a leaf just like snap peas, smell another leaf which is the Allspice Tree, to sample water apples (a large radish-looking apple, that is, well, watery to the taste!), drink freshly squeezed pineapple juice, to eat fresh, organic fruits and vegetables…the list could go on and on!
Phillip and I are so thankful to be able to travel the world and make contacts with other farmers who enlighten us and encourage us.
We have found that to find the right path we have to start walking. Sometimes the path is not in the right direction but once on it we can correct. Phillip has been concerned about our two steers. They are so big and rambunctious that they tend to decimate very quickly wherever they are even though we’ve moved them around. A move back to a miniature milk cow and steer, or donkey, or …. along with a couple of pigs may help the situation. Another 20 acres would be useful in this regard.
La Finca Luna Nueva helped us to envision an even more diverse AmByth than we currently have. They utilize permaculture to the max. We need to proceed with additional plants around the perimeter and play with some in row plantings at some point (always a little tricky with dry farming in Paso Robles). They have 200” of rain a year, we had 9 1/8” this year. Having quoted those figures it would be easy to say “It’s impossible” but that’s not so, we have to think a little more, and experiment. Everything takes time but, we’re on the path…and we’re eager.
The wines will just get better as they have more earthly influences surrounding their birth place. And just a thought, if any of you are ever interested in visiting a BD farm with us, please let us know, we’d love to share these experiences with you and introduce you to some incredible people: people who are trying to do the right thing regarding their land, their communities and the future of both.