The Foundation’s current project is the conversion of a conventional coffee farm into a model for sustainable living. The Finca de Sarchi, Rio Trojas (Farm at Sarchi, Trojas River) is a conventional coffee farm that also produces pine and eucalyptus. There are a number of citrus trees, wild bananas, plantains and other tropical fruit trees. A natural spring provides pure drinking water and then flows into a man made pond where tilapia are raised.
The specific organic farming projects will be directed to both the community, and affiliated schools.
All projects will begin at the farm and radiate out to the community and the affiliated schools. Projects are underway today and will continue with new projects added every few months.
We will serve as a hub to collect, test and distribute information about organic farming and plant varieties that do well.
The Foundation will establish its own research facilities with the purpose of developing sustainable production of organically raised food. This will include food from trees, plants, animals, fish and sea plants. Research will be conducted year round even though the land based food crops may be harvested seasonally. The activity will be conducted by farmers living in the area of the facilities, students and professors affiliated with the farm, non-farmers, and foundation staff.
The goal of converting the farm to organic with a diverse collection of food plants will be a multi-year project.
The first step will be the establishment of organic practices in two lots while the remainder of the farm will use chemical supplements only when the crops are threatened by severe infestation.
All of the work is being done by hand with non-mechanized, hand-held tools. We use a tractor only on the service roads, throughout the farm, for carrying heavy loads.
Ecological Research and Recreational Activities
Farm and forest
The initial research projects planned for 2006 and 2007 are listed below.
- Inventory the trees, flowers, vines, shrubs and aquatic plants growing on the site. Define which plants have medicinal properties and how they can be used and preserved.
- Identify what micro climates are present and create a map to define these.
- Determine what will grow best in each zone and test the theories by planting diverse food crops in these zones.
- Harvest the trees that are ready, and use these trees on the farm. Determine the characteristics of each class of timber and the optimum curing method.
- Observe our resident and visiting wildlife, insects, and birds. Map their habitat. Study their compatibility and adaptability to life on the farm. Tell others what we do to enhance and protect the existing habitat.
"In Costa Rica when you do something that is successful, your neighbors will follow you. No need to promote, coax, or persuade; just succeed." (FEW Nov 2005)