Today was my favorite day of the trip so far. We visited LIFE Monteverde, a small coffee farm. It was very interesting to see how focused this farm was on sustainability. What interested me the most about the farm was the way nothing went to waste. The coffee parchment was used on the floor of the chicken coop, trees were planted in the coffee fields to provide shade, fix nitrogen, and also grow fruit that the workers ate. All organic matter was composted and used to enrich the soil. Even the pig manure was processed for methane that helped to power the kitchen.
Don Guillermo told us a lot about his work on the farm. He said that as a small farm that doesn’t only focus on one crop, fixed costs were very high. With coffee, livestock, composting, fruit trees, and many other focuses of the farm, there was a lot of work to be done for the twenty-six people who worked at the farm full time. I’m sure the work would be much easier if sustainability wasn’t such a major concern for the farm, but it’s obvious that to the people at LIFE Monteverde, the hard work pays off.
Running a small farm like this seems to be very difficult, but everyone at LIFE Monteverde was so happy to share their wisdom and passion for the environment. As someone who already cares a lot about the planet, I felt a new spark of energy for conservation and protecting our Earth.