Our trip to Life Monteverde might have made today the most fascinating yet. And, hearing from the owners about their philosophy and way of life has increased my respect for them exponentially. Although they live a simple life full of hard work, it is a rewarding and happy one. Part of what contributes to this is their close and tight-knit community, which for most members, most likely includes one or more of their family.
The farmers of Monteverde also are extremely connected with the nature and wildlife around them, and they pride themselves on finding the best ways to utilize the land in sustainable ways. (Afterall, the ‘Life’ in Life Monteverde does stand for ‘Low Impact For Earth’.) Nature can sometimes be a problem though — in the form of coffee rust, beetles and other pests, bad weather or an off season.
However, the farmers have adapted well by utilizing everything they have. They reuse coffee husks as padding on the ground of the chickens’ enclosure and make methane out of the pigs’ manure. What I personally found most interesting, was their use of natural herbicides and exploration of a fungus spray that would get rid of the beetles that destroy the coffee plants.