Searching for Sustainability

I observed that the lifestyle of a Tico farmer is very natural. They’re more connected with nature and their consumption/effects of their lifestyle. They can see the effects of their life first hand. The farm raises animals and grows an exceptionally large garden. From the livestock and plants, they get all their food (except rice) and probably dairy/eggs. Once they have excess or waste, it goes to their compost to be recycled into fertilizer. This will, in turn, nourish their plants and animals. It’s more of a sustainable circle, this way. They know what goes into their food, soil, and animals. It’s very different than our life where we depend on other people to take care of our waste and supply us all of our food. The chain of dependencies for Tico farms vs American households is drastically different.

Some of the challenges they deal with could be climate change, controlling pests, and the growing industry of tourism. Extreme rain or drought will affect the plants and animals well being. Don Guillermo was very transparent in their use of pesticides. He explained that they don’t use very many but do admit to using some. In order to keep the plants harvestable and disease-free, he said some are necessary. I wasn’t really surprised to learn this because going all natural in farming is very hard. They could lose a lot of money and jeopardize their plants if they don’t; a single disease could wipe out their whole farm. The growing amount of tourism is also something Monteverde must adjust to. A lot of the area now tailors to tourism; many restaurants, hotels/resorts, and English speaking. Farms, like Guillermo’s, now make money from tourism and not just their crops… for better or worse.

If I was the child of a Tico farmer, I would probably want to get a sufficient education and try out living in the city or traveling. Of course, I would always hold the farm and nature lifestyle close to the heart, though. I’m sure growing up with that lifestyle could get monotonous and repetitive. It’s also very secluded out here and resources/opportunities may be limited. With the impact of that childhood, though, I would have a strong appreciation for nature. I’m sure my occupation would have something to do with educating others about the importance and priority of preserving our earth. A field like sustainability or environmentalism would be helpful. Like most people, I think preserving the place that I grew up in would be important to me.

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