While visiting the farm, we interviewed volunteers from Canada, France, Sweden, and Nicaragua. I really admired that they came here for two weeks to give their energy and attention to the projects they are assigned. Volunteer work, in a foreign location, is a huge commitment that requires dedication, selflessness, and responsibility. Challenges the farm faces are obtaining younger employees within the next decade, global warming, and maintaining productivity. Don Guillermo mentioned that a majority of the farmers are around his age so the need to hire and train younger employees within the next decade and a half is important to support the farm. He also stated that the farm is about 40 acres which is about 40 times smaller than Doka’s plantation, and about one half of the LIFE farm is natural forest while the other half is crops. Insects and animals are attracted to the natural forest instead of the crops; this ultimately results in protecting their source of income and conserving energy and nature by not resorting to alternative methods that may destroy the environment.
There was this beautiful tree with three swings attached to it in the middle of the coffee plantation; it offers the visitors a sense of serenity. Guillermo has been advised to cut the tree down to plant additional coffee crops to make more money given the limited space, but he decided that the tree offers a significant source of profit from the tourists. Additionally, global warming is a persistent problem. The change in weather brings different insects and animals that could potentially harm the coffee plants and crop production on the farm.
Before the tour, we were split into groups and assigned a specific task. One observation that was made was their were repurposed bicycles used for chopping up herbs for the goats instead of an electric powered machine. The goats were able to get more nutrients with this in order to become stronger and healthier, and the farm conserved energy by not using a high energy powered machine that was harmful to the environment. Moreover, the strategic placement of the trees to ensure safety for the coffee plants pertains to environmental engineering. This distracted the potential predators of the crops from destroying them.
If I were raised on a farm I think I would want to become a farmer or something related to nature. I am a very impressionable person, so growing up to something that has been a part of my life for so long would deeply influence my dedication to a future profession. I would also consider myself loyal to things I love so I think if I came to love farming that I would do that for the rest of my life. The farmers on LIFE Monteverde seemed very content with making a difference, despite how small it may be. The animals and being able to improve the farm made the farmers happy. They like to dedicate their energy to a couple things rather than doing a much of things with half the effort. They focus on composting, coffee, and their goats instead of providing for cows because of the amount of work it required to take care of them.