Honoring the Hierarchy: Water as a Priority in the Dry Tropics

Honoring the Hierarchy: Water as a Priority in the Dry Tropics

I live in a visually stunning part of the world. The landscape here is a tropical blend of rugged hillsides and steep valleys, ridges extending haphazardly into dense jungle, white sand beaches pock marked by rocky outcroppings, and bizarre flora and fauna adapted to this chaotic climate. There are no cool months; heat pervades everything. Humidity, however oppressive at times, ranges significantly in its intensity. The ebb and flow of water throughout the year dictates nearly everything

Where to Buy Your Trees and Seeds in Costa Rica?

Where to Buy Your Trees and Seeds in Costa Rica?

Ever have a challenging time finding your favorite plant in Costa Rica? Or wonder where to get supplies for a new greenhouse? What about organic pesticides? 

After nearly a decade working in country, our team has compiled a comprehensive list of nurseries, seed banks, botanical gardens, and farm/garden suppliers. In the past we shared this document with students and clients, but with our new website we have the means to make it available to the all the gardeners, landscapers, and farmers in country.

8 Tips for Starting your Tropical Homestead

8 Tips for Starting your Tropical Homestead

You’ve just purchased your dream property in tropical Costa Rica. You want to grow your own food. You are anxious to get to work now, have bought some plants from a nursery you randomly drove by, and have a shovel in hand, but...where to start?

Upcoming Permaculture Design Workshops with Porvenir Design

Upcoming Permaculture Design Workshops with Porvenir Design

Members of our team will be teaching a number of Permaculture Design Certification (PDC) courses in 2017 and 2018. For anyone interested in our consulting and design services these classes are an intensive jump start toward understanding our shared design language, a space to get to know our team, and will greatly enhance your ability to design and implement your own project.

Salak Palm: A Guide for Tropical Permaculture

Salak Palm: A Guide for Tropical Permaculture

Salak palm or snake fruit (Salacca edulis or Salacca zalacca) is a high value understory species for tropical agroforestry plantings. Salak palm is native to southeast Asia, where it is commercially cultivated in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Java, in their wet tropical lowland climates. At higher elevations the "Bali" variety can be grown. It produces a delicious fruit, eaten out of hand, with a taste similar to strawberry with an apple-like texture. The fruit transports well and can be stored at room temperature for a week with little degradation in quality. 

5 "Grow-Your-Own" Mulch Plants for the Tropics

5 "Grow-Your-Own" Mulch Plants for the Tropics

The tropical forest is constantly self mulching. After a walk in the woods I usually return with bits of leaves and twigs caught in my hair. Lying in bed at night, my partner and I often hear branches and even whole trees tumbling toward the great soil food web below. This self mulching is one important piece in the self-renewing fertility cycle of the tropical forest. And of all the functions of the forest that we can seek to mimic, generating and applying our own mulch may be the most important.