Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Meeting the Farmers of Cerro Verde

Farmers from Cerro Verdo.  Photo: Coleman Smith
Saturday we sauntered down the dusty road near Guiones Beach in Nosara to the weekend open market. We caught up with our new friend Mainor a local organic farmer and his friends. His farm, or finca, called Cerro Verde, is located about 30 km southwest of Nicoya, Guanacaste, Costa Rica.  Mainor said he was part of the Asociacion de Agricultores Organicos de Cerro Verdo.  His booth, nestled back in a hedge of hibiscus, was one of only a few where indigenous farmers were selling local produce. Most vendors at the Saturday market were North Americans, Germans and Italians selling a variety of homemade breads and confections as well as imported clothing and jewelry. Other local indigenous "ticos" were offering coconuts as a source of refreshing water, tamales, hand-crafted furniture and carved wooden sculpture.  

Mainor introduced us to the fruto dorado or Golden Fruit, also known as the breadnut tree or Ojoche.  The  nutrient-dense seed of the Brosimum species served as a survival food for the ancient Mayans, and is also valued for the beauty of the wood, used in furniture making.

As we moved through a patchwork conversation with Mainor (he spoke only Spanish), we felt connected  through our common experiences with and appreciation for organic farming, a loving care for the land, and our understanding of permaculture (see previous post). After the market, Mainor walked with us back to Casa de la Rosada to see the raised bed organic food production of our local host and to talk seed exchange and farming needs in the tropics. 

Reporting from Nosara, Costa Rica: Clare Hanrahan & Coleman Smith of newsouthnetwork@gmail.com

Contact Asociacion de Agricultores Organicos de Cerro Verdo:  organicoselcerro@hotmail.com

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