The Finca Cielo Verde is a farm of about 6.5 ha including about ½ ha cultivated.
The owners are Allan & Nurieth. The farm is mainly handled by Nurieth and Jorge, his brother who is helping. Jorge’s partner, Luzmarie, works as well there at cooking and cleaning.
There are frigoles (red beans) cultures, pasture for the animals and some vegetables as well as some fruits in fields outside of the farm building area itself. There are goats, pigs and chickens as well as two cows and a horse.
A big part of the property is located on the surrounding mountain side and was cultivated mainly as pasture when we were there. We need to go by car to travel to the frigoles culture in the middle of the jungle.
The farm itself, from entrance to the back of it, is along a road on a terrace as the terrain is on a steep slope everywhere else:
4 walls that form a kind of barrack close to the farm gate host Jorge and his partner
1 main house for Nurieth’s family and an exterior opened and covered laundry room
A fenced netted area for the chickens along the road which turns into a fenced area for the goats (when we got here because they moved out afterwards) and the pigs
On that same side there is a small shed for the tools, a small cemented space which is free, a small netted and covered vegetable garden with trays, there are also huge cement trays for aquaculture but not in usage except temporarily by a pig, this tray being linked to a tank in order to produce biogas but not working when we were here
On the other side, going from the main house, there is a small bathroom with toilet and shower, an exterior kitchen covered with a roof, with wooden cooking stoves and a huge wooden table which is the meal area, a dormitory for the volunteers with bunk double-beds and an extra room where there are two washbasins.
Coming out of it, we are facing the huge cement trays for aquaculture where on that side the trays are full of baby fishes when we were there, then we go along the goat area and the field on the left is free
At the back of the farm there is a small opened and covered space where there is a composting area and small wooden enclosures of which one contains a pig and then some more free space with clay soil until the back gate that closes the farm
Water and Energy Management
Electricity is provided by the grid, mostly used by Nurieth and her family in the main house and for the laundry room. Other electricity dependent set-ups are only a few – some lightbulbs here and there, one fridge, one TV and a few electric plugs. Water from the shower is not heated. Cooking is made upon wood fire on a stone and cast iron stove which reject the smoke through a metallic bent chimney. There is little activity after the sun sets and everyone goes to bed early.
Water on the farm comes from the mountain and its streams. It is drinkable and collected through pipes bringing the water to the farm using gravity. It is not treated after usage. The dish washing water goes from a hole in the sink to the ground on the hill.
There is a space for waste sorting at the entrance of the farm for plastic, glass and metal. It is not much in usage. Organic waste is collected in buckets and given to the chickens. There is little other waste and they are difficult to evacuate as there is no garbage collection service.
We eat in the morning, at lunch and in the evening copious meals prepared by Nurieth and Luzmarie (except on the weekends), mainly constituted by rice and red beans with some variations and some additional side dish. Food is bought except for some fruits and vegetables. Chickens are plenty but produce little eggs and the goats were not producing any milk anymore when we passed through.
The way it works
Allan works outside the farm. The kids go to school during the day and come back in the evening, the youngest at lunch too. Nurieth is either on the move or here at the farm and Luzmarie remains at the fam. Jorge works generally outside the farm itself on the farm fields. A specialized worker may be called upon such as for cutting trees, a man came with his hacksaw and Allan was present as well to help in addition to Jorge.
There were between 5 and a dozen volunteers, hosted in the dormitory. The volunteers mainly stay at the farm under the guidance of Nurieth and do various things. The rhythm is not very intense on the farm. Some leave with Jorge for more physical jobs in the surrounding fields on the hills, rhythm is more intense but remains comfortable.
Nurieth leads all the people according what she wishes to be done. Activities of watering and dishes are attributed the day before for the next day. Jorge takes a few people in the morning and once the team is set, it doesn’t change much. Nurieth allocated the activities according how they come along. There is in general one person in charge to help take care of the children, get them from school and maintain the common areas cleaned.
When we were there, activities were:
On the farm:
Water the vegetable garden in the morning
Clean the farmClean the dog kennel
Repair the chicken fences and add some wire nets
Make biocharRepair the vegetable gardens trays and make them with cement
Feed the chicken which were quarantined
Clear the dishes and clean the dishes
Outside the farm, on the farm fields:
Make an enclosure for the goats (polls and wire set-up)
Cut some pasture to feed the goats when they were on the farm
Feed the horse and the cows
Dig a canalCollect the frigoles (red beans)
Wake up, coffee and start at 6am. Work in the fields or on the farm until 8am. Breakfast. Work again. Lunch at 12:30. Free time. Diner at 6-7pm. Lights out between 8 and 9pm.
Articles made on-site:
Recipes on soil fertility:
Make fermented semolina
Make a lactofermented preparation with lactobacillus
Technical videos made on-site:
Red beans harvest
Make biochar and improve soil fertility
Cutting pasture for feeding goats
Find the finca one facebook HERE
To read about our travel adventure HERE