On our second Wednesday we took a joint field trip to an organic farm outside of Turrialba near Cartago. This was another opportunity to see how small farms can incorporate tourism into their operations. The field trip involved us working on the farm, which was actually really great because we got to see what life is like on a small family-owned farm in Costa Rica. The trip also allowed us to witness first-hand some of the things we had been discussing in class related to food production and non-organic monoculture vs. organic farming methods. We had discussed the problems of just planting one crop throughout an entire farm, such as susceptibility to disease and crop loss (i.e. potato famine in Ireland). Planting several different types of crops greatly reduces such widespread disease and better supports the natural ecosystem. After arriving at the farm we participated in a short tour and then we started making compost. The compost was a Japanese recipe called Bokashi (I won't go in to detail what we put in there ; D).
After making compost for a while the instructor decided that we should quit an we went out on the farm and started planting crops. We developed a system with all of us students to efficiently plant lettuce and green onion. It was great! I love getting my hands dirty and in the soil - it really makes you appreciate the food you eat and take for granted everyday!
Once done, the farmer took us all to his house and they cooked us a big meal, which was greatly appreciated after a morning of hard work.