Costa Rica Ramblings

  • Costa Rica Ramblings,  Permaculture

    How to get your goat pregnant in Costa Rica

    It is more difficult, and expensive, to knock up a goat than you would think. There are interesting perks and challenges implicit in attempting to farm in the jungle. I have been learning everything I can about how to take care of our animals online, but the problem with that is that the vast majority of the information available is written in North America. Everything is just so different here: the climate, the food that is available, the building materials, etc. Add to this the fact that, in rural Costa Rica, animals are meant for food – they are not in any way pets, which means that people care for…

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  • Costa Rica Ramblings

    Goat DIY

    Above image: when you take the goat for a walk (as one does) and the hens decide to follow you up the road. While we have had chickens for a few months now, there is something different about having a goat (second one is on the way). As my daughter said, ‘We’re really farmers now!’ It’s like, yes, chickens are farm animals too, but they’re birds. They’re small and more easily managed and don’t head-butt you at every opportunity. In preparation for our goats, we built a small barn with a tiny corral in front of our cabins. We used instructions that I found here at to build dispensers…

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  • Costa Rica Ramblings,  Energy Medicine

    Costa Rica Confession

    Above picture: Me, building a greenhouse while being shot in the butt with Nerf darts from a maniacal toddler. This is my life. I have a confession to make. This is the kind of thing that’s hard for me to say, so I’m only going to say it once. Ready? This life is harder than I thought it was going to be. This is hard to admit, because people make an assumption, when you do something that seems as crazy as sell your home and business, pack up your things and move to Costa Rica, that you are unprepared. In reality, I research everything, and I like to believe that…

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  • Costa Rica Ramblings,  Fabulous Food,  Vitamins Minerals and Herbs (oh my!)

    Wandering Herbalist: Costa Rica Fruits

    I have a confession to make that usually puzzles my clients and students who know me to be a food “expert”: I don’t usually eat fruit. It’s not that I don’t like it, it’s that, for some reason that I have never fully understood, my body just doesn’t seem to metabolize fructose very well. To put it bluntly; fruit makes me fat. But, it is impossible for a self professed food fiend to travel to a new country learning about plants and food and not eat what grows locally! So, I eat it all. And I’ve gained weight, but that’s beside the point! One thing that I really enjoy about…

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  • Costa Rica Ramblings,  Fabulous Food,  Permaculture

    Clueless Attempts at Permaculture: 6 months and Drowning

    Remember last time I wrote one of these and it seemed vaguely optimistic? Forget all that. We are currently in the depths of the rainy season. The good news about this is that, as it pours for hours every day, nothing needs additional watering. Here are the downsides: the soil just washes away and if you don’t catch it quickly and remedy the situation, it can leave delicate roots exposed. Heat-loving plants like tomatoes and peppers get moldy and rot, and weeds grow incredibly quickly. Now combine that with the fact that my free-ranging chickens have stripped the leaves off of everything they can reach and the leaf-cutter ants on…

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  • Costa Rica Ramblings

    The craziness of DIY in the jungle

    I would give anything for a Home Depot and a Michael’s right now. Let me explain. We are DIY kind of people. I blame my parents for it really – when I was growing up, our house was always in a state of renovation and my folks are the kind of people that would go through open houses “to get ideas” on the weekends, dragging their beleaguered children in tow. When I was 15 my mom bought a little fixer-upper in Prince George and we redid it ourselves; ripping out the shag carpets, refinishing the hardwood floors, setting tile, painting murals etc. The year before that, in another part of…

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  • Costa Rica Ramblings,  Fabulous Food,  Vitamins Minerals and Herbs (oh my!)

    Wandering Herbalist: Mamon (Rambutan)

    Medicinal plants, fruit: Mamon The fruit stacked high on the table at the market looks almost alien. Spiky, with little barbs radiating outward, bright red and about the size of a ping-pong ball; here in Costa Rica, this fruit is known as mammon, though in Asia it is better known as rambutan. Don’t be fooled by its’ strange appearance – it is delicious. And at this time of year when it is in season, it is ridiculously cheap and can be found everywhere. There was a lady selling bags on the side of the highway out of the back of her truck today; one kilo for one mil colones (just…

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  • Costa Rica Ramblings,  Energy Medicine

    Touch for Health for Chickens – The Balancing of Prince Agatha

    So everyone who has been following us on Facebook or on my blog knows by now that we bought some chicks. Despite having no idea what we were doing. And things were going pretty well with them, up until they turned six weeks old. This is the true story of how I used my Touch for Health knowledge to bring a chick back from the (nearly) dead. In the mornings, I usually open up the coop and lift the chicks out so that they go forage and run around the yard, but on this particular morning, one of the chickens was lying in a corner alone. He would not get…

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  • Costa Rica Ramblings,  Fabulous Food,  Permaculture

    Clueless attempts at Permaculture: 3.5 months

    The good news is: food is actually growing. The half-dozen pots of lettuce I had planted as we were getting settled are large and we are consistently pilfering leaves for salads. We’ve had our first little crop of radishes and celery, green onions and herbs are in abundance. Almost every tiny bit of space that could be eked out of what used to be our driveway has been put to good use. Combined with our new little property (see below), this feels like a tremendous amount of plants for me. The thing is, while I have always loved to garden and have always had one, up to now it has…

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  • Costa Rica Ramblings,  Fabulous Food

    The chicken saga

    As part of our shift to try to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle I wanted to have animals to help provide more protein for our diets (eggs, milk, cheese). The tricky part is that I have no clue what I’m doing. Perhaps you don’t know this already, but I’m not exactly a farm girl. We didn’t have animals when I was growing up – we didn’t even have house plants. My husband on the other hand, was raised in a swamp (at least for a little while) and had pigs, chickens and turkeys at various points in his childhood. The kicker is, he’s not here, he has been working in…

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