• Costa Rica Ramblings,  Permaculture

    Brush with a Hurricane

    When I was little, I loved the book “I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Solew” by Dr Seuss. If you’re not familiar with it: there is a wonderful land, Solla Sollew, on the banks of the beautiful River Wah-Hoo where they never have troubles, at least, very few. But of course, the journey is weird and Seussian and generally not what it’s cracked up to be. This is how I felt this week. I arrived in San Jose Tuesday evening after a 12 hour flight from Switzerland. My poor brain was jet-lagged and scattered, I had a reservation at a nearby hotel and plans to travel on one of…

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    Costa Rica Ramblings,  Permaculture

    Homesteading in Costa Rica, 2017

    2017 Homesteading Goals Normally, I subscribe to the ‘don’t tell people your goals’ school of thought. Due to my introverted nature, I prefer to work quietly behind the scenes and then appear magically with finished projects no-one saw coming. But this whole homesteading/self-sufficiency thing is new to me and I am genuinely curious as to what my family will manage to accomplish this year and what other families are planning on doing in the same vein. So please, include your homesteading goals for this year in the comments below and let’s see how we can grow our Permaculture community (no pun intended)! Here are three areas where I see big…

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  • 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

    Dreaming of permaculture: our journey to Costa Rica

    Written for Health Action magazine It started twelve years ago during a Saskatchewan winter. Having just finished my training in herbology and sick-to-death of the cold, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to study herbs in the rainforest. It sounded like a whim and people laughed it off, but I began to do some research and my husband and I created a five-year-plan to move back to BC, pay off student loans, and embark on a six-month trip to see what I could learn about medicinal plants somewhere warm with gorgeous beaches. We chose Costa Rica for a few reasons. One, it has more protected rainforest than any…

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  • Costa Rica Ramblings

    Top 5 Love/Loathe About Living in the Jungle

    Every, single day, at some point in the day, I think to myself: This is ridiculous. It’s too hard, it’s too much, what on earth was I thinking? I want to go home. And every single day, at some point in the day, I think to myself: This is amazing. I can’t believe I get to do this, I love my life! These two points are not as far apart as one would guess. We’ve been here almost two months now. Construction on the new space is in full swing and the walls of the kids’ new rooms are almost finished. Anyone who read my post about my attempts to…

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  • Costa Rica Ramblings,  Fabulous Food

    My clueless attempts at permaculture.

    OK, so some of you may have been reading about our renovation process and how we are going about rehabilitating the cabinas we have purchased in the jungle. Part of this whole process however is the idea that we are going to live as self-sufficiently as possible and that means growing as much of our own food as we can. Our property is only about one acre: some of that is primary rain forest, some hillside, a large amount of driveway and some inhospitable cliff. We are trying to purchase a nearby property that would give us some actual farming space, but, like oh-so-many things in Costa Rica, it is…

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  • Costa Rica Ramblings

    Moving to Costa Rica – Welcome to the Jungle

    We have begun this new chapter in Costa Rica. Life here is simultaneously simpler and more complicated than we were used to in Canada. Our cabinas were open to the elements, moldy, full of insects and the evidence of the bats and lizards that had been hanging out here before us. We still have house geckos of course, all of which our 3-year-old calls Little Buddy and chases after. We spent the first few days scrubbing walls and floors with bleach and brushes, then painting the interior walls white, filling in the gaps at floor and ceiling to try to minimize the bugs. Two of the three cabins are sorta…

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