Soil

Flexitarianism: Living and Sharing Solutions to Climate Change

Flexitarianism:  Living and Sharing Solutions to Climate Change

DISCLAIMER: These are my thoughts and experiences on what can be a deeply cultural, charged and personal topic: diet. There is a lot we don’t know, especially when it comes to what a sustainable diet is. For one, most studies have been centred in high-income Western countries (Jones et al., 2016); it’s also still largely unclear exactly what a “healthy diet” should consist of, nevertheless what a truly sustainable society would look like. Integrating all of these concepts is an enormous challenge.

Contemplating an Uncertain Future: The Ranch and Climate Change

Contemplating an Uncertain Future:  The Ranch and Climate Change

Climate change, after decades of lulling at the bottom of the news cycle, has belatedly made it into the headlines as increasing numbers of people become aware, convinced and concerned about the environmental and social impacts of the Earth’s evolving atmospheric conditions.  I frequently think about disrupted weather patterns and what my role in this unfolding story should be.  

Salak Palm: A Guide for Tropical Permaculture

Salak Palm: A Guide for Tropical Permaculture

This article was originally published at the Porvenir Design blog.

Salak palm or snake fruit (Salacca edulis or Salacca zalacca) is a high value understory species for tropical agroforestry plantings. Salak palm is native to southeast Asia, where it is commercially cultivated in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Java, in their wet tropical lowland climates. At higher elevations the "Bali" variety can be grown. It produces a delicious fruit, eaten out of hand, with a taste similar to strawberry with an apple-like texture. The fruit transports well and can be stored at room temperature for a week with little degradation in quality. 

8 Tips for Starting your Tropical Homestead

8 Tips for Starting your Tropical Homestead

You’ve just purchased your dream property in tropical Costa Rica. You want to grow your own food. You are anxious to get to work now, have bought some plants from a nursery you randomly drove by, and have a shovel in hand, but...where to start?

Most of our clients fall on either side of a spectrum of project implementation. Either they experience paralysis by analysis, overthinking every step, their confidence slowly eroding, or they dive in head first without any planning. Either way they hire our team at Porvenir Design to bring them to the middle. How can we take our time and plan while simultaneously moving forward with the energy and confidence that is required to see a project to completion?

Making Microbes: Fungal vs Bacterial Soil Life

Making Microbes: Fungal vs Bacterial Soil Life

Organic gardeners and farmers understand the need to cultivate and protect soil microorganism life. The strategies to do this involve mulching, composting, and avoiding soil disturbance as much as possible. We know that these strategies, in addition to many others, encourage a healthy soil-food-web.

Poop: The Secret to Sustainable Solutions

Poop:  The Secret to Sustainable Solutions

Poop. Shit. Mierda. Caca. Crap. Boñiga. Excrement. Feces. Dung. There are countless ways to say what comes out of an animal’s body as solid waste. As most visitors to the Ranch realize soon after their arrival to Mastatal, we talk about poop more than the average learning center or household, and it’s not uncommon for it to be the center of a meal conversation.