An important part of Costa Rica’s environmental movement is increasing interest in organic agriculture, permaculture and other sustainable farming techniques. While still outside of the mainstream, many traditional farmers are switching to organic farming or incorporating more sustainable practices into their production. At the same time, many communities exist or are forming throughout the country that incorporate sustainable agriculture and permaculture as a shared foundation, providing healthy food, income and a common interest and activity for residents. In some neighborhoods and towns, community gardens are another model which is developing, while the production of fruits and vegetables in gardens operated by hotels and lodges is also becoming more common.
In the same way, the national and international market for organic agricultural products is slowly increasing as well. Costa Rica exports organic coffee, cacao, plantains and other products, while organic farmers’ markets and special sections in supermarkets attract more and more consumers in Costa Rica.
As with other elements of sustainable living, there are many resources available in Costa Rica for those interested in organic farming, permaculture and other aspects of sustainable agriculture. These include growers’ organizations, opportunities for certification, centers for training and education, permaculture and landscape designers, and others. Many of these are included in the links below.
Ed Bernhardt, The Costa Rica Organic Home Gardening Guide
Ed Bernhardt, The Present and Future of Sustainable Agriculture, The Tico Times
Emma Kimata, Seeking New Options for Costa Rica’s Farmers, The Tico Times
Felicity Lawrence, Costa Rica Needs a New Way of Farming, The Guardian
The New Dawn Newsletter
The Green Farmer’s Market (San Jose)