thefarm

El Zopilote is a permaculture farm.
But what is permaculture?


Bill Morrison, from Tasmania is the creator of permaculture (see Introduction to Permaculture 1 and 2 ). In the 1970s it was described as a beneficial grouping of plants and animals in relation to human needs, working toward an overall self-sufficiency of a home and community and perhaps as a "commercial attempt" with what could be grown with this system. The basic philosophy is to work with nature, not against it, in order to create a cultivated ecology which is designed to grow more produce than what is generally found in nature.

iconWikipedia--Permaculture Info
iconEssence of Permaculture--David Holmgren

 
 
IRRIGATION WITH CLAY POTS
We are using clay pots (clay cooked in the oven) for watering plants in the garden. The idea came from a book on irrigation in dry climates and its application in Nicaragua works really well in summer as it does not rain.We make our pots (we make a course to teach the technique) prepared entirely by hand and cooked in the oven.
We buries the pot in the ground and fill with water. Water seeps through the walls throughout the day, watering plants around constantly.Please, for more information click here .Por.
More photos of this project, please click here below.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEWS: organic food production to export

Recently we certificate as organic the Finca El Zopilote with Biolatina which is very trustable agency and next year we will start to export some products like Ginger and Tumeric to OFI , a Swiss company working only with organic products. For more informations check the links down here. Thanks

 

 
TOUR OF THE FARM

For those interested in Permaculture ,Sustainable Living and Ecology we organize TOURS with one of the owner.You will get hands on experience and ask informations with things like PERMACULTURE, COMPOST, GREY WATER RECYCLE, NURSERY and VEGETABLE GARDEN,BAMBOO PLANTATIONS and CONSTRUCTIONS, BEES KEEPING, FERRO-CEMENT WATER TANKS and more......
We kindly recommend the the TOUR to Groups, Visitors and Guests.
For more informations , photos and prices click down here.Thanks.




 

NURSERY AND VEGETABLES GARDEN

We started to use the principles of permaculture in 2003 after taking a "permaculture design" course in Finca Bonafide (2km from El Zopilote), and even though the farm is still young we have been very happy with the results we have seen so far. Maybe the more important area of the farm is the nursery and the vegetable garden. Here every day there is a person taking care of the plants and while the garden is our food source, the nursery is the engine of the farm because we produce the plants to be planted when the rainy season arrives.

In the vegetable garden we grow things like chili, rucola, mostard, different perennial and seasonal salads, tabaco, spices like oregano, rosmery, mint etc..., spinach, quiquisque, yuka, some tomatos ( it is very difficult to grow tomatos with this weather ), aloe vera, bejuco de ecuador, vanilla, ginger, tumeric and much more. Usually during the rainy season the garden is bigger than during the dry season because we can not use a lot of of the community water for irrigation.

The nursery is different every year because every year we plant different trees and plants. For example, during the first years we planted many fruit trees and royal palms ( we use for the roofs ), later we planted many decoration plants and bamboos. Right now we are planting rare trees that are difficult to find and plants that like shade ( coffee, cacao ). When the rain comes ( usually june ) we plant everything in the nursery, in the field and we start again to fill up the nursery for the next year .



Nursery map


Nursery


Tabaco


Chily


Herb spiral


Garden


Aloe Vera


Tumeric
 

JARDIN DEL MUNDO

El Jardin Del Mundo is a project started in September 2010 and involves the construction of a terraced garden for vegetables, herbs and medicinal plants and food production in a rugged area that is situated under the grey water treatment plant. In Finca we have another garden and the Jardin Del Mundo is different because it is completely runned by volunteers (with few suggestions from the owners of the farm ) who wants to help and learn Permaculture in its practical aspects. Shortly it is a playground for adults where you can play to be a farmer.
El Jardin Del Mundo is a project without end and ever-changing: the plants , the people working here, the structure.
Plants growning in the Jardin Del Mundo are used and eaten by the workers and volunteers participating in the project.
Those interested in giving its contribution in the Jardin Del Mundo, please visit our web page in
WORK (OPTION 2-3).
Thanks.



Lena planting spinach


Ponds

Tabaco

Okra plants
Jardin del Mundo from far

Dirty feet


Cob


Tomate
 

CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS
fitodepurazione (ITA)

Since the end of 2008 we´ve been building a gray water purification system following a technique called constructed wetlands but better explained with the word fitodepurazione ( In Italian ). The purpose of this system is to fully recycle gray water to irrigate plants and if it is possible, we will use for a small natural swimming pool. Gray water is cleaned by canals and tanks full of rock, sand and plants, where natural contaminant, fats and oils are cleaned and water comes out clear.For more information and photos check our blog by clicking the icon down below. Thanks.

fit
watersystem watersystem2
   

watersystem3 watersystem4 watersystem5
 
FERRO-CEMENT WATER TANK

Ferrocement is a composite material which is used in building or sculpture with cement, sand, water and wire or mesh material.
Ferrocement has great strength and is economical. It is fireproof, earthquake safe and does not rust, rot or break down in storms. It has a broad range of applications which include water tanks, home building, creating sculptures, repair of existing artifacts and building boats and ships. For More information about our water tanks check our blog and look at our videos by clicking the icons down below. Thanks.





 

COMPOST
Thanks to the compost toilet, we produce a lot of compost with waste from the bathrooms (excrement and rice casks), zacate or dry leaves, green leaves from vegetables (black wood), ash, earth and water. One month and a half is needed in order to finish the compost, depending on the number of times it is removed and the heat that it makes. See the compost in action by clicking down below.

compost
 

WATER PONDS
These are small ponds filled with 1m of water and various water plants. It is used as a water reserve for animals such as toads and frogs so that they will have a place to live. The amphibians eat insects and help to reduce plagues.

Charquitos1 Charquitos2
 

THE LITTLE BANANA ISLANDS

These are groupings of plants that help each other to grow. Each one has a purpose and they are all planted very closely together.

-Banana
-Gandul (Nitrogen provider)
-Flower
-Guanabana (Tree)

 

CLIMATE

We have two seasons. Winter (rainy season) lasts from May until November. Summer (or dry season) lasts from November until May. The farm is very different during the two season, and the work changes depending on the season. Trees and grains are planted in the wet season, and they are watered through irrigation in the dry season.


Rainy Season

Dry Season

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