• Martyn Thomas

Finca la Isla Permaculture Farm, Plant Nursery and Botanical Garden

So decided to check this place out. The Finca la Isla Farm is a short walk or cycle from Lazy Loft. Just outside the town up a path is this cool little garden that is full of interesting plants and also lots of cool tiny strawberry poison dart frogs. From their website...

"In 1987 our mission was to create a model of sustainable, commercial, organic farming working in harmony with the rain forest. Studying and practising Natural Farming and Permaculture/agro-forestry principles, we have come a long way from those early plantings of tropical root crops.  

Tropical yams and then black pepper were the first products we were able to take to the farmers' market while we waited on our highly diversified orchard plantings to come into production.

Our mission remains the same, but with 30 years of experience under our belt, we now consider ourselves, above all else, soil farmers, working to enrich the good earth beneath our feet."

So we arrived and met the super chill and friendly guy at the gate and pay our six bucks to enter. He first takes us to see a cinnamon tree. None of us can tell what it is until we smell a bit of the bark. Next up we are taken into a kind of green house area and see a little frog in the undergrowth. Super cool. Don't touch them though. After this we set off alone and with our map to get lost in the jungle. We see lots of different plants that you usually only know from the shelves of your supermarket. Black pepper, star fruit, bananas etc. Also got to see some weird stuff like the old man palm that is all covered in fur. The jungle is pretty muddy so prepare to slide around and get a little dirty.

At the end of the tour you return to the reception and get to eat various things from the jungle. We tried cacoa, snake fruit and a few other things. Also got to try the chocolate they make there which is amazing! The gardens are a nice thing to do with a spare half day in Puerto Viejo so go check them out...

Poison Dart Frog

Star Fruit

Walking Palm

Red Bark

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