St. Michael’s Sustainable Community

Provincia de Puntarenas, Costa Rica / December 1, 2018

St. Michael’s Sustainable Community

2592 2592 Civilian

Our family owned community is a functioning model community to prove that living sustainably is achievable and can be accomplished with less money while proving greater benefits.  All our homesites are beyond organic and regenerative in nature.  Every property is planted with a polyculture of edible landscaping, utility plants, and medicinal plants. Our intentional community has made the switch from being consumers to being producers.  It has been good for us, our health, nature, and made financial sense.

For a solution to be truly sustainable and good it must have a positive return to the environment and society. At the heart of any design problem is a question: Are we trying to make something less bad or are we really trying to make things better? It’s not about solving for the negative. It is about creating a positive. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “What we are doing to the forests is a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and one another.”

FOOD FOREST AND EDIBLE LANDSCAPING.

Cultivating healthy food is noble, we do it through cultivating healthy people and soil. Medicinal food is the center of our community. Our food forest starts at the fresh water spring nearest the community center and continues for miles. Our forest gardens and landscaping produce tons of food. We have terrace gardens and swales to catch water and send it into the ground building our aquifer. We believe the forest is the best garden. It is its own ecosystem; never needing outside fertilizer, watering, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, etc. We promote a healthy living soil. Our soil is an ecosystem in itself. We produce over 5,000 kilos of mangos each year. There are hundreds of mature fruits producing trees and over a hundred and thirty varieties. Each property is planted with an edible landscaping full of pineapples, bananas, plantains, oranges, limes, lemons, papaya, turmeric, ginger, teas, edible flowers, katuk, chaya, saragundi, yuca (potato), moringa, okwininan spinach,and much more.

OUR NATURAL PRACTICES INCLUDE.

Edible Landscaping design and building, Rotational Grazing, Medicinal plants, Organic orchard management, Zero Waste / Upcycling/ recycling, Agroforestry, Food forestry, Energy efficiency, Aquifer development, Compost tea, Natural Pesticides made onsite, Rain water harvesting, Soil regeneration and ecology, Holistic management and animal care.

Regenerative agriculture is a long-term, holistic design that attempts to grow as much food using as few resources as possible in a way that revitalizes the soil rather than depleting it, while offering a solution to carbon sequestration. The mantra is the slogan: “Healthy Soil = Healthy Food = Healthy People.”

Build soil health, promote nutrient retention, and encourage pest and disease resistance. Many of the practices associated with regenerative farming are management practices associated with organic agriculture. However, regenerative farmers are zero-tolerance for synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, and other inputs that disrupt soil life.

Justin Dolan, St. Michael’s Sustainable Community Provincia de Puntarenas, Costa Rica