During our first three months in Costa Rica, we completed the Permaculture design course (PDC) at Finca Tierra on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. It was a wonderful and eye-opening experience for us. Learning about Permaculture has been a goal of ours for a while now, and we are grateful that this desire led us to meet an incredible group of inspiring people and realizing how we want our life to look like in the future.
In this blog post, we share what Permaculture is, what we learned during our Permaculture design course, why we love Finca Tierra, and why we recommend this to everyone.
What is Permaculture?
Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature and is based on indigenous and traditional knowledge. It is a conscious, integrated design system based on ecological principles. It provides a framework for creating landscapes that mimic the patterns found in nature, which delivers diversity, stability, and resilience. Permaculture creates an abundance of shelter, water, energy, and food, to address local needs in efficient, cost-effective, and productive human environments; while reducing our footprint on Earth.
The way our food is produced today on a large scale with conventional agriculture causes a lot of emissions and destruction of nature. Using monocultures and pesticides is damaging the soil. That is why Permaculture is the solution for a sustainable way of growing our food with consideration of nature. It uses the principles of regenerative farming and rewilding the land.
What we learned in the Permaculture Design Course
The Permaculture design course (PDC) is an international 72-hours certificate course. It goes beyond the theoretical and focuses on real-world situations and emphasizes practical skills. We loved that we got to do everything we learned and were surrounded by the result of managing the land by the philosophy of Permaculture. To see that actually doing something was easier than it may sound helped us to understand everything better.
During the Permaculture design course, we learned how to plan and manage our land and grow our own food in harmony with nature using nothing but natural fertilizers. We learned how to make compost, use a machete, and manage a food forest. We learned how to build a sustainable home, including water, electricity, and wastewater treatment.
At the end of the course, everyone got to design and present a 1 acre/half hectare sustainable homestead based on what we have learned during the course.
How two weeks at Finca Tierra looked like
We completed the Permaculture design course in two weeks. During that time, we had accommodation and farm-to-table meals included at Finca Tierra. We stayed in cute little huts with shared bathrooms.
Waking up and falling asleep to the sounds of nature is something we love. These two weeks made us feel so connected with nature and our food, and the group got like a family.
The days started with breakfast and then we usually had practical class in the mornings. This means we spent those hours in the garden for example planting or managing the food forest. After lunch, we usually had a lecture where we gained an understanding of how we can apply permaculture. After a couple of hour’s break, we eat dinner together with the group every night and had many amazing conversations.
The food at Finca Tierra was incredible. We got spoiled with the freshest ingredients from the farm and super delicious flavors. You can imagine how excited everyone was when it was time for food.
About Finca Tierra
Finca Tierra was founded by Ana and Ian. They bought an abandoned cattle pasture located in the middle of the jungle on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. They brought fertility back to this heavily degraded land, knowing that to live sustainably, they needed to help Earth to regenerate. They had the goal of creating a productive ecosystem that builds soil while making food and integrating themselves into it. Getting to know these two during the course was a very inspiring encounter.
For the past 8 years, they have on-site practical training to share their knowledge. They offer the Permaculture design course to teach others how to become native to Earth and realize that with ecological design, land can produce everything you need.
Our reason for taking the Permaculture design course was our constant desire to learn about living more sustainably and in harmony with nature. We have never felt more like we have taken such a huge step in that direction than during this course. We realized that this is how we want to live and how much freedom and abundance this will bring to our lives.
We believe that taking a Permaculture design course is for everyone. What we learned can be applied to any climate of the world, and learning how to grow your own food leads to independence. Basically, if you need less money to spend on food, you will have to work less and have more freedom and time for what makes you happy.
Besides, we can’t imagine healthier nutrition than the food you grow yourself. When we buy food in supermarkets we never really know the whole story, but we have guaranteed the best quality if the food comes from our garden.
We are grateful that we could make this experience at Finca Tierra and the wonderful encounters we had during this time.