Bona Fide Permaculture Farm

Published: February 13th 2018
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Hola, chicos.

Well into my last week at the Bona Fide project on Ometepe Island Nicaragua. I have mentioned and shown pictures of the farm but thought would try and give a better eplanation of the farm!

As mentioned in earlier blogs the farm is 26 acres and was back in 2000 a cow field, reforested by planting 11,000 plus trees and 1,000 fruit trees in 2001.
That owner then sold the farm due to illness and the current owners still run it as a Permaculture farm,Bona Fide, a non profit organisation.

It has been designed and planted as an agroforestry farm, incorporating various species within each other. I am told over 76 number of plant species,.
The farm runs an annual Permaculture Design Course, has intern programmes and also educational group visits.

The main food crops on the farm are coconuts, various bananas, plantain, jack fruit, yucca, mango, passion fruit, oranges, limes, turmeric, katuk, moringa, bamboo (for construction) to name a few.

The farm also has a medicinal garden with many different plants.
A nursery on the farm is used for planting new plants as well as producing plants for sale locally.
A worm compost system is in place as well as a normal compost system.

The farm has various areas which have irrigation including the drip feed system of Sams for the cocoa plants.
Chickens are kept and the farm also has 3 cats (OJ, Bits and Chandre) plus 2 dogs (Noor and Lyla).

We often see monkeys around the edges of the farm, also hear the monkeys, plenty of tarantulas and scorpions! The odd snake and toads, lizards, lots of birds and not to forget the ants! Be it fire, army or leaf cutters!

All the buildings have been built from trees on the farm and most have thatched rrofs, however due to the storms and climate they are now changing to corrugated roofs.
Buildings on site are the Aula, the Kitchen, there are 2 main dorms (The Hilton, The Partheon) 2 smaller dorms (Casa del Sol, Lions Den) plus the Love Shack (king size love bed)

A lot of these had had some sort of roof damage from the October tropical storm Nate.

The farm has solar panels but is also currently linked up to a fixed line, whcih is powered by wind power.
The farm has plans for upgrading the solar system through a grant they received.

Approximately 8 main staff are employed by the farm, plus 2 co-ordinators for volunteers and education programmes.
The farm also sells tinctures it makes and roasted coffee and is currently trying to work with a local farmers market and maybe even a farm shop on site.

So as the same theme as the end of my last project some facts and figures! :

Hiked a 1630m live volcano, 4.5hrs up 2.5 hrs down
Bicycled approx 60km
Walked another 100km up and down the volcano from farm to town!
Hiked to 2 island waterfalls
1 wasp sting on my face
1 dog bite on my left hand

Helped repair farm back entrance gate
Lots of mosquito, ant and unidentified bites!
Dehusked coconuts (100's!)
Refurbushed one of the open showers doors
Helped with signs and posts
Harvested and split bamboo
Refurbished compost toilet walls
Emptied compost toilet for mulching
Harvested bananas, plantains, jack fruit, bananas, turmeric.
Helped carry trees up to the farm for construction work
Chopped firewood, lots
Machete weeded lots of the farm
Cleared and dug over several garden areas

So as I said off on my travels again this week, make a change for me to be the one leaving and not the new buddies I made. Had a great time here and would come back again, maybe next trip.... met lots of amazing and cool people from different countries , backgrounds and stages of life.

Taking it quite chilled and leaving the farm mid morning, chicken bus to the port (about an hour) then ferry to San Jorge (about an hour) then gonna stay in San Jorge and catch a shuttle to Granda the following morning.

Granada is about an hour north of Ometepe/Rivas, next to the same gigantic lake.
Stay there 3 nights, walk around the town sights, chocomuseum, lake front, but basically chill and enjoy a hot shower!

Then another one hour shuttle to Managua the Nicaragua capital and international airport, stay one night near the hotel and then an early flight to San Jose Costa RIca.
Here I have an apartment hotel for three nights where i can chill and cook my own meals.

Then a flight back to Managua, same day shuttle back to Granada where I have my air bnb apartment.

Four weeks to chill and live, maybe even finally go for those spanish lessons I need to do! I can understand way more and picked up lots of new words but not really made the effort to fill in the gaps!

After the four weeks in Granada I then head less than an hour west to Masatepe/Masaya near another live volcano! to spend 8 weeks in my other air bnb, 2 bedroom apartment and access to a pool.

After this 3 month holiday I will be heading home back to blighty May 23rd, then off to Portugal for a 3 week break lol

Adios amigos

Marky larf

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