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Hotel Belmar Biointensive Workshop

March 10, 2014 - Hotel Belmar - Events, Sustainability

For past few months the Hotel Belmar has been working hard together to construct a greenhouse on the property. The purpose of which is to provide another level of sustainability within our hotel operations, and also the ability provide our guests with fresh and organic high quality fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

The Greenhouse

The Greenhouse

The first step in this process was the hiring of Eduardo Coto as our greenhouse consultant. Eduardo has a plethora of experience ranging from studying organic agriculture throughout Costa Rica, rural development training in Japan, and the Biointensive sustainable farming methods in California. The latter of which he applied towards the development of the greenhouse and shared with the community during a complimentary biointensive workshop on January 18th.

Eduardo

Eduardo

The day began with a lecture about the biointensive method, which has the goal of returning maximum yields in a small area of land while maintaining soil fertility. This practice, which has been utilized by the ancient Chinese, Greeks, and Mayans, if done correctly requires less water, fertilizer, energy, and space, all the while maximizing the yield and increasing soil fertility.

Eduardo teaching in the Greenhouses classroom/workshop space.

Eduardo teaching in the Greenhouses classroom/workshop space.

Eduardo sharing his knowledge

Eduardo sharing his knowledge

After the lecture, the group took to the greenhouse, to begin implementing the biointensive method. The first step of conducting this process is to begin double digging the beds of the greenhouse. First you must dig a hole about 12 inches deep. Then, with a spading fork, the 12 inches of soil below the trench is loosened. When the next trench is dug, that soil is placed on the previous trench and the entire trench is loosened with a spading fork once more. This process is performed until the entire length of the bed is completed. As you can imagine this was hard work under the hot Costa Rican sun!

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Getting after it!

Getting after it!

Teamwork at it's finest!

Teamwork at it’s finest!

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The next step was the beautiful part . . . planting! We took baby lettuce plants measured the space between each one and planted them with a sprinkling of compost.

Planting with love and care

Planting with love and care

The most amazing part of this process has been witnessing these plants thriving multiple weeks later. They are all healthy, and very soon will be producing large yields that we will be able to share with our guests in Restaurante Celajes!

 

After 2 weeks

After 2 weeks

After 1 Month

After 1 Month

After 1 Month

After 1 Month

 

Today!

Today!

 

See below for the time lapse video of our day!

 

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