Our stay at Los Laureles Farm
This is Fernando wearing his American and Proud t-shirt in our honor. He speaks some English which he learned just from reading books. I think that's amazing.
Here's the entrance to their farm. It is associated with Earth University through a group of community farms.
Their kitchen clean and uncluttered was very inviting. Just the necessities surrounded us.
We played dominoes in the evening which was great; I play dominoes with friends at home. I was giving Fernando a run for his money until I kind of surmised that we weren't going to bed till he won. We were tired, Fernando won.
Scott, one of the Toyota participants brought pictures from his home in Alaska to share. It was a good ice breaker and soon Fernando brought out a disk that some past guests of his sent him. Fernando and his family host people often to teach about sustainablity, to learn about other people, and to earn a stipend for hosting.
This is the window in the room in which we stayed. No screen, and the wooden door is shut at night.
A lizard was on the ceiling as we went to get in bed. Anyone who knows me, knows how much this creeped me out. I took it in stride though, cause Lydia and Fernando smiled at me and told me it was good, it would eat the bugs. Ahhhhh!
At 3:30 or four the sleep ended in the house for us in the Toyota group. This rooster crowed right ouside our windows every 45 seconds or so till dawn. Aren't roosters supposed to crow at dawn?
If you look closely this cage says "chickens for meat". We wanted to put the rooster in there.
This biodigester system is something we saw at a dairy farm run by Earth University students. Fernando and Lydia's farm also uses one.
It works by using methane as fuel. This sack accumulates methane gas.

First Fernando puts all the pig and cow waste in this container and stirs it. The fumes inflate the balloon like tank...


...the methane rises and goes up this line into the house where it is burned to cook on the stove.
Lydia also uses an outside stove which burns wood.
Here was the lovely breakfast she made with Costa Rican coffee, eggs from their chicken, tortillas she made from their corn and rice and beans.
They also collect water to use throughout the farm.
Fernando demonstrated how to milk the cow.
Then it was my turn. Fernando said I did great.
In between milking they let the calf suckle because it is hungry and also because it stimulates more milk production. We got about 2 and a half gallons this morning.
I also got to shovel manure. Ha! My boots still stink! I washed them tonight so that everyone doesn't veer away from me when we hike the volcano tomorrow.
We built a live fence...remember I mentioned it before? You stick in freshly cut branches and they grow into trees in rows. This creates a fence and helps with erosion. I may need to make one of these in my yard this summer.
Here's the finished fence. We did about 70 meters. It was hard work and it felt fantastic!
Lydia and Fernando also grow these pineapples. We had some for dessert - delicioso!
We took a walk and came upon this hill to survey the family's land - they have about 12 hectares or 30 acres. Truly magnificient.
Here's our group - thank you Fernando and Lydia. I'm forever grateful.


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