RANCHO MARGOT – Costa Rica
In 2014, during our trip to Costa Rica, we visited this amazing Permaculture Farm where we found many inspiring ideas for our own project too. Rancho Margot is surrounded by the rainforest, where Nature itself is spectacular and enchanting.
However, the outcome is even better when Nature and men work together.
Since its establishment Rancho Margot is involved in reducing CO2 emissions and it’s the first enterprise in Costa Rica that can be considered “carbon negative”.
They have put in place a series of actions in order to reduce CO2 emissions:
Electricity – Power is generated through hydroelectric turbines which produce more electricity than necessary. Their design allow to simply benefit from gravity to generate hydroelectric power without constucting dams or reservoirs. Also, all means of transport within the Ranch are electric.
Hot water – They pack compost around coils filled with stream water. The temperatures in the compost reach approximately 70°C, which heats the water coursing through the coils. This hot water is stored in two insulated water storage tanks and is pumped into the bungalows, the bunkhouse and an open-air swimming pool.
Composting – They gather all organic waste to be decomposed by worms and fungi and then use it as organic fertilizer.
Biodigesters – The pigpens are rinsed out twice daily. This liquid waste feeds a biodigester cycling into an anaerobic process producing methane gas, which is piped underground into the kitchen and used for cooking delicious meals.
Cooperation with nearby enterprises – Travels for the supply of materials that cannot be produced at the Ranch are arranged with other local enterprises in order to reduce the environmental impact.
Food production – Rancho Margot almost 67% of food for its workers and tourists by carrying on 100% organic agriculture.
Simplicity and sustainability define their food production process. Highly processed and preserved food, along with packaging are not welcome here. Every day they harvest fresh vegetable and fruits by hand and produce dairy products and meat thanks to a small local butcher shop. Everything is reachable by foot from the kitchen.
Production on medicinal herbs – In the medicinal garden you can find culinary herbs such as spearmint and basil, tropical plants including cardamom, ginger, and turmeric, and native rainforest trees like senna, amargo, and firebush. Finally there are a lot of medicinal plants used in traditional indigenous medicine.
Recycling – At Ranch Margot every form of waste is a seen as a valuable resource. For example they recycle used cooking oil from the kitchen into fine soaps and laundry detergent.
Employ of local materials – the beautiful bungalows surrounded by the rainforest are built and furnished using local Teak wood.