Micro Farming: The Next Big Thing
As world food demand rises with a growing population, micro farming is an old concept quickly gaining popularity. It use to be that big is beautiful now the model is shifting to small is beautiful and that is the essence of micro farming. The dominant 20th century paradigm that large-scale agriculture could save and feed the world is now being turned on its head as years of cumulative problems start to rear their ugly heads and climate instability becomes a more pressing issue. The search for solutions to these problems has led people to the rediscovery of micro farming.
Micro farming was practiced for centuries before industrialized farming. With the growing demand for food, micro farming is gaining momentum through out the world including in urban areas. 15% of the world’s food now comes from micro farmers. It works under the principles that the ecosystem is based on relationships of interdependency and balance.
With abundant rainfall, different environments and a temperature that never goes under 20 degrees Celsius or above 32 degree Celsius, Costa Rica provides excellent farming conditions. The variety of environments that exist in the Osa Pensinsula make it an ideal place for micro farming. The unique combination of soils, exposition to the sun and breeze, natural coverage, pollinating animal species, availability of fresh water from rivers, creeks and mountain springs make this region an excellent growing environment.
Cattle breeding was once a central industry in the Osa Peninsula resulting in areas being slashed and burned. These former pastures are great for plantation fruit trees, and the lowland soil is excellent for several kinds of potatoes. In the forest lands, there are opportunities for semi-wild coffee, forest fruits, cocoa, and medicinal plants.
The area is known for its dedication to sustainability and the rise of micro farming here makes sense since it does not need clearing large tracts of land for fields but instead grows food within limited areas and does not need clear cutting. Micro Farming is built into the ecosystem. Tilapia ponds with fish lead to orchards. In the rainforest, micro farming works well within the natural ecosystem. It is based on the principle that you can grow food within the natural environment without creating large disruptions and preserving the habitats for the animals native to the area. It is low impact.
The tours of microfarms in the Osa Peninsula are well worth the day trip adventure. You can see how agricultural production is built into the environment. Crocodile Bay organizes a day tour to a micro farm where you can hike through lush orchards, across a tilapia pond and into a garden surrounded by rainforest. Micro farms prove that small is beautiful and practical. It is a way to meet the demands of today without compromising the needs of the future and that is a truly sustainable idea. Micro farming is a bump up from growing your own garden and can be done almost anywhere including urban areas. By growing your own food, you dramatically decrease your carbon footprint and help end hunger and save the planet at the same time.