Farm to Table Food Forests Feeding a Permaculture Hotel/Restaurant (Nico Botefur: Essence Arenal)

Jun 9, 2021 | 0 comments

In this episode, we hear from Nico Botefur of Essence Arenal, an eco-lodge, restaurant, and food forest nestled just across the lake from Volcano Arenal.

Nico is another one of those mavericks who’s taken pasture land and turned it into a regenerative food forest and hosting grounds for transformational experiences.

In this video, we take a tour of some of the ways that Nico is using cyclical resource systems, channeling waste products back in, to feed future harvests.

Between his podcast interview and this farm tour, we hear about a number of approaches to build fertility, beauty, and profit, including:

  • Building a hospitality and restaurant business to bring money in to feed the reforestation efforts. Now the planted forests are feeding the hospitality and restaurant businesses.
  • Compost from restaurant feeds chickens. The chickens’ eggs feed the restaurant.
  • Weeds from the garden and prunings from the fruit trees are piled up and inoculated by the tilapia pond water. That material is then composted and moved back to feed the trees and gardens.
  • Rebuilding soil by planting Perennial plants like Mexican Sunflower and Medero Negro are used to rebuild the soil by providing ongoing sources of biomass that can be used for mulch in nearby gardens.
  • The project attracts volunteers who are given the opportunity to make the project more attractive.

  • Neighbors are invited to provide tours and spa services that improve the quality of the hotel, therefore bringing in more guests to support the local community. To learn more about Nico & Essence Arenal or to schedule a visit, check out: Website – http://essencearenal.com 


As always, if you find the information in these farm tours to be something worth sharing, take a minute and share your thoughts in the comments section or post about it on your social media feed.

We need as many land stewards as possible to be empowered by the examples set forth by these leaders.

If you want to know more about creating high-producing food forests, in city and suburban environments, I recently came across an excellent course on the topic. You can find it here.

If you take the course, I’d love to hear what you think. Special thanks to Lekan Ayodabo for editing this episode Follow Sharing Insights.


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