On the Farm at Finca Luna Nueva
The connectivity of life is easy to contemplate at New Chapter’s Finca Luna Nueva in Costa Rica. Nestled in the primary rainforest, Finca Luna Nueva is a 200 acre biodynamic organic farm and sustainable eco-lodge.
Biodynamic farming has its origins in the 1920s where farmers along with Rudolf Steiner developed fundamental principles linking the farm-organism to the larger cosmos. An organic biodynamic farm incorporates dynamic forces in nature, such as the cycles of the moon, into its farming methods.
Biodynamics also emphasizes a holistic approach to agriculture, where the interrelationships of the soil, plants and animals are taken into account in developing a self-sustaining farming system. With that said, the farm tour at Finca Luna Nueva was a real treat. To see a productive farm, set in a wildly biodiverse natural habitat as opposed to rows upon rows of monoculture, was like catching a glimpse through the window of time into another world of possibilities for our future.
Preserving species habitat and biodiversity, Finca Luna Nueva is working with the Children’s Eternal Rainforest to connect 182 acres of adjacent secondary forest to the 50,000 acres that are already a part of the Children’s Children’s Eternal Rainforest Conservation area. Biological or habitat corridors like these are important in the rainforest to rejoin ecosystems; restoring a connection that was broken due to human development. These kind of projects are going on throughout Costa Rica to restore the habitat destroyed by the deforestation of the past.
One of the most significant projects at Finca Luna Nueva is the Semillas Sagradas or Sacred Seeds Sanctuary. Home to around 300 neo-tropical medicinal plants, the Sacred Seed Sanctuary not only preserves these medicinal herbs, but also the traditions of the Central American indigenous people.
According to New Chapter CEO, Tom Newmark, we are losing rainforest at a rate of an acre/second and somewhere between 50-200 species on planet earth go extinct every day. Parallel to these extinctions, is the extinction of language and culture where someplace around the world a language dies every two weeks. Much to the peril of all humanity, indigenous people are seeing their historic connections severed.
The Sacred Seed Sanctuary project brings together the wisdom of the ethnobotanists along with the shamans and abuelas to preserve this sacred knowledge for humanity. Steven Farrell, who runs the operations at Finca Luna Nueva, told me that it can take up to six years to establish a plant in the Sacred Seed garden. For many neo-tropical medicinals, there are no written records. To establish a plant from the jungle to the Sanctuary often involved studying it to determine its botany and how it could be reproduced. Also, finding the precise location in the garden where the plant can survive takes time. Often plants are moved around to find the most optimal conditions for the species to flourish.
There is so much natural ancient wisdom to absorb at Finca Luna Nueva. The farm creates a sustainable vision for the future of humanity into a model we should all try to emulate.