When it comes to the conscientious management of their ecolodges and operations, Böëna’s roots go deep. In 2013, the Böëna founding family bought farmland among the fertile slopes of Turrialba Volcano to develop an environmentally friendly permaculture model for growing healthy and nutritious food for the guests and staff at Pacuare Lodge. By employing a companion crop approach—planting various crops that benefit each other without over-depleting the soil—Böëna’s Tuis Farm was able to harvest a cornucopia of fruits and vegetables for the lodge while minimizing the strain on the soil’s health and integrity.
Over the years, the Tuis Farm grew to 14,525 m2, and the crops diversified according to the lodge’s demands. The collaborators tested different earth-friendly pesticides free of contaminants to ensure the end-consumers ate nutritious and safe produce. Today, vegetable delicacies like lettuce, arugula, kale, mustard, basil, leek, cabbage, broccoli, and coriander are grown, as well as cassava, bananas, plantains, oranges, tangerines, lemons, and even coffee.
La Huerta at Lapa Rios
Once Lapa Rios Rainforest Lodge was incorporated into the Böëna collection of wilderness lodges, the owners quickly set to work to improve and expand the resort’s existing gardens. They established an organic management system and increased the quality and quantity of the crops. Currently, a wide variety of vegetables are produced, including coriander, lettuce, celery, chives, chard, kale, chili, and tomatoes.
Turning waste into gold
Böëna launched its composting program at the Tuis Farm and Pacuare Lodge in 2022. Composting is a process of decomposition of organic wastes by aerobic microorganisms. It results in a natural fertilizer with extremely high nutrient content that, when applied to soil, greatly improves its chemical and biological characteristics and encourages new plant growth. The success and benefits of Böëna’s compost efforts have been far-reaching and provide a sustainable and advantageous solution for processing the organic waste produced at each lodge while providing organic farm-to-table produce for guests and staff.
Because of the difference in environmental and soil conditions between Finca Tuis and La Huerta, each project has been one of constant change and learning. Today, Böëna is working to replicate their gardening success at their sister lodges in Monteverde and Tortuguero.