Recently, I traveled to Finca Luna Nueva eco-lodge located in the beautiful rainforest of Costa Rica.This is part one of my trip courtesy of New Chapter where I learned about sustainability, biodynamic farming, saw beautiful animals and a real volcano!
Wednesday morning I joined 16 other Finca Luna Nueva bound guests (above) from all over the United States and we made the 2+ hour journey from San Jose to the New Chapter’s biodynamic farm. My first impression was that Costa Rica is very clean—it is obvious that the land is respected and we could all take a lesson from the native Costa Ricans.
The scenery on the way to the Farm was absolutely breathtaking. Lush jungle greens sweeping up the sides of mountains, then down into plunging valleys and covering everything but the black asphalt our driver so gracefully navigated. Did I mention that I was white-knuckled holding on to my seat for most of the ride? I truly believe if my window had been down, I could have given a high five to the people in the oncoming buses.
When we arrived at the Farm, we were welcomed by Steven Farrell (pictured right), Vice President of Costa Rican operations and farm manager. With his kind eyes and white hair, Steven explained Finca Luna Nueva Farm is a biodynamic farm that practices sustainability. For dinner, my fellow guests and I learned firsthand why food from a biodynamic farm is so special—it is as beautiful as it is delicious.
Our first “slow food” meal on the Farm:
Salad: greens with cucumbers, tomatoes and radishes. The tables had an impressive array of homemade dressing and I went straight for the red one. Next time, I will read the complimentary card that accompanies little, unmarked bottles. This dressing was HOT. Habanero hot and I had a mouthful before I realized it.
Soup: coconut, papaya and palm soup is high in calories (but Steven reassured me they are the "good" kind of calories--so I didn't worry about splurging) and features antioxidants.
Entree: Tilapia prepared with fresh ginger* and onion sauce, turmeric* rice, green bananas prepared with cilantro and chiah which is high in vitamin C and calcium. (Chiah is similar to spinach with a bit more of a bite.)
Dessert: Coconut Flan is just heaven in a little dish. I was so excited to dig in... forgot to take a photo!
I had trouble finishing my meal and I was feeling a little guilty, but Steven reassured me that the pigs on the Farm would appreciate that I was sharing my meal with them. I hope they don’t mind the habanero dressing! The pigs, similar to other animals on the farm, play their role in the biodynamic farming. They are natural tractors in that they clear brushy fields to help keep the farm machine-free.
*Over the course of our stay, we ate, discussed and saw a lot of ginger and turmeric. These two herbs/root vegetables are responsible for the origin of the farm. New Chapter grows organic Ginger and Turmeric for use in their supplements.
After dinner, I knew I wasn’t going to need the MoJo bars I brought on my trip, but I was glad I hung onto them. The food on my flight back to the states was processed, pale in color and awful. I am forever a fan of organic, slow food!
I have more to share from my trip...stay tuned!