Finca Verde – Growing Organic Farming Community

Mike’s free and indepth pay for permaculture courses on an organic farm near Vilcabamba, Ecuador: Finca Verde

First, a little about my self, then the farm.  With 65 years of experiences, I may have a lot to offer you

Most of my experiences before I got into organic growing were in medicine.  I grew up assisting my father, a veterinarian, in caring for animals.  During Viet Nam I worked on an infected orthopedic ward as a hospital corpsman in the Navy.  After receiving my second degree, a Bachelor’s degree of Science in Nursing, I worked for the largest non-profit hospice in the world.  We cared for over 1,000 people per day.  Having a 3 part specialty in wounds, ostomies, and continance, I provided consults for doctors and nurses concerning those areas.  When my late wife became disabled with chronic pain, I dedicated my life to being knowledgeable and competent in alternative healing.   Teaching was a large part of nursing.  The skills I developed in teaching and communicating with a large diverse population are readily used on the farm.

For my first degree, I studied Live Stock, Dairy, Forestry, Fisheries, and Wild Life Management.

For 5 years I had an organic garden in Southern Florida.  This is my 8th year (2017) as an organic farmer in a cloud forest in the Southern Andes of Ecuador.

My farm workers, volunteers, and I are striving to be a self-sustaining, non-commercial organic farm outside Vilcabamba, Ecuador. Our goal is to create a small community that can live sustainably through organic farming and permaculture. Being good stewards to the land is paramount. We want to make this farm completely sustainable, such that, most everything we, or the animals eat comes from the farm. Using organic, permaculture, biodynamic, and sustainable techniques will do this.

We offer permaculture courses near Vilcabamba, Ecuador, to people who want to learn more about sustainable gardening and numerous in depth other topics such as healing and outdoor skills. Internships are available for graduates of any permaculture course. Furthermore we offer free classes and lots of hands-on experiences for volunteers. We have over 8 years farming experience, 45 acres/20 ha, and 4000 square feet of organic gardens.

Type of help

Gardening
Building
Cooking
General Maintenance
Farming
Help with Eco projects
Animal care
Language practice
Art projects
Help with Computers / internet

VOLUNTEERS AND INTERNS

Volunteers and interns are welcome on our farm.   We provide food and shelter in exchange for your energy.  Donations are not required, but they sure are needed and appreciated.  The proceeds help educate local Ecuadorians.

Projects include: The building of housing: cabanas, shelters,
huts, underground and ferocement housing. Green houses/aquaponics. A wood-burning oven, sauna, swimming hole. Upgrade the beauty of existing structures. Fencing, digging trenches & general maintenance. Working with livestock; chickens, frogs, guinea pigs, rabbits, tilapia, a horse, donkey, and mules. Preparing, planting, weeding, maintaining & harvesting large and small areas. Composting, making and using non-chemical pesticides, creating new terraces, creating medicinal herb gardens.

Volunteers have the opportunity to help with, and learn about; conservation, permaculture, biodynamics, organic farming, worm farming/vermiculture, sustainability, gardening, building, and bush craft. You may also have the opportunity to learn how to pick your teeth with a machete. You can also learn out door skills, and learn about the processing of coffee and sugar cane.

Minimum Stay: One week stay.
Number of Days Per Week: 5 days per Week.

Languages spoken

English, a little Spanish

Accommodation/Lodging: We provide food and shelter in exchange for your energy. The shelter is a newly renovated bunkhouse with 8 beds inside and 2 beds outside on the terrace with incredible views. There are also 2 more beds in the guest bedroom. Bed linens and mosquito netting are included. A covered camping area is available for those who have their own sleeping bags.

Requirements: An interest in learning about or practicing  “surthrival skills”. We especially welcome volunteers with any special talents such as Yoga, Meditation, Dancing, Painting, …or any life experience that can be taught in a free class to other volunteers.   Computers, websites, construction skills, artistry, permaculture, sustainable agriculture, organic gardening, growing medicinal and other herbs. This knowledge will be welcome, and specific projects may be initiated around them. We are looking for volunteers with experience in any of these or other areas mentioned, and the maturity to do this type of work without supervision.

What else …

Fall to sleep listening to the waterfalls, the lowing of the cows and the whip o wills. During the day, enjoy the humming birds, butterflies, waterfalls, and birds of all descriptions. Do yoga or meditate on the newly built, outside community/dining center with its incredible views.  ENJOY FREE CLASSES IN CHI GONG AND MEDITATION. Hang up a hammock and enjoy your coffee and cane sugar both processed on the farm.
Local tours are easily arranged. Lots of hiking, some ruins.

In depth, affordable classes are available.

We have composting toilets, solar showers, and you can charge your electrical devices at the farmhouse.

If you are looking for beauty, serenity, and about learning opportunities, contact us at

nursemikesorganicfarm@gmail.com.

 ABOUT OUR ORGANIC FARM

The farm, Finca Verde (1409 M in altitude) is located in a cloud forest, half way (5 to 10 minutes bus) between Valladolid and Palanda, in the province of Zamora-Chinchipe. It is less than a 2 hour breath taking bus ride South from Vilcabama, and then about an 40 minute walk to the farm house. It’s about 50 miles from the Peruvian border.
Main Crops coffee, sugar cane, yuca, corn, platanos, vegetables, fruits.

Requirements: An interest in learning about or practicing extreme “surthrival skills”. We especially welcome volunteers with any special talents such as; construction skills, artistry, permaculture, sustainable agriculture, growing medicinal and other herbs. This knowledge will be welcome, and specific projects may be initiated around them. What ever life skills you may have, you can teach a class to the other volunteers.  This will be considered part of your work time.

We are looking for volunteers with experience in any of these or other areas mentioned, and the maturity to do this type of work without supervision.

Yes there will be basic farming chores as fencing, digging trenches, weeding, creating or rebuilding garden with raise beds, composting techniques and more. And there is always working with livestock such as chickens, frogs, guinea pigs(in the process), rabbits, tilapia, a mule and donkey. Preparing,planning and planting a wide variety of crops from beens to corn, If you are here when crops are maturing, enjoy harvesting and eating the harvest. Composting is our major way of fertilizing, with using non chemical pest control.
We welcome new ideas from our volunteers, you will see a new stairwell engineered by an engineering student whom spent two weeks with us.Creating new terraces where we can lounge with a campfire and set up a tent if you like.Be part of our ever growing medicinal medicinal herb garden.
We are located near the protected area of Podocarpus Park. We are also close to the village of Vilcabamba called “The Valley of Longevity” it is an area that has great hiking and horseback riding opportunities, plenty of beautiful scenery, there are always ex-pats and tourists to meet here.

The farm is small with about 19 hectares/45 acres of land. Our goal is to create a futuristic small community that can live sustainably through organic farming, and most important, to be good stewards of the land. We want to make this farm completely sustainable, such that, most everything we, and the animals eat, is produced from the farm. Our techniques are using organic processes, permaculture, biodynamics, and other sustainable techniques.  We offer courses/retreats in permacultue,sustainability and other “surthrival” type skills. Volunteers have the opportunity to help with, and learn about conservation, methods mentioned above, worm farming/Cultivating(vermiculture), building of gardens, buildings, and bushcraft.
Learn the processes in making home brew coffee (from seed to harvest to roasting) and the process of making sugar (here in Ecuador called penella,) from Sugar cane.

We have a newly planted orchard of about 30 different types of fruit trees. Also, we have about 6,000 coffee trees to pick from, about an hectare of sugar cane and a facility for processing it the panella. Some consider this sector one of the best in Ecuador. When the stars come out they can be quite an awesome to see. The nearest lights, to us, are about few miles away in a small village visable from the farm.

There are several stores in the town in which the volunteer could purchase ice cream, soda, candy, and other civilized food items plus personal care items (limited). We have a bunk house with up to 10 beds with provided linens, remember there is camping space available too (you must provide your own tents). We have composting toilets, solar showers, and at the bunk house solar electric lighting.

NOTE TO VOLUNTEERS AND OTHERS: Please bring high boots that can handle water and mud ( a must have item since it rains daily), a head lamp or flash light (strongly recommended, since there is a hike to the bunk house with no lighting). Bring some bug repellant, there are mosquitoes and other biting insects. Bring a bottle of baby oil and learn how to make a secret Amazon natural bug repellant. Short notices to come to the farm are acceptable.

You’ll enjoy working side by side with the farm workers.  It’s a great cultural exchange.

If  you are looking for beauty, serenity, and a learning experience, please  contact us at:

 Email us at: nursemikesorganicfarm@gmail.com.

“Thank you for your interest in our farm, Please contact us with any questions you may have “

Nurse Mike

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