Farm & Reforestation
Farm to Table
We have the opportunity to heal ourselves and prevent illness with fresh and local ingredients, through diversity and color in our diets, and with the use of traditional herbs and herbal medicine.
At Playa Viva, we define farm to table as knowing where and how our ingredients are grown. It is important to us to know the names of the farmers and to visit the lands where the foods we serve are produced. We appreciate organically grown products and prioritize local ingredients. Our farm team focuses on nutrient-dense crops, including dark greens, nuts and seeds, fresh fruits and, most recently, farm- and forest-raised animal products.
Permaculture is about designing ecologically sound human habitats, increasing food sovereignty through local production, and regenerating degraded landscapes. It is a land-use and community-building movement that strives toward the harmonious integration of human dwellings, microclimates, annual and perennial plants, animals, soils, and water into stable, productive communities. The focus is not on these elements themselves but rather on the relationships created among them through the ways in which we place them in the landscape.
We invite you to join Amanda and her Permaculture Team on a tour of Playa Viva’s land during your stay. You will experience the resort and the surrounding ecosystem in a whole new light and leave with a deeper understanding of the interconnectivity of nature’s different systems and a deeper connection to our shared home.
Our Permaculture team uses both local knowledge and scientific analysis to understand our landscape, to set carbon sequestration goals for Playa Viva’s forests, and to identify the most appropriate trees to introduce through reforestation. At present, our reforestation and agroforestry designs focus primarily on improving soil quality and water retention capabilities, capturing carbon in the sandy soil around our borrowed landscape, and improving nitrogen cycles in the soil to improve microbial activity. As we build upon our successes in regenerative agriculture and land management, we expect our work to encourage historic water cycles to return to this ecosystem.
Dramatic shifts in climatic conditions are occurring in and around our watershed. Our community receives half the rainfall it did a generation ago. The river runs dry more days each new year. We trust that permaculture principles and reforestation through a lens of agroforestry design will improve the soils ability to retain water and begin to turn our sandy earth into microbial rich loamy soil.
Organic matter and soil microorganisms are key components for soil fertility and soil quality, including the ability of soil to provide nutrients for plant growth, and the capacity of soil to maintain key ecological functions such as decomposition of organic material and water retention.
For us, permaculture and regenerative landscapes mean our team members are thinking about future generations. Not only those people who will live off the bounty of food and forest products produced, but also those who will tend this same land in the future. We are expanding our bamboo production this year to include 100 new clumping patches, and we are focused on timber production in the form of tropical hardwoods. These harvests are sometimes 50 to 100+ years down the road, and we could not be more proud to put the work, the seed, and the trees in the soil now to offer a harvest to the generations to follow.
Permaculture in the Community
Banana Circles are used the world over to capture normal household water runoff, receive kitchen and yard waste, and to produce a diverse harvest for a family.
Our Permaculture Manager and two young men who graduated from a government-sponsored skills training program meet with homeowners to identify where water and organic material gather on their land and discuss the reason for and maintenance of the banana circle. The team then excavates the compost space and plants as many as 40 food- and medicine-producing plants around its perimeter.