Nightly Visitor

zorroWildlife can be very funny here and sometimes has the potential to go viral.

I am not talking about funny coloured coral snakes, but “zorros” which is the translation of “fox”, but it’s nothing like a fox as in Europe or North America. They are nocturnal animals, which feed on whatever comes along in forests, coffee plantations, near houses.

All you need is some food, like some spare bananas and a trail cam.

Just watch the video and look at its tail!

 

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Blue Zone Serum

channandayureThis is an awkward connection between first world luxury and third world farming. Chanel is using the notion of blue zones to enhance/market a new product.

The company extract some essence from manually dried coffee beans harvested near Nicoya, one of the 5 blue zones, to enrich an anti-aging thing for ladies willing  to spend a fortune on this.

Now, I’m not a plain old coffee farmer anymore! I’m growing anti-aging products!

Read more in La Republica. It’s worth watching the video. It’s just what you would expect.

Pest control

The big buzz word amongst tropical farmers is “control de plagas” or pest control. It’s all about keeping as much of your harvest alive through the growing and  ripening period. This goes for any fruit: bananas, coffee, oranges, passion fruit. Some are more likely to be affected by “insect predators”, larvae, worms, birds or other nightmares of fauna.

Right now, I find oranges to be a real nuisance. I collect almost more  oranges on the ground which have been picked by greedy birds than I can harvest.

Frigidaire support

frigidaire-never-come-back

Does anyone have experience with Frigidaire support?

I had a problem with my oven and the fridge and tried to contact them: a nightmare.

First of all, they only offer direct phone support (0800 052 1672) which can be reached by landline phones, which is quite stupid thing to do in Costa Rica. Then I sent them an email to serviciocostarica@electrolux.com). No reply!

After that, I contacted Frigidaire in Canada twice. Again: no reply, just an automated email that someone is going to contact me within 48 hours.

How bad can customer service get?

Or are they just greedy or unable?

Or do they make a difference between first and third world countries?

Buying checklist

Before buying property in Costa Rica don’t forget to check these issues or better have them checked by a trustable lawyer. Verify

  • that the seller is the registered owner and that you can legally buy the property
  • that the property is registered as a separate entity. The vast majority of properties are registered in the Registro Nacional. If a property is not recorded, give it a month or two and make sure that the seller registers it properly!  After all, Costa Rica has quite fast and straightforward procedures:
    realestateprocedure
Source: Worldbank.org

Continue reading Buying checklist

Finding things to buy

Latest news: San Jose is the fifth most expensive city in Latin America. Only 94 cities in the world are more expensive.
But who would want to live in San José anyway? Living in the countryside is a different story. You can curb costs by keeping your own chicken, having your own garden & growing (almost) anything you want and brewing your own beer (just a joke!).

epoxy
Ordering Epoxy at Amazon Canada to have it shipped to a nice Canadian guy who is coming to visit us in a few weeks

What is more annoying is that it is often difficult to find non-standard equipment, tools or foods. I guess you just have to get used to it and find some good spots, where to buy them.

A lot of foreigners rely on friends visiting them to pack their bags full of stuff which is hard to get in Costa Rica.

Ordering directly at Amazon or eBay to ship to your Costa Rica home address is very frustrating because you have a 99% chance that you get the message “This item cannot be shippped to this location”. For whatever fucking reason…. Continue reading Finding things to buy

Spotted Rooster

Gallo pinto means Spotted Rooster, and it is funny, that this dish comes under more weird names in different countries, like Hoppin’ John  in the Southern United States, Pabellón criollo (a dish with the same ingredients in Venezuela) or Platillo Moros y Cristianos – the Cuban equivalent. Continue reading Spotted Rooster

Orange harvest

Orange harvest sounds nice, but it can be very frustrating. Depending on the terrain and the weather, this can actually be really nasty.
If you have trees on a slope and can’t get very near with a truck, you need a team to haul the sacks to a central pickup point. The sacks can weigh up to 40 kg – depending on the mood of the fruit pickers.
Steep ascents can play another tragic role, as I will tell in a moment.

Continue reading Orange harvest

Coffee production

Coffee production has played a key role in Costa Rica’s history for a long time. But during the last decade the importance has been gradually decreasing..
The  annual  production  averaged  2.1  million  bags  between  1990  and  2012  compared  to 1.7 million bags between 1963/64 and 1989/90.

cafeBut there’s is another trend influencing the harvest. Ronald Peters, executive director of Icafé, states that “… a reduction was expected for the current crop, due to the cyclicality of coffee production (high period and a low period).”

The forecast of the Coffee Institute of Costa Rica (Icafé) is that the total production for the 2016/17 cycle ends at 2,069 million bags of 46 kilos, below the 2.211 million harvested in the 2015/16 period.” This would be a decline of 6.4%.

Reforestation

When you plan to reforest some land  in Costa Rica, the following questions arise:

Condition of the terrain

Slopes

In general, the growth rate of young trees is reduced in slopes. However, there are certain types of trees growing well on slopes, e.g. Humiriastrum diguense, Copaifera camibar and Virola koschnyi.
Slopes can also be stabilized by planting Yucca guatemalensis or various bamboo species.

Wetlands

Swampy areas or areas with regular flooding are only suitable for certain tree species (like mangroves or Raphia taedigera).

Continue reading Reforestation

Gossip about living on a Costa Rican finca

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