El Centro Verde evolves sustainable solutions for small farms and land management in the wet-dry tropics. We help to train the next generation of Earth stewards uniting agro-ecology, Permaculture and techniques from traditional farming systems.


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We can help you ensure success in your
next garden or water management
project; check out our services for
info about plants, soil amendments and 
consulting services.
We work within the local community and
our neighboring residential development, 
Pueblo Verde, to put sustainability and
into practice.
Join us to learn more about small farm
life in the wet-dry tropics. Live and
work in the forest but within five
minutes of the beach and great surf.

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Going Bananas in the Tropics

The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add a useful plant to its culture.  -Thomas Jefferson

Twenty years ago I was substantially more tranquilo in the act of smuggling than I would be today. With nary an afterthought as to the possible consequences, I waltzed unscathed through immigration and customs at Juan Santamaria International Airport with a dozen ‘pups’ of banana plants, artfully ensconced among the colorful clothing in my 7 year-old daughter’s suitcase. Jefferson’s point of view may not have been foremost in my mind, but I was definitely on the road to ‘going bananas.’

Individuals with a firmer grasp of reality might have taken the time to notice that there is probably a reason why the large banana producing areas in Costa Rica are not located in Guanacaste. Six months of “the seasonal equivalent of the Sahara” puts the broad, delicate leaves through the proverbial shredder and the water-filled pseudostem, what we think of as the trunk, takes a severe hit due to evaporative losses in our verano. And that’s part of how I evolved into a smuggler.