The Finca Modelo

The Finca Modelo

The Finca Modelo (Escuela vieja/old school) is a model farm located near the Tropical Station La Gamba in the Rainforest of the Austrians. It is based at the site of a former primary school which was converted into a tree nursery for the permaculture project (agroforest system) in 2006. It plays an important part in the COBIGA project (Corrdor Biologica La Gamba).
Following organic agriculture principles, a wide range of crops and saplings are assessed to determine its suitability in tropical conditions and other uses on tropical farms. The farm uses a variety of sustainable agroecological practices to improve the global management of the Finca. These techniques are meant to improve the soil condition, optimize the nutrient cycle, and increase overall production. This is also the reason why animals like chickens and pigs are kept on the finca to recycle organic material and leftovers.
The herbs, vegetables, fruits, and animal based products form the model farm enrich the field station’s kitchen as well as the La Gamba primary school with fresh and healthy organic food.
Finca Modelo has become a local meeting point, as it hosts regular seed fairs and farming workshops, enabling local farmers to acquire new knowledge, exchange ideas, and expand their assortment by trading with others. Practical and theoretical knowledge and experience in growing and planting trees, producing compost, and how to determine tree species was collected during the years and compiled in several publications and books (e.g. Creating a forest, Weissenhofer et al. 2012).
In 2019 the Finca Modelo was awarded as the first Finca in southern Costa Rica with the so-called “Bandera Azul” (Blue ribbon) by the Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganaderia de Costa Rica MAG.

Die Finca Modelo (Escuela vieja/alte Schule) ist eine ökologisch geführte Modell-Farm in der Nähe der Tropenstation La Gamba im Regenwald der Österreicher. Im Zuge des COBIGA Projektes wurde das Gelände 2006 in eine Baumschule und ein Permakultur-Projekt (Agroforstwirtschaft) umgewandelt. Sie spielt heute eine unentbehrliche Rolle im Projekt Biologischer Korridor La Gamba (Corredor Biologico La Gamba – COBIGA).

Impressions from the Finca Modelo (seed fair 2020)

 Organic products from the Finca Modelo

Chili - different variety

Chili oil



cocoa butter

Té de Jamaica