Organic vegetable production
With more than 50 organic products including fruits, vegetables, grains and medicinal plants, Santuario Macao farm largely supplies the food demand of Macaw Lodge. Various vegetable nurseries, orchards of fruit trees, and small-scale production of coffee, acai, bananas and in the future avocados, represent a model of organic agriculture in which a continuous increase of healthy products of local origin is intended, both for the direct hotel customers as well as external buyers.
It is noteworthy that these crops, in the same way, are shared with a wide diversity of birds and several other animals, which are favored by a sustainable production of food, without pesticides or poisons that harm their well-being. Recurring bird watchers in the plantations observe these interactions.
The ingredients of the famous “gallo pinto” (rice with beans, very typical of Costa Rica) are present in each breakfast of the lodge. The beans and rice come from our own land, which is carefully tilled, planted and harvested by hand. Since the first day, we favor hiring local people.
Coffee, acai and pitanga are some of the special products, which are processed to later be combined with the fine aroma chocolate bars of Makaw Kakau.
Black bean production for “gallo pinto”
Cosechando miel de las cajas tecnificadas de las abejas nativas
For a couple of years, the Macao Sanctuary has been working in meliponiculture (breeding of native bees without sting). We have 24 technified boxes with five different species of bees: Tetragonista angostura, Plebeia frontalis, Melipona beecheii, Scaptotrigona pectoralis and Tetragona ziegleri.
It started with just six boxes. Once a year we divided them, doubling them and increasing the number of these important insects.
Each hive could have between 2000 and 5000 individuals, so it is possible that we have more than 80,000 of these small pollinating soldiers. We are still in an initial phase of this process, multiplying the number of boxes year by year. Our main purpose is to increase the population of these important pollinators.
In Costa Rica there are 58 species of stingless bees. All of them make honey, wax and other products related to the hive, which can be used both in the field of nutrition and in medicine. They are also essential in the pollination of wild and cultivated plants.
The minimal production of honey in the sanctuary is still in an experimental phase. We hope to have a larger production soon, which will allow us to market chocolate bars filled with melipona honey.