Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Map of sustainable farms and communities in South America

Ver Sustainable Farms and Communities in South America en un mapa más grande

I am slightly obsessed and disorganized so to solve these two problems I have made a map of all the sustainable related projects and communities I have been to or researched.

Saturday, September 25, 2010



Natural bamboo construction.
While there I participated in a sweat lodge ritual by jumping in this freezing cold river then into a pitch black sauna several times.

The ritual of sweat lodges began in the 1600's by native American Indians. They believed it cleanses the body of infection, illness and toxins as well as ridding the mind and spirit of negative energy and evil spirits.

I also drank from this river it has pure water bubbling up from and underground spring. For some reason this was such a big deal to me, it was the first time I felt safe drinking straight from a river which is a wonderful feeling.The sweat lodgeVarsana is an amazing ecological retreat, with yoga, sustainable gardens, building and art. It is run by the Hare Krishna who in my experience were very welcoming but not pushy about their religion at all. They mainly wanted to share respect for nature and man through yoga, meditation, vegetarian diet, sustainable building and agriculture.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

More farms in Tenjo, Bogota, Colombia

4 Vientos
Constanca owns this certified organic farm for 5 years and
practiced on another for 15 years.She is an expert at water flow and her garden patches are built in rows on small mounds where all the excess water flows between perfectly design to drain excess into the river. She uses only this rain water over and over no other water.Cut your grass an leave it to provide nutrient back to the earth.

A woofing organic farm with horses, cows, donkey, and chickens.
Natalia's little house in Tenjo where she will start a garden and harvest bee honey from a hive she moved from her house safely to outside.
Natalia was nice enough to show me around these farms where she gathers vegetables and hand delivers them the same day to people in Bogota through her business Pura Vida Green Store.

She is a symbol of Colombia's rich natural resources and organic produce, However I noticed a lot of people were having trouble finding where to get organic produce in the cit. Her Business helps to support local organic agriculture and preserve Colombia's roots that she feels are becoming lost in new generations.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Organizmo is a beautiful sustainable finca (farm), retreat and education center owned by Ana Maria Gutierrez and Itamar Sela in Tenjo, Colombia. Ana studied architecture and Itamar horticulture and landscape design, his business is TERRENODiseño. They are a perfect compliment to each other in creating this eco–finca.

Together they live in a 200–year–old house made of Tapia (condensed earth). They have fertile land that they have adorned with amazing landscaping, a couple Vivero's ( greenhouses), green walls, corn, sheep, goats (for delicious goat cheese), and a few examples of sustainable building using different techniques they teach in workshops. Below is pictures from Organizmo and some of what they have accomplished in only 2 years.

The front yard.
A viviero
Itamar's glass terrarium creationAn easy instant Green wall made of prefab pouchesMore green walls waiting to be hung
This used to be an old cow milking barn converted to a lovely vivero with many succulents.
Movable mini greenhouses over rows of plants Itamar is growing for landscaping at an airport.
When it rains they move each on to the side and cover when the sun comes out again.A green wall made by cementing these bricks at an angle. Their are drain holes in theback of each one. They made one for a Crepes & Waffles restaurant in Bogota. A bottle house made for a workshop with Andreas Froese, the method is called ECO–TECH.Bottle house more about this projectItamar and Ana show us the interior. Ana was flying to LA this afternoon to take a course at Cal–Earth to build and eco–dome out of superadobe and add on to this structure in a future workshop.For the eco–tech technique bottles are stuffed with sand making them
  • Low cost
  • Absorbs shock loads
  • Bio climatic
  • Can be re used
  • Easy to make
  • Less construction material
Below is another Straw Bale course they gave with the architect Gernot Minke.
It has 13% slope which they found is best for green roofs.Inside was a technique to make a wall I had never seen before using orthopedic bandages filled with adobe and steel rods every foot or so.The strawbale house also uses manure and several layers of plaster. The outside is colored with natural minerals.The back yard near the local river Ana plans to clean when they get permissionAna and Itamar invited us for lunch to wait out the rain that had come overhead.
And oh my goodness their homemade goat cheese was sooo good.

Bye friends hope to see you soon.

Ana y Itamar also recommend visiting
In Brazil
TIBA built by author of Barefoot architects, Lucio Ventanilla
Integria where they met Gernot Minke.


Gaia cob house and alternative energies

Colombia more sustainable communities

by Ana