Teresa Ramos is a farmer in the hills of La Esperanza de Santa Cruz, about 1.5 hours from Harmony Hotel. She has been farming for most of her life, growing mostly corn, beans, coffee and a variety of squash and other vegetables. Corn is an ancient food staple in Costa Rica, but we’ve often had trouble sourcing local and organic corn for our restaurants. So we were happy for the opportunity to meet Doña Teresa and collaborate with Irene Burgués at the Asociación Agro-Orgánica Guanacasteca (an association that provides critical support for local farmers to get certified organic).
In August of 2021, we made an agreement to purchase 50% of Doña Teresa’s corn and bean crop at the beginning of the growing season, which helped provide the upfront resources necessary to plant and harvest using the regenerative and sustainable farming methods practiced by her family for generations. Of course we ran into some unexpected challenges, but ultimately the process was a success, we learned a lot, and we connected with amazing people who care deeply about the health of the planet and our community.
Our partnership with Doña Teresa provided us with enough organic corn and beans for our menus this year, and we’re excited to continue our relationship with her as a key provider. We are now expanding our use of this pre-payment principle to a local vegetable farmer, which will help him expand his greenhouse and organic production capabilities!