The sustainable edible garden at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge is growing, and soon we’ll be serving up even more fresh produce in our delicious Costa Rican meals.
A new hydroponic garden is being developed at Nicuesa Lodge to grow fresh vegetables and herbs for our delicious, original Costa Rican meals served in our restaurant.
The concept of hydroponics or “soil-less” gardening has been around for thousands of years. The word hydroponics comes from the Greek words “hydro” meaning water, and “ponics” which means labor.
Hydroponics is known to offer several advantages over soil gardening: a 30-50 percent faster growth rate, higher yield, less water used, and fewer problems with bug infestations, fungus and disease. Hydroponic growing mediums provide extra oxygen, which helps to stimulate root growth and allow plants to absorb nutrients faster. Hydroponically-grown plants also require very little energy to find and break down food since the nutrients in a hydroponic system are mixed with water and sent directly to the root system. The plant then uses this saved energy to grow faster and to produce more.
All of these reasons fit perfectly with Nicuesa Lodge’s philosophy of sustainability. Our eco-lodge near the Osa Peninsula holds the highest Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST) in Costa Rica, and has received the Ecological Blue Flag Award five years in a row for keeping one of the cleanest beaches in Costa Rica.
Growing in our new hydroponic garden are sweet red peppers, lettuce, celery, and coriander (also known as cilantro). On Nicuesa’s 165-acre private reserve we grow tropical fruit trees like mangoes, star fruit, cas guava, oranges, lemons, papayas, water apples, bananas, plantains and coconuts. Our traditional garden supplies pineapples, sugar cane, basil and spinach, among other crops. On the property, you can see the remnants of the cacao tree plantation that once occupied this land, and we offer a chocolate tour to show you the delicious process of making organic chocolate.
Guests can see all of our gardens and food-growing when you go on our Sustainability Tour or Edible Landscape Tour.
Dining at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge is family-style in the open-air, canopy level restaurant designed like a rustic treehouse, with views over the forest, beach and ocean – great for wildlife spotting. An open side deck is perfect for soaking up the sun or gazing at the night sky packed with stars. Guests always love the family-style mealtimes, where you can share experiences about your day’s adventures and other travels.
Exceptional, fresh meals focus on Costa Rican cuisine with an emphasis on fresh fish, tropical fruits and locally grown vegetables. See some sample menus here.
One of the great aspects about Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge is that you don’t have to worry about your meals, since they are all included with your stay at our Costa Rica rainforest hotel due to its remote wilderness location.
Located in southern Costa Rica, Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge is only accessible by boat on the gulf of Golfo Dulce, where it borders the remote Piedras Blancas National Park. To get here, you can either drive or fly to the towns of Puerto Jimenez or Golfito. Our staff will transfer you across the gulf by boat to the lodge – all part of the adventure!
Welcome to paradise!
Article by Shannon Farley