Organic Gardens


One challenge of working and living in remote areas of South America is access to fresh food. However, challenge begets opportunity: to reduce the need to ship fruits and vegetables long distances, we got started in place-based, sustainable organic gardening. At each major conservation project—Pumalín, Iberá, and the Patagonia National Park project—our teams established and maintain organic gardens for local consumption.

Producing food in rainy Pumalín, hot Iberá, and windy Patagonia tests the skills of the farmer. Through years of experimentation, we have honed our techniques to best ensure a steady stream of healthy produce.

Today, visitors and staff at Pumalín, Socorro, and the future Patagonia National Park eat fresh produce sourced directly from on-site garden facilities. Most greenhouses also serve as classrooms for the nearby project schools. Efforts are expanding to include small gardens and greenhouses at some of the most remote ranger stations. On-site composting, vermiculture, and integrated orchards are common features, rounding out these operations with sensible, self-sufficient practices.

Not only do these gardens reduce the footprint of food consumed in the parks, but they also inject much needed vitamins and minerals into diets otherwise dominated by meat, and infrequent shipments of non-perishable goods. Providing residents and guests with safe, nutritious, locally grown food has become a key component of the continual effort toward self-sufficiency.

 

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