EARTH grad restores soil through regenerative farming

Filed Under: EARTH News
Date: April 15th, 2021

Obed Azofeifa (’20, Costa Rica) finds purpose in bringing life back to soil.

Retrato de Obed

Portrait of Obed by Lucy Kleiner

He manages Osa Verde, a 10-hectare wildlife-friendly farm that models mindful eating, climate-smart strategies, and locally adapted food-production techniques for communities in Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula. He first became connected to the farm’s non-profit sponsor, Osa Conservation, while interning there as an EARTH University student. Now he leads the daily practice of holistic agriculture, growing nutritious food for Piro Biological Station.

“At Osa Verde, we’ve become an example for the local people to see that it’s possible to implement alternative and environmentally responsible practices, to apply the principles of agroecology, and to transition from monoculture to polyculture, which embraces more genetic and cultural diversity,” Obed says.

Preparing cane juice, a traditional drink from Costa Rica. Photo by Lucy Kleiner.

Osa Conservation’s efforts are important in a region devastated by unemployment. That widespread lack of opportunity has pushed some desperate people to engage in ecosystem-damaging activities – poaching, trawling, stealing turtle eggs – to make ends meet. However, Obed is confident that regenerative agriculture will enable them to reach self-sufficiency and lessen their economic difficulties.

Portrait of Obed

Portrait of Obed

“Our model challenges the paradigm imposed by industrial agricultural methods that have produced food without considering the consequences of resource abuse,” Obed adds. “Instead, regenerative practices naturally enrich degraded soil with nutrients and water, helping to rehabilitate the land. This meets humanity’s dietary needs while respecting nature.”

At EARTH, we are proud of Obed and his dedication to projects that simultaneously improve people’s lives and the biodiversity around them.

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