Unique Experience of Finca El Zopilote
Living in harmony with nature is the main objective of permaculture farming. It is a concept that was explored in the 1960s by an Austrian farmer named Sepp Holzer. During the 1970s, however, two Australians, Bill Morrison and David Holmgren, developed the technique scientifically and it was Morrison who named this farming skill permaculture farming in 1978. Permaculture farming looks at the needs of humans, as well as that of nature and animals, and creates a self-sufficient structure that allows for farming without waste and without depleting natural resources. Permaculture farming works together with nature and enables communities to provide for themselves without causing damage to ecological systems.
In the year 2002, land was purchased to create Finca El Zopilote, which is a farm that promotes permaculture farming and practices this technique every day. There are no machine operated implements on the farm, as all work is done with shovels, axes and by hand. The owners of El Zopilote even went so far as not to construct a road to their establishment, creating an opportunity for visitors to enjoy the landscape while walking the three hundred meters from the main road to El Zopilote. The farm does employ a number of permanent workers, but the it is mostly run through the work of volunteers who come from all over the world to experience this unique farm and its farming methods.
Located on Ometepe Island, Finca El Zopilote welcomes visitors to take a tour of the farm, which offers vegetable gardens, herbs, composting systems, wetlands and various bamboo structures. Even though there is no actual restaurant at the farm, there is a shop that sells products from the farm, such as honey, yoghurt, hummus, pasta and various other natural products. There is always fresh fruit available, and three days a week there is tasty pizza made in a wood burning oven. Other attractions at Finca El Zopilote includes a breathtaking look-out tower, craft classes, petroglyphs, parties and tours to the Volcano Maderas, which can also be done on horseback. Tourists are invited to stay over for a few nights in comfortable lodgings and enjoy the beauty of nature one day at a time.