For my Health & Nutrition: A Sustainability Approach course, we went on a one day educational field trip to The Arc Herb Farm. This farm is the largest botanical garden in Costa Rica, created by 2 Americans, Tommy Thomas and Patricia Riley, who loved collecting and researching the plants. Over the years, they have collected thousands of plants from around the world in order to educate others about their culinary, medicinal, and commercial uses as well as raising awareness about the importance of preserving biodiversity.
One of our activities was to eat lunch at the farm. The menu consisted of 6 plates, each containing a very unique taste from one another. The plates consisted of:
Variety of breads served with mix of olive oil, herbs, and balsamic vinegar
Roasted cherry tomatoes in primavera style
Green banana patacon with lemon white bean hummus, accompanied with vegetables, fresh cheese, and paprike golf sauce
Salad of lettuce and herbs from the garden season with red fruit gastric (mulberry, acai, and jaboticaba) accompanied with coleslaw and pita chips
Creamy salmon with pesto rosso accompanied with mixed rice (white rice, wild rice, almonds, and mediterranean herbs)
Fruit tartlet with chocolate ganache
Overall, this experience was very unique and delicious. It taught me that we can create delicious meals with the vegetables we grow in our garden.
Next, we got a tour around the herb farm where we got to see the different types of herbs used for culinary and medicinal use. A plant that caught my attention was the Dragon’s Blood Tree. The “blood” is used to treat dental problems, such as a loose tooth or gum disease, since it helps it tighten and dry up. In addition, when massaged onto the skin, it becomes a white substance that helps with skin problems, such as fungi, rashes, and bug bites.