Peter is an exotic fruit farmer and agroforestry pioneer. Since childhood, he’s been interested in growing fruits and vegetables. He relocated to Costa Rica thirty years ago and has been dedicated to propagating and growing tropical fruit trees ever since. He is based at Finca la Isla on the southern Caribbean coast, where he says the climate is the same as the great equatorial growing areas of the planet. Peter has established a collection of more than 170 varieties of quality fruits. He also runs a cutting-edge plant nursery, makes fine chocolate from his own cacao, and maintains a vendor table at his local farmers market. Learn more at FincaLaIsla.com.
Fruit Tree Propagation from Seed, Air Layering, and Grafting
The propagation workshop will begin with a talk about the special care that most tropical fruit seeds need. Next, we’ll discuss why we might want to asexually reproduce trees and the various methods available. Participants will see and experience the techniques of air layering and grafting tropical trees.
Designing and Planting the Agroforestry Fruit Orchard
This fruit orchard design workshop will discuss potential layouts for both flat and sloped terrains, as well as wetland areas. Site preparation will consider issues with converting pasture, scrub, or more mature forest into a fruit tree forest, and how to care for the soil in the process. Appropriate tree selection, advantageous layout for the select trees, and intercropping will be discussed.
Harvesting, Commercializing, and Preserving Tropical Fruits
This workshop will address the challenges of harvesting, preserving, and how to be successful with sales at farmers markets, fruit stands, and restaurants. We will talk about dehydrating, fermentation, and other methods of preservation and storage. Samples of quality preserved fruits will be shared.