Cuban Agriculture: Finca L’Armonia (Permaculture Farm), Viñales

Finca L’Armonia Ecologica sign, Viñales, Cuba
Photo by Pam Dawling

Cuban Agriculture: Finca L’Armonia Ecologica (Permaculture Farm), Viñales

Day 5 – Saturday January 11 (Viñales) late afternoon

After lunch at Finca Paraiso restaurant and a tour of their beautiful farm, we visited

Finca L’Armonia (Ecological Permaculture Farm)

Our 27-year-old host farmer Yoani arrived on horseback. He is farming 1 hectare (2.2 acres) of his family of origin’s 13 hectares. It is a lovely farm. The farmer had twice been to France for permaculture training. His mother, sister, and grandfather farm the other 12 hectares as a coop that sells to the government (we saw part of this in a fenced area of shaded annual crops). He does permaculture on his portion.

I thought this was a coffee tree, but a better informed reader told me it’s a passion fruit vine growing up in a tree. Finca L’Armonia, Viñales, Cuba
Photo Pam Dawling

He grows two varieties of coffee (trees his grandfather planted) and had coffee for sale in plastic water bottles. Because tourists are urged to drink only bottled water, empty water bottles are a convenient container for any kinds of seeds, as we saw at the bean seed conservation center, Finca Hoyo Bonito (see March 17 2020 post). He also grows passionfruit, avocado, pineapples, mangoes, and other fruit trees including Cuban pears.

The very welcoming compost toilet at Finca L’Armonia, Viñales, Cuba
Photo Pam Dawling

He maintains worm bins and a composting toilet (top quality!) – the first composting toilet we saw on our tour. I am surprised there are not more composting toilets in the rural areas. Some tourist spots have horrible restrooms!

Worm bin at Finca L’Armonia, Viñales, Cuba. it’s hard to take a good picture of a worm bin, fascinating as they are!
Photo Pam Dawling

My room-mate Julia and I had dinner at our casa, cooked by our hosts. We had soup, salad, rice, red snapper fish, ice cream with honey. All delicious.

In the evening I did some shopping at a souvenir street market in Viñales.

Here is a video about this farm, from Franny’s Farmacy. Made by two of my fellow travelers on the OGS Tour.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j15aZoD9ZNQ

Young pineapple plants, Finca L’Armonia, Viñales, Cuba
Photo Pam Dawling

For a longer video, about Agroecological Farming in Cuba in general, see the 2017 Agroecology in Cuba, with English subtitles, by Lepore y van Caloen

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jShKWeoqkiU

To read more about the Organic Growers School organized trips and Cuban agriculture, see this article written by our fantastic tour guide Yoseti Herrera Guitián, who started working as a tour guide in 2013 with Amistur Cuba, a specialized tourism travel agency that is part of ICAP (Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples). She has worked with diverse groups focused on topics such as health, education, culture and mostly agriculture. Open as a new page here: https://organicgrowersschool.org/cuba-through-the-seasons

or click the link below, which will redirect you.

Cuba Through the Seasons

 

2 thoughts on “Cuban Agriculture: Finca L’Armonia (Permaculture Farm), Viñales”

  1. Hello Pam
    As usual, thank you for sharing your experience.
    The fruit shown in your picture is a passion fruit, and its vine. Likely growing on/in a tree, but I can’t tell which tree as the passion fruit vine makes it hard to see.

    1. Ah! Thanks Sylvie. I should have known that. I saw passion fruit at Source Farm in Jamaica. maybe it was growing in a a coffee tree? I’ll go ahead and edit the caption, to avoid further confusion. Pam

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