A little or a lot about me.
My name is Randine Perry and I started EcoYou.Me Organic farm because I simply love growing my own crops, from vegetables, fruit trees, flowers and fauna to sustainable woodland forests. I love planting, harvesting and eating organic food knowing where it came from, knowing that I nurtured each one from seeds, sapling, shrubs to a fully grown tree.
In early 2015, I visited Costa Rica for a holiday, in truth searching for a new beginnings, and with synchronicity and no coincidence I stumbled upon a wonderful 8 acres farm with a run down farm house, a do-upper with some old growth non-producing fruit trees! From that moment seeing the beautiful lush rain forest covered mountains my passion for commencing this project was realised and bursting to manifest to reality.
So I toyed with the idea of crowd funding for the funds required, been myself I thought I cannot asked the public this without showing some effort and commitment to get part way through at least 70% of the journey. I worked for an entire year and half, 7 days per week 14 hours per day and sometimes more so I could purchase the farm outright and not be on any finance deal.
Café eco Orgánico Project
Café eco Orgánico is a café with a difference! As part of an organic farm retreat, the Café is where the fruits and vegetables grown in our own permaculture gardens will finally make it from soil to kitchen to plate.
This project is very important to us as we are located in the beautiful rain forest and mountain town of Platanillo, Costa Rica and close to the amazing Nauyaca Waterfalls. Over the last 3 years the number of visitors to the area has increased in 4x4 vehicles, dirt bikes, mountain bikers and hikers.
With the increase in numbers we’ve experience damage to the landscape, litter, soil erosion and disturbance to wildlife, traffic congestion and pollution, local goods become expensive because tourists will pay more, and shops stock expensive organic products for tourists and not everyday goods needed by locals.
Café eco Orgánico will support the local community, farmers and other organisations to try and make tourism in this area more sustainable. Here are just some of the things your donation will help us to achieve:
- Show visitors how they can be responsible tourists with our events, leaflets, and environmental education and information,
- Guided environmental walks and events
- Encourage visitors to leave their cars behind and use greener travel, like bikes, buses or hiking
- Support outdoor activities that don't damage the countryside or harm wildlife.
- Encourage visitors to buy local products and food.
- Run green business schemes to encourage businesses to recycle, reduce energy, conserve water and be sustainable.
- Serve 100% Organic produce grown at our farm.
- Organic farming is better for the environment.
- Café eco Orgánico will be outlet for organic farmers to sell the produce.
- A centre for visitors to exchange their plastic bottles in for sustainable bamboo bottle.
- An inexpensive organic store for locals and visitors in the mountain, no need to drive to the coasts.
- An outlet for environmentally friendly green products such as bamboo straws, toothbrushes, water bottles and much more.
Since purchasing the farm we have been busy remodelling and decorating this wonderful farm house to use as a community shared space. I funded all the work from my own finances and now could really do with your help to complete the next stage of building the organic café. Below I've created some before and after photos to show my progress and intentions to make Café eco Orgánico a reality.
The remodelling and new roof started May 2016, working hard against the clock before the wrath of the rainy season.
The finished quality is great, the purple heart floor I've belt sanded, the new cedar roof and the glass fronted entrance to the balcony, the amazing rain forest view is perfect for yoga, meditation, teaching, ceremonies and music or to share space.
I started working on the garden in my spare time to split the work schedule between working on the retreat space and permaculture gardening.
I've always been an advocate for giving back, sharing and learning new skills from others, we welcome volunteers through volunteer programs.
One of our volunteers took these amazing panoramic shots of the balcony and the sitting area.
Before we can do that, I really am asking please for your help! we'll need to build and equip a commercial cafe and kitchen.
We are looking to raise $30,000 total for this project, the cafe will be adjacent to the Nauyaca tourist information office.
- We can source our own sustainable hardwood, Cedar and Melina to reduce the material build costs considerably. We have permission from Senac (forestry commission) to take 6 Cedar and 100 Melina trees, the Melina trees on the farm are an invasive species, not native to Costa Rica and needs to be managed.
- We don't need to buy, lease or rent the space I have already purchased the farm.
- We have a large selection of fruit trees planted from the get go.
So our customer base are available as thousands come to this visit this area especially for the waterfall, from driving to the beach only 10 minutes away, visiting the national parks and the waterfall, visitors will walk past the cafe's front door on route. It will be a place where you can stop in and enjoy the amazing rain forest mountain views from from the decking area outside or inside. Grab a quick bite, order an organic smoothie, organic juice, fruit salad or grab lunch to take, 50% or more of the produce used will be grown at the farm.
In the last 2 years I have been busy populating the farm with fruit trees.
- Ginger, Tumeric, Mango, Jack fruits, Gwanabana, Mangosten, Spanich,Star Apple
- Birmba, Custard Apple, Bread fruits, Brazilian buries, Pomograntes, Water Apple
- Papaya, Pinapple, Banana of many varieties, Plantains, Potatoes, Avocado of many varieties and more.
As a eco advocate and permaculturist I watch everyday as hundreds of hikers visit the water falls with plastic bottles. I regularly walk down the mountain to clear up plastic bottles, food packages and plastic straws left behind by visitors. We would like to offer eco friendly water bottles filled with fresh spring water from the farm and other eco merchendise, we believe visitors are ready for more when on holiday in an important biological reserve area such as this. We can not do this without your help of course
Why we chose crowd funding vs Bank Loans
Passionate about doing this right, I have already invested my own savings and resources into the permaculture farm and still see a tremendous opportunity to enhance the ecology and community of the area without compromising what has been achieved so far.
There is also the upstart costs of food preparation. Organic prepared raw food can be very costly and time-consuming to make, and we don't want to charge a fortune for great quality food just to “pay back a bank loan.” We want to build this right and to maintain the business for the right reasons. This is why I am growing so many wonderful variety of fruits, vegetables and herbs to cover the food cost and our time/labor.
Our funding Style Choice!
Café eco is using IndieGoGo's flexible funding style. This means, even if we do not hit our goal, all of the money contributed is still sent for the cause. Every little bit contributed ensures that we make it through the first year of business, which is infamously difficult in the restaurant industry in particular.
What we need?
What your money will go towards:
Equipment: commercial dehydrators, commercial food processors, high speed blenders, refrigeration, counter tops, sinks, dishwasher, etc
Building the space: corrugated steel for roof, glass for front and back to enjoy the breath taking views, nuts, bolts, screws, insulation for the roof to keep the heat out, plumbing, electricity, permits, getting everything to health code.
Other essential stuff: tables, chairs, dishes, etc
What you get from it
Besides getting an awesome place in the jungles of Costa Rica to come enjoy amazing organic vegetarian meals, raw food to go, organic smoothies, juices, fruit salads to go and organic produce, you will be a huge part in creating the VERY FIRST organic vegetarian cafe in the mountains in the biological reserve. With Platanillo being an up-and-coming mountain town ten minutes from the coasts, it just seems fitting that it should also have something like this so we don't need to drive down from the mountain to get organic produce from the market.
Plus, there are some other great perks for being a supporter! We want you to have the opportunity to get back what you give, so we are offering discounts as rewards. That way, you have the potential to make your money back in the form of savings! It's win-win for everyone!!!
Other ways you can Help!
YOU Can Help! We need to raise $30,000 whether it's $10, $1,000, or anywhere in between, we could use your help in raising the money needed to reach our goal and spreading the word about our mission. We very much understand that it just isn't possible for some people to make donations for stuff like this, but there are other ways you can help!
Help us get the word out! That really is the most helpful thing of all!
We appreciate your help SO MUCH! Without you, none of this would be possible!