Since we moved to Costa Rica in 2006, I’ve been astounded by the wide variety of life that this area supports year round. It’s been a dream to follow nature’s suit and learn to produce food year round. The coastal areas of the Guanacaste province have a solid 6 months of hot dry weather followed by 6 months or wet weather. It’s makes for a unique habitat and harbors “tropical dry forests”.
In 2011 my family and I finally found a beautiful piece of land in Costa Rica with which to experiment. It was a rough first year to say the least. Bugs, iguanas, birds and a plethora of other natural issues seemed intent on frustrating us. In addition we found out that many of the veggies and plants that thrive in cool temperate climates were miserable in the tropical NW Guanacaste climate.
Needless to say, Google and Youtube became our friends. We soon found native plants and other edibles that could thrive in both humid and dry climates. It was also interesting to find that many plants that grow as annuals up north, are perennials here. (one book that really opened my eyes to perennial gardening was Perennial Vegetables: From Artichokes to Zuiki Taro, A Gardener’s Guide to Over 100 Delicious and Easy to Grow Edibles)
We’re now growing many varieties of perennial edible plants that give year round sustenance with minimal effort. The names of which most people are totally unfamiliar. We call them “survival plants”. Being from the midwest United States, the cold winters cut my gardening year in half. Now we can have a garden that produces year round.
You could categorize us as “preppers”. We’re not paranoid doomsdayers; we just like producing our own food and if the SHTF in the near future, we hope that our garden will sustain the family. There are people out there who use places similar to outdoor empire for their needs when it comes to hunting and making sure they know how to survive, so why not?
Now we’re propagating these survival plants and doing our best to share the with the local community. We’re also health and fitness junkies and always trying to stay on top of the latest science to help us life healthy and optimal lives. Check out our Survival Plant Database and our blog and we’ll do our best to share our successes and our mistakes.