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Regenerating native forests on a large scale with Alex Kronick of Caoba Farms: 136

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I’ve been so fortunate to get to speak directly with so many people who have created incredible examples of permaculture abundance and ecological health and resilience through this podcast, and though I’ve also gotten to visit many permaculture projects and practitioners, many of the ones I’ve seen in person are either just in the early stages of getting off the ground, or haven’t quite found their balance between financial and ecological prosperity. The best examples that I’ve seen in person are the projects that Alex Kronick and his team have managed in the area around Antigua Guatemala, namely Caoba Farms and his new project in Paramos. Now back in season 2, Neal Hegarty who I used to work with on the Granja Tzikin project interviewed Alex in an interview we called “The Most Impressive Permaculturalist You’ve Never Heard of.” Since then I’ve been back many times to visit Alex both at his farm/event space/restaurant at Caoba farms, and even more notably, the larger project that’s been underway for just a couple years in the town of Paramos, northwest of Antigua. There Alex has been combining pieces of land that he’s been able to acquire as he builds towards his dream of restoring the native forest of that region and strategically incorporate agroforestry, market gardening, eco-tourism and event space to ensure the value and protection of the native ecosystem is preserved indefinitely. Though I didn’t have the time to bring recording equipment along on the few trips I made up there in person, I got to catch Alex on a call later to ask him to go over a few of the many intricacies of his plan and steps for development that are still in the early stages, but gaining incredible traction on his site. 

In this interview we cover many of the details of the unique climate and context where the land is located and how it informs goals and designs that Alex is developing. He talks at length about how he and his team are choosing which of the native species to propagate and use for reforestation and how they are creating nurseries to grow thousands of trees at a time. We also talk about how the government incentives for reforestation in Guatemala are not as beneficial as they might appear and how navigating the regulations can both help and hinder ecological goals. We even cover how different trees can affect the water table on your land, passive irrigation methods, even education programs for school age kids and much more. I’ve learned so much from Alex and his methodical approach to land based projects. He’s definitely one of the voices in permaculture and ecological business that I hope more people look to and reference as examples of no-nonsense, results based progress. I’ve also included a bunch of pictures from his farm and nursery that Alex sent me and you can check them out on the website at abundantedge.com

Resources:

Caobafarms.com

Hear more from Alex in his previous interview with Abundant Edge

 

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