2nd Annual Seed Festival in Tinamaste, Costa Rica

I’ve been growing more and more fond of Costa Rica with each day. I command the country for not having an army since 1948 (and not having the need for one), I admire their eco conscious and animal protection laws, I appreciate every single tico’s (Costa Rican) attitude of pura vida or pure life, their love of nature and simple lifestyle.. No wonder this country has attracted the likes of yoga instructors, raw foodies, travel bloggers, backpackers and more. Past weekend was fun and adventurous for me, attending events that simply confirm Costa Rican cool, eco friendly, nature loving status.

On Saturday, Acyuta and I teamed up with another couple of travel loving bloggers Dan and Stephanie from Building Our Parachute, and embarked on an adventure with a single goal - to see a whale today! Costa Rica is hosting it’s annual Festival of Whales and Dolphins or Festival de Ballenas y Delfines this past weekend (September 2,3 and 4) and the next one as well (September 9, 10 and 11), and luckily the location in Osa is a mere hour and change drive south from our town of Manuel Antonio. On our way to the Whale watching festival, we stopped in Tinamaste to meet my mom and give her Zen to doggy sit for the day.

Tinamaste is a small rural town off the Pacific coast and into the mountains. It is close to Dominical, a yoga and hippie town in the area of the uber popular Envision Festival. It hosts a weekly organic farmers market, that is so well known and respected for quality and selection of fresh produce and goods, that it draws customers from all over the area, from tourists to locals.
This weekend, the same venue was hosting it’s annual Seed Festival, and we took the opportunity to explore it before continuing our journey.

I am a big believer in connecting with the Earth, knowing where our food comes from, and even putting our fingers in the dirt every once in a while. I am unfortunately very bad at growing my food! I have killed many house plants and kitchen herbs, even the ones super easy to grow like basil or oregano. Considering I come from a family well versed in Permaculture, that is even more embarrassing. My grandfather hand planted hundreds of trees throughout his life, and passed his knowledge onto my mom who in return gave her best to teach me something, alas to little success. I of course haven’t lived in Croatia in 10 years now, and haven’t had a chance to practice my gardening skills in just as long. But because I value the healing powers of foods that one grows themselves, I have deep respect for permaculture lovers and connoisseurs, such as the ones we met at the festival.

The Seed Festival is exactly as the name suggests, a festival of farmers and foodies coming together, sharing their knowledge, selling seeds and baby plants, as well as some finished products like cacao beans and mangosteen superfoods (which our friends bought to test out it’s superfood powers). The festival was swarming with hippie types, to the point that my husband announced: Everyone here looks like your mom! My mom is a total hippie herself, so he wasn’t far off.. and she definitely fit in the festival perfectly, enjoying every minute. The laid back, natural atmosphere summed the goal of the event perfectly.

The festival hosted talks on various topics from healthy eating to growing your own foods, and although we didn’t stay long, from little I heard, the talks seemed very interesting and the speakers knowledgable, drawing a big crowd that listened attentively. There was music, a kids corner with face painting, local crafts and my favorite - ready to eat food! I met a few old friends as well as new faces at the festival, including a man I met at a beautiful farm not too long ago. In the farm, they grow tumeric, cinnamon, cacao, gotu cola and more. That was the first time I saw some of the plants still in the Earth, and could follow the process of peeling the cinnamon off the tree trunk, sun drying the peel, and then pulverizing it into the spice we all know and love. I also met an expat, now local vegan and raw food chef Eric Rivkin from Viva la Raw, an eco conscious farm that hosts raw food retreats and vegan chef certifications. A friend attended one recently and was simply raving about it, so I was intrigued to meet the chef that trained her.
Food sold at the event was primarily plant based, and although not all vegan or gluten free, they seemed to accommodate all palates and dietary needs. Acyuta and I shared a huge black bean burger with a side salad and organic fries with homemade marinara ketchup, while our friends Dan and Stephanie happily snacked on falafel wraps. We grabbed our kombucha to go and were soon on our way to the Whale festival.

Overall, the Seed Festival is a great place to visit if:

  • You want to learn how to grow your own food
  • You want to purchase seeds and baby plants, including healthy herbs, superfoods and other plants not easily found anywhere else
  • You want to learn more about healthy living, eco friendly gardening, sustainable agriculture and more
  • or are simply on your way to a different place and want to buy some delicious vegan burgers

Kombucha is always a healthy choice

Delicious bean burger

I love vegan and raw food festivals, and was hoping to find more stands that sold prepared foods or cooking supplies, oils and herbs. As the same suggests, the festival was geared more towards early stages of the food preparation process (the seed that will grow into your food), but was an interesting visit all in all! I recommend it for anyone looking to expand their knowledge of gardening, is thinking of growing their own food in the future, or just needs to learn where does it all even come from in the first place. unfortunately, the human race has lived among concrete and has forgotten how amazing the nature can be, so we can all use a reminder of incredible things it is capable of. The truth is, our food doesn’t have to come from a package, form the supermarket. Not all you eat has to be payed for with money.

If you ever want to learn to be independent, off the grid, or just truly control how healthy and organic your food is, growing it yourself is the best way to go!