Costa Rica is a tropical paradise, home to a range of exotic fruits and flowers, and an abundance of citrus trees.
But while there are a number of well-known citrus varieties on the island, there’s no shortage of exotic varieties.
So when an eco-friendly citrus farmer came across an abandoned citrus tree, he decided to open a nursery.
The plant, called Citrus Para, was grown in the countryside on the outskirts of Costa Rica.
It was the result of a small team of volunteers working together over the past two years.
It is hoped that Citrus Paradise will eventually grow to the point where the world’s only non-garden-grown citrus tree is grown in a protected environment.
The nursery’s opening in Costa Rico was a first for any of the region’s native species.
“There’s only one non-native species that we have on the mainland, and that is the blue jasmine, and this one was in the ground for a long time,” said Miguel de la Torre, the nursery’s director.
“We thought we could use the citrus as a way to conserve the land and to grow something else.”
The plant is a hybrid between a jasminum, a perennial plant that can grow in almost any soil, and a citron, an evergreen shrub that has a more or less upright, round shape.
It has a hard, compact root system that can reach up to 25cm in diameter.
“It has a really good root system, so we could grow some of these plants and see how they do and how well they do,” said de la torre.
“But we were also interested in the citrus.
We wanted to have something to help with biodiversity, to help the community.
So it was important to have a citrus garden.”
A group of volunteers, led by de la tara, spent the last year training the trees, planting seeds, and taking care of the tree nursery.
They took a number on the land, but found a small patch of citrus to transplant into the nursery.
A number of local communities have already been contacted and helped with the planting, which is currently in its final stages.
“We had to decide on what the next step would be,” said Miguel de la Terra.
“For me, the first thing was to grow it, because it was a lot of work, but we also wanted to make sure that it’s going to be a good nursery, because there’s lots of people living in the area.”
The nursery will also have a vegetable garden, a compost and water garden, and two vegetable terraces for visitors to use as well as a compostable water toilet.
“The whole idea was to create a place that could be used for all the different kinds of activities,” de la terra said.
“This is a garden for a different community, where the community has a different approach to this.
We’re creating something that can be used by all the people.”
The nursery is expected to open in December.