To read Finca La Fe's
Permaculture Plan click here!

Finca La Fe is a 10 hectare farm owned by CASA
Director Pete Shear in Pucará, Ecuador. It is named
for his deceased mother, Faye Wingate. Although
pronounced the same as Faye, “Fe” means Faith in
Spanish. Pete explains the name like this: "My
mother always had unending faith in me and my
crazy projects. By putting myself (and family) in debt
to pursue my dream of operating a self-sustainable
permaculture farm I, in turn, am following her
example and keeping the faith. Thanks Mom, for
showing me the path. Finca La Fe is the monument I
will build to honor your life."

On the western flank of the Andes at 2100 meters,
the farm is located in the Alto Chocó cloud forest,
one of the world´s ten most  bio-diverse ecosystems.
The land is comprised of approximately 20% primary
cloud forest, 20% secondary cloud forest, 30%
agricultural land and orchards, and 30% grazing
pasture. The farm is organized as a mixed economy
venture: part private and part public. While organic
produce will be sold for profit, the farm itself will also
be home to a non-profit education center and
demonstration permaculture project that will receive
volunteers and students and host seminars.

Despite being virtually abandoned for most of a
Finca La Fe is already producing organic
citrus, yucca, raspberries, pineapples, avocados,
beans and corn at market levels. The farm is also a
member of the Agro-Artesenal Coffee Association of
the Intag River Valley (AACRI), a 400 member fair-
trade, organic cooperative born as an economic
alternative to a proposed open-pit copper mine in
the region. Two thousand coffee trees will be
producing beans by 2012 to add to AACRI’s export
capacity to Japan, the EU, and the USA.

In July of 2009, the farm received four extraordinary
volunteers from Harvard University’s School of
Architecture. They spent a month on site designing
an amazing multi-modal Education Center designed
to receive groups of up to thirty people and utilizing
local materials and ecological design principles. The
Center's main construction material will be bamboo
and the entire bottom floor will be housed by walls
made up of rotating bamboo screens that allow the
building to naturally “adjust” to temperature, wind,
and precipitation changes (see below).

CASA is now in the process of raising $40,000 for
the Education Center’s construction. We are looking
for eight donors who are willing to contribute $5000
or more. Donations are tax-deductible and donors
will have life-long vacation privileges in an
unbelievably beautiful setting. Anyone who
completely funds the building will name the
Education Center after whomever they choose.

Long term plans for the Finca include construction
of an interpretive trail that identifies both cloud
forest and agricultural plants, the installation of solar
showers and composting toilets, the implementation
of water storage tanks and a gravity-fed irrigation
system, sample agriculture plots that will be used to
test different organic and biodegradable pesticide
and fungicide solutions, native species reforestation
studies, and the implementation of an integrated
permaculture design plan (see below).


CONTACT Peter Shear for more information:

in Ecuador: 086-849-950

To read Finca La Fe's
Permaculture Plan click here!
Inter-American Center for the Arts, Sustainability,and Action

Centro Interamericano para las Artes, el Sustento, y la Acción
CASA collaborates with Finca La Fe, an organic farm and developing permaculture
project located in the cloud forests of Ecuador's western Andes. Volunteers for
general farm work and specific infrastructure and ecological design projects are