Sacred Seeds leader Rafael Ocampo explains the motivations and methods...
Sanctuario Semillas Sagradas, Finca Luna Nueva
The first Sacred Seed garden was created at Finca Luna Nueva, an organic and Biodynamic® rainforest education center and lodge in Costa Rica. Conceptualized by Steven Farrell, president of Finca Luna Nueva, Tom Newmark, Chairman of New Chapter and Rafael Ocampo, ethnobotanist, Santuario Semillas Sagradas (Sacred Seeds Sanctuary) at Finca Luna Nueva is a dynamic collection of medicinal plants that protects and celebrates not only biological diversity in Costa Rica and the tropics but also the diversity of cultural knowledge related to these plants worldwide. Santuario Semillas Sagradas is a living expression of Costa Rican cultural past and present as well as a hope for the future. Dedicated to protecting endangered medicinal plants of the neotropics, this sanctuary is one of the new world’s largest and most comprehensive sanctuaries for endangered plant species.
The winding path of the sanctuary brings the visitor through three different sections of environmental diversity representing the various cultural groups of Costa Rica; indigenous, Afro-Caribbean, and European-descended Ticos.
Visitors to the gardens are guided though well-kept paths that follow the natural form of the land, integrating forest structure with selected planting. With over 250 traditionally important plant species represented in the garden, visitors begin to understand the need for protecting these vital plant species and their traditional medicinal uses.