20 years ago, my parents started a major forest regeneration in our land and today we are proudly 95% native forest. Our land stays in an important area for water generation for major urban areas of Rio de Janeiro and we have 12 spring waters protected by our forest that are part of the water supply system for millions. We have borders with a important Rio de Janeiro State Park (Três Picos) that forms an important mountain range of Atlantic rainforest that protects it and its rich biodiversity. We also have borders to another important initiative REGUA.ORG, that has been reforesting thousands of hectares (and acres) of land (or dozens of km^2) and we have borders with a natural spring water company that values forest as a form of preserving water supply.
In 2018, we faced a situation of housing a unemployed local person that decided to destroy a small part of our forest to make a conventional plantation to make a living. It was not only a unauthorized act but illegal, since Atlantic Forest is protected by law. We offered him a solution of getting a income using organic(bio) methods of agriculture on available land and cultivating practices that goes along with the forest (native fruit trees, mushrooms, native beekeeping) and respecting the environmental laws. That's how we started! We started with this realization that we cannot do environmental preservation without including local people in the solution. We plan to become a scalable model that will multiply and
Since November 2019 we have volunteer program (we are top hosts at Worldpackers and wwoof host for quite some time), where we educate people about agroforestry, native bees, carbon and ecological footprint, plant and fungi based diet as a healing diet and a form of fighting climate change and environmental preservation. In fact, we emphasize the connection of healing yourself and healing the planet, where the student/volunteer realizes not only the physical benefits from chemical free plant and fungi based diet, but also the mental benefits of living in a nature abundant environment, with less high-tec distractions, understanding and appreciating the art of organic farming with his hands and few machinery. Agroforestry farming is a perfect blend of exercising and meditation where you need to bring your presence to the moment whether you're planting a delicate seedling or using a machete.
We are already facing climate change challenge of food scarcity and we cultivate food adapted to hotter climate like tropical edible plants that are more productive and adapted than staple foods (some of them with high negative impact in climate change like rice crops that releases a lot of methane).
Furthermore, we fixate tons of carbon in our syntropic agroforestry method that cultivates trees and develops a rich soil that brings carbon down through its root/microbial system.
Many of the native plants have medicinal use and we are teaming up with Ayurveda teachers to provide workshops on the use of natural and medicinal use of plants for healing the body and cosmetic use.
We have a in house researcher and agroforestry teacher, Alexandre de Almeida, a biologist with Phd in ecology and specialization in birds (ornithologist), and there is on going research on biodiversity in our land.