#065 – Georges Lefebvre: Creating Hacienda Okhra, the Community & Farm of the Future | Forking Around Costa Rica

  • June 5, 2018
Georges Lefebvre in his car

Georges Lefebvre

Georges Lefebvre is the magnanimous madman who created Hacienda Okhra, a concept community and farm located in the breathtaking hills of Las Delicias, just above the town of Mal Pais on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica. Although it started as a home for Georges and a few friends, this community has grown into an impressive business and they actually supply food for a good majority of the locals in the area.

This dream-like community features premium facilities, 106 acres of carbon-offsetting tropical forest, hidden waterfalls, a nature-immersed spa, yoga, hiking, horseback riding, meditation, and healthy organic cuisine – all located in the world’s largest Blue Zone. Everything is done naturally and on-site, combining peace and tranquility with futuristic and intelligent investment ideas.

“Basically, we took your great-grandparents garden and modernized it to today’s standards. We can produce a high yield on very, very little space with very, very little water.” –Georges Lefebvre

Take a tour with Georges himself!


Watch this video to see the mustard seeds, wasabi arugula, red romaine, kale, okra, and a happy face – all from the Hacienda Okhra farm!

 

We also discuss:

  • The world-renowned arugula grown at Hacienda Okhra
  • How the farm is so incredibly efficient – In just 5-6 weeks, they’re able to produce 14 kilos of arugula in a 10×1.5 meter bed!!
  • Why this farm could be repeated almost anywhere in the world
  • Distributing produce directly to clients
  • How Hacienda Okhra is giving incredible opportunities to local children
  • Georges Lefebvre’s time as a restaurateur
  • All the different crops grown at Hacienda Okhra
  • The seeding & watering processes on these future farms
  • Costa Rican pineapple production
  • Being in the largest Blue Zone in the world
  • The flora & fauna in this area
  • A delicious recipe for arugula salad

Georges Lefebvre’s Arugula Salad Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • Freshly cut arugula (preferably Okhra)
  • Aged parmesan cheese
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix by hand, and then enjoy the most amazing arugula salad that you’ve ever had!

Resources:

Georges Lefebvre’s Bio:

Hacienda Okhra Corporation is a Costa Rican Corporation owned by Georges Lefebvre who purchased over 43 hectares  (about 106 acres) of pristine property in this area of Mal Pais, Costa Rica. With the first phase of the project completed including roads and infrastructure the Hacienda Okhra Project is on its way to construct the second phase of its sustainable project.

Georges Lefebvre was born in France and spent most of his childhood between Paris, France and NYC, USA. Growing up between these two cultures assisted in Georges developing an interest in the finer things this life has to offer. In 1983 Georges graduated from an American School in Paris. After graduation Georges spent a short time in the French Military as an Airborne Commando before he moved to NYC where he opened a variety of restaurants over the next 12 years.

In NYC Georges founded the world famous Parisian restaurant Bilboquet and the Vigt-Deux Private Bar. He also opened a number of famous NYC cafes including Palallawest, Panino, Caffe Rosso and Il Baggote before relocating to Costa Rica in 1999. In 1999 Georges took his knowledge in fine dining to Costa Rica where he opened a Bilboquet Restaurant in the city of

San Jose. In 2003 Georges wanted to combine his culinary knowledge with sustainable food production practices so he started Hacienda Okhra where he has spent the past 10 years implementing the first phase of the project.

The Gardens at Hacienda Okhra are all unique and cater to the type of yield they are producing. The farmers use a variety of techniques including indoor vertical growing systems, outdoor raised beds of all different sizes as well as growing directly in the ground. The growers use a combination of mediums including fiber de coco, which is coconut fibers, natural compost from the farm, dirt from the ground, as well as the gardens compost and vermapost systems.

The water is all gravity fed once it gets pumped up to a water tower that is drawing directly from a well. The system is designed as a natural reclamation system where all of the runoff flows directly into the outdoor gardens with any leftover ending up in the pond that feeds the well. 

Currently Hacienda Okhra is producing over 20 kilos of fresh fruit and vegetables for top tier restaurants and private chefs in the neighboring communities.

I love the world of food and beverage, everything about it, it’s soo damn sexy! Every time we eat and drink it ignites us sensually…the look, texture, taste, smell, sound all in a unique combination, encapsulating a moment in time. The act of sharing a meal with friends, chatting, eating, and drinking together is so forking perfect. It is a feeling that echoes a sense that All Is Good! Very, Very good!

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